Biological Safety

Medical Waste

The Regulations

Medical waste is handled according to the Medical Waste Management Act of California, California Health and Safety Code Sections 117600 - 118360, revised January 2017.
UC Santa Barbara has a Medical Waste Management Plan that conforms to federal and state regulations and University policies.The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) inspects UC Santa Barbara's medical waste program each spring.

Medical waste includes waste that is biohazardous or infectious to people. Biohazardous materials include infectious agents, samples or specimens known or suspected to be infectious, and human or primate primary cells, tissues or body fluids.
Medical waste includes biohazardous, sharps, pathology, and trace chemotherapy and pharmaceutical waste that is not regulated by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976. 

Well characterized cells transduced with replication incompetent, infectious viral vectors are considered medical waste.
Such cells may be derogated as non-medical waste after two (2) passages and transfer to a new tissue culture flask. 

Bags and Secondary Containers

Coming soon

Medical versus Non-Medical Waste Practices

 

Medical / biohazardous / infectious waste

Non-medical, “biotechnology” waste

Bag color

Red

10-gallon red isolation infectious waste bag biohazard bag linear low density 1-2 mil 250 case

Clear/white

Biohazard waste bag

Examples of solid waste

Primary human blood, serum, tissues

Cultures of pathogenic bacteria, e.g., Salmonella spp.

Replication deficient viral vectors

Recombinant E. coli K12 used to subclone human proteins

Chicken red blood cells

Well-characterized human cell lines that are negative for the most common bloodborne pathogens

Recombinant tunicates

Recombinant fruit flies

Recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Collection container requirements

Rigid, lidded, lined with a red autoclave bag, labeled with the biohazard symbol, and surface decontaminated once a week.

The color of the secondary container is not specified in the regulations.

container

None

Bench top collection container requirements

bench top containers

None; wire racks okay

Storage container requirements

storage container

None

Storage limit

No longer than 7 days at room temperature

 

None

Requirements for transportation to autoclave

Dolly or cart, in a lidded, labeled secondary container

container cart

None

Labeling requirements for secondary containers

Biohazard label visible from all sides and on the lid

None

Treatment specifications

Documented run at a minimum temperature of 121°C, for at least 30 minutes in an autoclave permitted with CDPH;

Alternatively, contract with a licensed medical waste hauler for treatment and disposal.

Best practice: 121°C for 30 minutes
Any autoclave

Signage for solid waste accumulation area

CAUTION

BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE STORAGE AREA

UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS KEEP OUT

CUIDADO

ZONA DE RESIDUOS BIOLOGICOS PELIGROSOS

PROHIBIDA LA ENTRADA A PERSONAS NO AUTORIZADAS

biohazard sign

None

Liquid waste treatment

Chemically deactivated with

Autoclaved without bleach

 

Liquid waste retention limit

7 days at room temperature

None

Liquid waste disposal procedures

Deactivate and flush down the sink with an excess of water

 

Sharps

sharps container

Cover any label with a Hazardous Waste label and arrange for pick up by EH&S Hazardous Waste within 270 days of accumulation start date

hazardous waste label

Dispose of autoclaved solid waste in the lab waste lidded toters

Marborg container

Marborg container

Self-Inspection Checklist

Waste Treatment

  • Liquid medical waste may be chemically deactivated with an EPA-registered, tuberculocidal disinfectant and then discharged to the sewer system with an excess of water
  • Solid medical waste is treated in an autoclave registered with CDPH at ≥ 121°C and 15 psi for at least 30 minutes or taken away for treatment by a licensed medical waste hauler. Autoclaved solid waste is disposed of in the red or brown-lidded wheeled lab waste toters. 
  • Biohazardous sharps are autoclaved and picked up by the EH&S Hazardous Waste Program
  • Trace chemotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals are sent out via the EH&S Hazardous Waste Program for incineration

 

Training

Individuals generating and treating medical waste must be trained on the bloodborne pathogens regulations and medical waste treatment by autoclave. These topics are covered in the monthly "Biological Safety" presentation. Dates, times and links for registration are on the EH&S Training tab.
Please note, annual training on hands-on autoclave use is conducted by the manager of the specific autoclave.

For questions, please contact the biosafety officer at 805.893.8894 or Biosafety@ehs.UCSB.edu.