School Of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Waste Management Policy

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1 School Of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. Waste Management Policy

2 Introduction The management and disposal of waste has become highly regulated over the past few years. As a result every employee and student has a responsibility to ensure that the waste they produce is segregated and contained according to the University s waste disposal procedures. This policy is designed to help you understand the containment and segregation systems used by the University and therefore comply with the current legislation. Responsibilities Heads of Departments have overall responsibility for ensuring legislation and procedures are followed by all staff. They are also responsible for ensuring all employees have received the appropriate waste disposal training. Principle investigators are responsible for assessing the waste produced from each experimental procedure and identifying the correct disposal method for that waste. Written assessments for disposal of non standard items, not covered by this policy, should be carried out and communicated to all workers involved in the procedure. Laboratory workers are responsible for segregating the waste they produce using the appropriate containers and storage areas. Heads of Departments (HODs) and Principle Investigators (PIs) may nominate representatives to carry out these duties; however, the overall responsibility still lies with the HODs and PIs. Training All new members of staff and students should receive training in waste disposal procedures as part of their induction. In addition to this all staff and students working in laboratories should complete the University s on line training for waste disposal and pass the test at the end of the training. Details of completed training should be passed onto the relevant Floor Lead. This training should be completed within two months of joining the School of Medicine and is found at: https://www.waste.shef.ac.uk/ Replacement of sharps bins and waste sacks. Each floor receives a delivery of boxed clinical waste bags every week which are held in a central storage location on each floor. Black household waste bags and brown glass disposal bags are replaced by the domestic staff when required. Sharps bins, orange clinical waste sacks and clear recycling sacks should be purchased from RDC as required. A member of technical staff on each floor is responsible for placing RDC orders. A purchase order should be generated using mypurchase prior to requesting the placement of an RDC order. If in doubt please contact your Floor Lead.

3 Biological Waste. Biological or clinical waste is any waste which consists wholly or partly of: Human or animal tissue Blood Excretions Other bodily fluids Any other waste which has come into contact with any of the above including drugs, syringes, needles or other sharp instruments. Biological waste, unless rendered safe, may prove hazardous or infectious to any person coming into contact with it. Departments producing biological waste have a responsibility to: Identify and segregate hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Separate waste according to the final method of disposal. Store waste safely and securely prior to collection for disposal. Biological waste is sub-divided into the different categories, each one having a different method of disposal. General Biological Waste. Once general biological waste has taken from site it undergoes the treatment method of disposal. HAZARDOUS OR INFECTIOUS BIOLOGCAL WASTE: Waste known to be, or suspected of being infectious (class 2 and 3 clinical waste) must be rendered safe by autoclaving prior to disposal. The autoclave on floor F should be used for this purpose. Users must not operate the autoclave unless they have been trained to do so. Records of the autoclaving cycles must be kept for three years. This waste can be treated as non-infectious once it has been inactivated by autoclaving. NON-HAZARDOUS BIOLOGICAL WASTE: Clinical or biological waste not known to be infectious that has not been genetically modified or contain any sharps is disposed of in orange sacks. This includes gloves, blue roll and packaging that have been contaminated with biological materials. Slightly sharper objects such as pipette tips, transfer pipettes, graduated pipettes etc are disposed of in boxed orange bags (cardboard outer, heavy duty plastic liner). The boxed bags must not be used for the disposal of any item which could pierce the orange bag contained within the cardboard box and should not be filled to more than ¾ full. Very sharp objects such as syringe needles, microscope slides, Pasteur pipettes, scalpels etc are disposed of in orange topped sharps bins. The information panel on sharps bins must be completed before being left at the lifts for disposal. Sharps bins should not be over filled. All biological waste containers must have a red ID tag attached before being left at the lifts for disposal.

4 Medicinal waste Medicinal Waste includes expired, unused, spilt and contaminated pharmaceutical products, drugs, vaccines and sera that are no longer required. It also includes packaging contaminated with residues, gloves masks, connecting tubing, syringe bodies and drug vials. This type of waste is disposed of by incineration. There are three categories of medicinal waste: Cytotoxic and cytostatic waste. This waste should be disposed of in purple topped sharps bins. Pharmaceutically active but not cytotoxic or cytostatic waste. This should be disposed of in green topped sharp bins. Not pharmaceutically active and possessing no hazardous properties (e.g. saline and glucose). Solutions from this type of waste can be disposed of down the sink with copious amounts of water and the packaging disposed of in either household waste or sharps waste depending upon the nature of the packaging. N.B. A red tag should be attached to all sharps bins and the information panel completed on all sharps bins before disposal. Sharps bins should not be over filled. Genetically modified (GM) waste This is waste cells or organisms containing inserted heritable material not naturally occurring within that cell or organism. The inserted material will have been prepared outside the cell or organism and introduced either directly or indirectly via a virus, microbial plasmid or other vector system. GM waste is disposed of by incineration. Dead transgenic animals (not containing active genetically modified microorganisms) are not deemed to be GM waste. Hazardous or infectious (class 2 and 3) GM waste should be inactivated before disposal using the autoclave on F floor. Users must not operate the autoclave unless they have been trained to do so. Records of the autoclaving cycles must be kept for three years. Class 1 and inactivated class 2 and 3 GM waste is then disposed of in yellow bags. Red ID tags should be attached to these bags before being left for disposal. GM waste that contains significant quantities of hazardous chemicals should be disposed of in the medicinal waste stream. The chemicals must be identified and the hazardous properties described on the container labels. Anatomical waste This includes body parts, other recognisable anatomical items and animal carcasses. Anatomical Waste is disposed of by incineration and should be disposed of in yellow bins with blue lids. Bins should not be more then ¾ full when left for disposal and should have red ID attached to them. Anatomical waste that contains significant quantities of hazardous chemicals should be disposed of in the medicinal waste stream. The chemicals must be identified and the hazardous properties described on the container labels.

5 Chemical Waste Disposal of waste chemicals and solvents is detailed on the CoSHH form for each experimental procedure. Every worker should familiarise themselves with the relevant CoSHH information before commencing any laboratory work. Solid and aqueous chemicals Hazardous chemicals should be disposed of via safety services, please contact your floor lead for advice. Most non-hazardous, water soluble or water miscible chemicals can be disposed of down the sink with copious amounts of water. Non-hazardous chemical packaging should have the labels removed or defaced and disposed of via the household (black bin bag) or glass (brown paper bin bag) waste route. Some chemical companies recycle packaging and should be used where possible. You must not dispose of chemicals or empty chemical containers via the biological waste stream. Solvents and oils Non-hazardous, water miscible solvents can be disposed of down the sink with copious amounts of water. Other solvents should be taken to the solvent store on C road to await collection by safety services. Waste solvents awaiting disposal should be placed in the large white drums in the decant area of the store. Segregation of solvents and oils is as follows: Waste X= halogenated solvents Waste Y= non-halogenated solvents Waste Z= oils Empty solvent drums should be left in the decant area of the solvent store to allow evaporation of the dregs. Once all the contents have evaporated the drums can be left on the top shelf of the solvent store for collection by the University. Empty glass Winchesters should be taken back to the labs for evaporation of dregs in a fume hood. The empty Winchester can then be disposed of in a bin containing a brown paper waste bag (glass waste), or reused. Mercury Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield are committed to using mercury free equipment on all of their sites. Mercury containing equipment e.g. thermometers, sphygmomanometers etc should be replaced with a mercury free version and then taken to safety services for specialist disposal. If in doubt please see your Floor Lead. Fluorescent lights contain mercury and sodium in large quantities. Replacement of fluorescent lights should be undertaken by the Hospital Estates Department who are responsible for the disposal of this lighting. Radioactive waste All radioactive waste is segregated into long half life waste and short half life waste. Bins in the radioactive suites contain white bin bags and are segregated into disposal of either long or short half life items. Sharps bins are also available for disposal of sharp items contaminated with radioactive waste. They are kept behind Perspex

6 shields or in Perspex boxes in each radioactive suite. Radioactive waste is removed once a month by the radiation officer responsible for each area. Records must be kept of waste radioactive materials produced from each procedure. Liquid waste should be flushed down the sluice in the isotope suite followed by a diluted solution of Decon. Waste scintillation fluid should be segregated into short and long half life and placed in the appropriate plastic bucket in the radioactive suite. Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Broken electrical items Waste electronic and electrical equipment regulations in place since August 2005 mean that we can no longer throw electrical equipment away into the household waste stream. Waste electrical items that were purchased before 2005 that are being replaced should be removed from site by the new supplier, regardless of whether they supplied you with the original equipment or not. Items purchased before 2005 that are not being replaced should be disposed of via the University s disposal scheme. Please see your Floor Lead for advice. A decontamination certificate will need to be completed before the disposal of these items. Please note that this service is free apart from the disposal of fridges and freezers. The original supplier is responsible for removing items that were purchased after 2005, regardless of whether the items are being replaced or not. Working electrical items In the first instance unwanted electrical equipment which is still in good working order should be advertised throughout the Medical School to find a new owner. This can be either done via or by using the School s on line forum: Any equipment that is not wanted within the School should then be advertised on the University s for sale web page: if there is still no interest in the item then it should be disposed of by the same route as broken electrical items (see above). Please note: the School s asset register needs to be amended following the sale or disposal of electrical items. Please see your Floor Lead for advice. IT equipment. Contact the School s IT team for the disposal of any IT equipment They will ensure that all files are deleted from the hard drive of computers before they are disposed of.

7 Office Waste Paper There is a paper recycling point on each floor of the Medical School for office quality paper. Large clear bags placed in purpose made cardboard bins are used for this purpose. When the bags are full they are left at the lifts at the end of the day for collection. Other quality paper (newspapers, telephone directories etc) should be placed in bins containing black bin liners (household waste). Small amounts of confidential waste should be shredded and disposed of via the household waste route; larger amounts should be placed in a black household waste bag, sealed and labelled confidential waste. These should then be taken down to the porter s desk in the Medical School where they will be collected for disposal at the University. Print Cartridges All print cartridges are recycled. They should be left in their original packaging in the large box in the photocopier room on C floor of the Medical School. There is also a print cartridge recycling collection point in M115. Furniture In the first instance, furniture which is in good working order should be advertised around the School. This can either be done by or by using the School s on line forum: Any furniture that is not wanted within the School should then be advertised on the University s for sale web page: if there is still no interest in the item it can be disposed of. Please contact your Floor Lead to arrange this. Please see your Floor Lead to arrange the disposal of broken items of furniture. Miscellaneous Items Cardboard boxes and packaging These should be left at the lifts at the end of the day for collection. All cardboard boxes should be collapsed to prevent them obstructing the corridors. Batteries, aerosols and gas canisters (for use with bunsen burners). The collection point for these items in the tower block is in room Lu120 and in Eu27 for the Wellcome labs. Glass Uncontaminated glass waste should be disposed of in a bin containing a brown bin bag. These are usually found within laboratory areas in the School.

8 Mixing Waste As a general rule you must not mix waste streams. The only occasion where it is permissible for you to mix waste streams is when the required disposal method for each waste stream is the same e.g. incineration. For example you may mix uncontaminated sharps with sharps contaminated with infectious material. Care must be taken not to mix biological waste that contains hazardous chemicals with other chemically incompatible waste even if their final destinations are the same. Spills and Breaches of Containment You should only deal with spills and breaches of containment if you have been trained to do so. Containers that are damaged or breached are no longer fit for purpose. If the container already contains waste carefully transfer the contents to an undamaged one. Spills must be cleared up immediately and the area should be cordoned off if decontamination needs to take place. For hazardous spills cover it with cotton wool or absorbent paper towels and pour a suitable disinfectant onto the absorbent material. Apply enough disinfectant to soak the spilled material through. Leave the spill for a short period of time-this will be determined by the type of spillage and disinfectant. Clean up the spill using cloths or paper towels and dispose of the material in the appropriate waste stream. Report all spills, incidents and near misses involving hazardous substances to your Floor Lead and complete an accident/dangerous occurrence form immediately.

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