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Infectious Waste Policies and Procedures Manual
Idaho State University (HTML version) 2002 Edition

Chapter 4 - Procedures for Infectious Waste

4.1  Containers
    65 gallon, reusable containers with specific-type bags are generally provided by the TSO or infectious waste disposal company.  Containers can be a volume other than 65 gallons, for the purpose of convenience, but they must be rigid, leak resistant, impervious to moisture, of sufficient strength to prevent tearing or bursting during use and transportation, and labeled properly.  Sharps shall be disposed of immediately after use in an impervious, rigid, and puncture-resistant container.

4.2  Accumulation and Management at Generation Sites

  • University personnel shall be responsible for the careful segregation of infectious and noninfectious waste and disposal of infectious waste in an appropriate container as described above, all of which shall occur at the site of generation or designated control site.
  • Needles shall not be recapped, bent, clipped, broken, or manipulated in any way.
  • Infectious waste bags within the container shall not be filled in a manner that would exceed the bag’s weight or volume capacity.  Furthermore, the bag must be closable and not exceed the weight limit set by the disposal company.
  • All containers storing and transporting infectious material shall be labeled with the infectious waste bio-hazard symbol (see front cover of manual).  Infectious waste labels of any kind shall not be disposed of in regular trash without defacing it.
  • All persons handling infectious waste shall take all precautions in terms of person protective equipment (gloves, apron, goggles, and respiratory apparatus as necessary) and have proper training in infectious waste handling.
  • Noninfectious biological or medical waste may be disposed of in regular trash containers.
  • Research cultures, stocks, and other articles containing live pathogenic microorganisms shall be sterilized appropriately by autoclaving or chemical sterilization.  More critical infectious waste may be sterilized to provide an additional measure of safety.
  • University Personnel that need to inject insulin or other medicines, may contact TSO for a sharps container and proper disposal at no charge.
4.3  Storage
    Untreated infectious waste should be stored in a designated area for a minimal period of time.  Storage areas must comply to the following:
  • Protected from animals and weather;
  • Secured to deny access by unauthorized persons;
  • Marked with a standard and prominent, infectious waste warning sign provided by TSO.
  • Provided with an ABC rated fire extinguisher
4.4 Collection and Transportation of Infectious Waste
    All infectious waste shall be collected by University Personnel for proper disposal.  Disposal of infectious waste into normal waste containers is prohibited.  Infectious waste generators have several options for collection, based on relevant circumstances and convenience.  Frequent generators may make arrangements with the TSO for routine pick-ups from a designated area.  In such agreements, the generator is advised to notify TSO of a pick-up in advance to allow sufficient time for response.  Departments may also provide their own transportation of waste to the designated infectious waste storage shed located behind the Dental Hygiene Building (Building #37), with permission from TSO.  Occasional generators may request pick-ups from TSO at any time.   Untrained personnel shall not transport infectious waste and transportation must be done using University vehicles.

4.5  Disposal
    Infectious waste is transported by a disposal company to an ISU approved treatment facility.  Disposal costs shall be born by TSO provided no abuse of the service occurs.

4.6  Documentation
    The disposal contractor shall be responsible for providing documentation to the TSO verifying that each container of infectious waste has been received and treated or incinerated.

4.7  Preparedness for Spills or Leaks
    Personal protective equipment (PPE) including: gloves, apron, and mask shall be available in all areas where infectious waste is generated or stored.  A spill kit containing PPE, disinfectant, and absorbent material shall be kept in the generation and storage areas.  All University personnel shall wear appropriate PPE when handling infectious waste.  Materials generated from spill or leak clean-up shall be handled as infectious waste.

4.8  Monitoring
    The TSO shall be responsible for performing periodic inspections of equipment and storage areas, and if unsafe conditions are found, providing written or oral reports of observations and recommendations to the Campus Safety Committee.

4.9  Sterilization
    Sterilization is the processes by which any living organisms present on some object or surface are eliminated.  This is generally done by autoclaving, which provides the object being sterilized with high temperature and heat.

4.10 Waste Minimization
    The amount of infectious waste generated at ISU should be minimized to reduce the environmental impact of disposal and reduce the amount paid in disposal costs.  The following are ways to minimize infectious waste generation:

  • Whenever possible, limit the amount of material you purchase that will eventually be disposed of as infectious waste.
  • In some circumstances, there are alternative materials or methods to a procedure that would result in the production of less infectious material than other procedures.
4.11 Infectious Waste Mixed with Hazardous Chemicals
    Special circumstances for research purposes may result in infectious waste mixed with a RCRA hazardous chemical waste and shall be disposed of as RCRA hazardous chemical waste.  If this occurs, TSO should be notified.  RCRA hazardous chemical waste and infectious waste shall not be combined intentionally for disposal.

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Technical Safety Office
Idaho State University
Campus Box 8106
785 S. 8th St. PS Rm 101 
Pocatello, ID 83209
Phone: (208) 282-2310 or 282-2311
Fax: (208) 282-4649