Biological Waste Disposal

The regulations governing biowaste disposal are found in the Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA). Medical waste is defined as biohazardous or sharps waste and waste that is generated or produced as a result of the:

  • diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings/animals;
  • research pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings/animals;
  • production/testing of biologicals;
  • the accumulation of properly contained home-generated sharps waste; or
  • the removal of trauma-scene wastes.

Disposal of Biological Waste

  • Disposal locations
    • S&E 1: Room 144 (cage in loading dock)
    • S&E 2: Main floor cage on opposite wall from the freight elevator
    • Castle: Autoclave room inside room 1300
  • Classification of biohazardous and sharps waste
    • See the table below detailing biohazardous waste disposal guidelines based on classification, or print out a PDF version of this table here.
  • When sealing the waste bag, use tape to "gooseneck" the bag.
  • Proper labeling of waste includes the name of your PI and the lab location.
  • Request waste labels specific to your lab by emailing biosafety@ucmerced.edu and include the PI's name, building and lab room number.

 

Biohazardous Waste Disposal by Class

Type of Waste Packaging and Disposal Guidelines
Dry biohazardous or medical waste
  • Collect dry waste in red biohazard bags.
  • Bags must be pre-printed with the word "biohazard," the universal symbol for biohazard and ASTM Standards for 165 gr impact strength (D1709-01) and 480 gr tear strength (D1722-00A).
  • Label bags with the generator's information:
    • UC Merced identification information
    1. University of California, Merced
    2. Address (Castle or main campus)
    3. Building and room number where waste was generated
  • Tie or tape bag closed (gooseneck).
  • Take the sealed bag to your building's designated biohazardous waste collection site.
Liquid biohazardous or medical waste
  • Dilute liquid waste with bleach to a 10 percent solution (one part bleach to nine parts liquid waste)
  • Let stand for at least 20 minutes before pouring down drain.
  • If there are other hazards in the liquid (radiological or chemical), decontaminate for the biological waste and dispose of them in the hazardous waste stream using the WASTe program.
Biohazardous sharps
  • Place sharps in a UN 3291 certified red rigid, leak proof, puncture resistant container.
  • Label sharps container with the generator's information:
    • UC Merced identification information:
    1. University of California, Merced
    2. Address (Castle or main campus)
    3. Building and room number where waste was generated
  • Do not place free liquids such as full syringes in sharps containers.
  • Take the sealed sharps container to your building's designated biohazardous waste collection site.