XI(b). Waste Disposal - Biological Waste

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rev 6/2007

A. Background

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) regulations 105 CMR 480.00 establish requirements for the handling and disposal of biological waste.

105 CMR 480.000 Storage and Disposal of Infectious or Physically Dangerous Medical or Biological Waste - State Sanitary Code Chapter VIII

B. Medical And Biological Waste Definition

The following wastes are defined as infectious or physically dangerous medical or biological waste.

Blood and Blood Products: discarded human bulk blood and blood products in free draining, liquid state; body fluids contaminated with visible blood; and materials saturated/dripping with blood (includes antibodies developed in primates).

Pathological Waste: Human anatomical parts, organs, tissues and body fluids removed and discarded during surgery or autopsy, or other medical procedures and specimens of body fluids and their containers.

Cultures and Stocks of Infections Agents and Associated Biologicals:

  • All discarded cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals (e.g., vaccines)
  • biotechnological by-product effluents
  • cultures of specimens from medical and pathological laboratories
  • cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research laboratories
  • wastes from the production of biologicals
  • discarded live and attenuated vaccines intended for human use

Contaminated Animal Carcasses, Body Parts and Bedding: the contaminated carcasses, body parts and bedding of all research animals known to be exposed to pathogens

Sharps: discarded medical articles that may cause puncture or cuts, including but not limited to all used and discarded hypodermic needles and syringes, pasteur pipettes, broken medical glassware, scalpel blades, disposable razors, and suture needles

Biotechnology By-Product Effluents: any discarded preparations made from genetically altered living organisms and their products.

C. Waste Storage On-Site

All biological wastes stored on-site are held in leak proof (liquid wastes), rodent proof, fly tight containers ensuring that no release of waste occurs or other nuisance is created. All containers are marked with the international biohazard symbol.

All sharps are segregated in puncture-resistant, rigid, shatterproof, leak proof containers. All waste containing liquids are stored in rigid, leak proof containers. All waste destined for off-site incineration are collected in 3-mil polyethylene "red bags" or rigid plastic containers.

The waste holding areas for those wastes destined for off-site incineration is a freezer in the basement of Clapp Laboratory and identified with a "Biohazard" sign.

D. Waste Disposal Procedures

Options for disposal of biological waste generated are listed below along with specific requirements for that option.

Sewer Discharge: Free draining blood and blood products are disposed of down the sink into the sanitary sewer and the drain flushed with water.

Steam Sterilization: Steam sterilization (autoclave) is used for treatment of certain wastes. Units are located on the first floor of Clapp Lab and in Carr 112. After sterilization, liquid wastes are discharged to the sewer. After sterilization, solid waste are marked, "Non-infectious Medical and Biological Waste: Treated at Mount Holyoke College".

The responsible department will maintain records of temperature, dwell time, waste type and waste volume for a period of 3 years.

Off-Site Incineration: All biological waste not discharged to the sewer or treated by steam sterilization are collected for shipment to an off-site incinerator licensed for the thermal destruction of medical and biological waste.  In addition to waste defined as medical and biological waste by the Department of Public Health, all other animal carcasses and organs are sent for off-site incineration.

E. Shipment Of Waste Off-Site

A contractor transports wastes to a licensed off-site incinerator. All waste is packaged in two 3-mil bags and a box or drum provided by the contractor. The outer containers are labeled with the international biohazard symbol and identify Mount Holyoke College as the generator.

All waste shipments are accompanied by a manifest supplied by the contractor. The Environmental Health and Safety Office maintain all records. If a copy of the manifest signed by the incinerator facility is not received within 30 days of shipment DPH is notified.  Manifest records are kept for a minimum of three years.