Procedure for the Treatment and Disposal of Biological Waste at Deakin University

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1 Procedure for the Treatment and Disposal of Biological Waste at Deakin University 1. Introduction Date of issue: 10 June 2013 This Procedure provides information on the treatment and disposal of biological waste generated during research and teaching, across all Deakin campuses. It complies principally with the legislation of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) of Victoria. The specific requirements of other biosafety standards and legislation (AS/NZS : 2010 and OGTR and DAFF Biosecurity) should be consulted elsewhere (see 6. References ) as they are liable to change and therefore have not been covered in this Procedure. All staff and students must comply with the requirements of this Procedure to protect themselves, the University and the environment. In categories where there is more than one option for treatment and/or disposal, Schools may choose whichever option they prefer. A summary is provided under 5. Summary Table of Treatment and Disposal Options. If any category of biological waste is not covered by this Procedure, please contact the biosafety office at rsd-biosafety for advice. 2. Definitions Biological waste: Waste that is biological in origin and includes human, animal, invertebrate, aquatic and plant waste. This includes the containers that hold such waste e.g. sharps containers, biohazard bags/bins, tissue culture flasks, pipettes, gels, petri dishes etc and materials that have, or might have, had contact with biological materials e.g. disposable gloves, used animal bedding etc. These materials might or might not be biohazardous and treatment methods and disposal will vary accordingly. 3. Categories of waste with treatment and disposal options 3.1. Tissues, carcasses or other waste arising from animals used for teaching and research (see 3.2 for exemptions) According to the EPA Victoria, this waste is classed as Clinical and Related Waste (Waste Type R100 or R110) and includes: infected animal tissue animals infected with microorganisms animals to be culled (see exemptions under 3.2) Biowaste Procedure Denise Elson June 2013 Page 1 of 6

2 animal waste materials contaminated with urine and faeces where animals have been infected with an infectious organism Any materials that fall into the above categories must be treated to render them non-infectious. This can be achieved on-site by autoclaving. The treated waste can then be disposed of to landfill (via skips etc). However, it must be de-identified first e.g. by placement in black garbage bags, with any labelling removed that may identify it as infectious. It is not mandatory to dispose of animals and/or their waste through EPA-approved Biowaste Disposal companies such as Sweeney Todd, SteriHealth, etc, but they can be used as an alternative option for treatment and disposal (higher cost) Exemptions to 3.1 (provided by EPA Victoria) Exemptions* to the above are: (a) Animals used for dissection purposes only in teaching These animals e.g. cane toads, are not classified as Clinical and Related Waste but as putrescible (organic) waste and can therefore be disposed of, without treatment, directly to landfill (via skips etc), after de-identification of any labelling. (b) Animals surplus to experimental requirements Animals that are kept in animal facilities and no longer required for research projects are not classified as Clinical and Related Waste but as putrescible (organic) waste and can therefore be disposed of, without treatment, directly to landfill (via skips etc), after deidentification of any labelling. (c) Animals used for physiological, growth projects Animals such as fish, zooplankton and other marine animals used in research projects on growth or other physiological parameters are not classified as Clinical and Related Waste but as putrescible (organic) waste and can therefore be disposed of, without treatment, directly to landfill (via skips etc), after de-identification of any labelling. (d) Waste water from aquaria Tank water for holding fish and other marine animals is not classified as Clinical and Related Waste and can therefore be disposed of, without treatment, into the local sewerage system if the local site Trade Waste Agreement (TWA) allows this (check with Facilities Services Division (FSD) if unsure). EPA-approved Biowaste Disposal companies such as Sweeney Todd, SteriHealth, etc, can be used as an alternative option for disposal of any of the above. *Applicable AS/NZS , OGTR and DAFF Biosecurity biosafety legislation may override these exemptions. Please consult the legislation where necessary. Biowaste Procedure Denise Elson June 2013 Page 2 of 6

3 3.3. Human tissues, clinical specimens, human blood and body fluids This waste is classed by EPA Victoria as Clinical and Related Waste (Waste Type R100 or R110) and includes the containers that hold, or have been in contact with, the above materials. All these categories must be treated to render the materials noninfectious. This can be achieved on-site by autoclaving. The waste can then be disposed of to landfill (via skips etc). However, it must be de-identified first e.g. by placement in black garbage bags, with any labelling removed that may identify it as infectious. It is not mandatory to dispose of this waste through Biowaste Disposal companies such as Sweeney Todd and SteriHealth, but they can be used as an alternative method of treatment and disposal (higher cost). The only exception is human tissue that is readily identifiable as human body parts e.g. an arm or leg. Such material must be incinerated and therefore must be given to an approved Biowaste contractor for treatment and disposal. Small pieces of human tissue e.g. parts of placentae, grams of muscle tissue, are regarded as being non-identifiable as human tissue and can therefore be disposed of with general biohazardous waste Laboratory cultures This includes: Cultures or suspensions of microorganisms Tissue cultures Nutrient agars, gels, broths Serums, vaccines, antigens and antitoxins Contaminated materials (such as culture dishes, glass plates and vials). This waste is classed by EPA Victoria as Clinical and Related Waste (Waste Type R100 or R110) and includes the containers that hold, or have been in contact with, the above materials. All these categories must be treated to render the materials noninfectious. This can be achieved on-site by autoclaving. The waste can then be disposed of to landfill (via skips etc). However, it must be de-identified first e.g. by placement in black garbage bags, with any labelling removed that may identify it as infectious. It is not mandatory to dispose of this waste through Biowaste Disposal companies such as Sweeney Todd and SteriHealth, but they can be used as an alternative method of treatment and disposal (higher cost). Biowaste Procedure Denise Elson June 2013 Page 3 of 6

4 3.5. Sharps These include: scalpel blades syringes (even though they are not sharp in themselves) needles lancets anything capable of cutting or penetrating the skin. This waste is classed by EPA Victoria as Clinical and Related Waste (Waste Type R100 or R110) and includes the containers that hold, or have been in contact with, the above materials. All sharps must be collected in approved sharps containers. See 3.6 for collection of cytotoxic sharps waste. All sharps must be treated to render the materials non-infectious AND then shredded to destroy them. Sharps containers can therefore be autoclaved on site if desired (but this is not necessary), but must then be given to an EPA-approved Biowaste contractor for further treatment and disposal. Sharps that are used for procedures that do not bring them into contact with biohazardous materials are not classified as clinical waste, but they must still be given to an approved Biowaste contractor for autoclaving and shredding, as they pose an OHS risk to persons if they are sent to landfill Cytotoxic and pharmaceutical waste All cytotoxic and pharmaceutical wastes is required by EPA Victoria to be incinerated. Cytotoxic waste, including contaminated sharps, must be segregated from all other waste and collected in puncture resistant, leak-proof containers labelled with the purple cytotoxic telophase symbol and the words Cytotoxic waste on at least two sides. Cytotoxic sharps can only be collected in and disposed of in purple containers. 4. Completion of Waste Transport Certificates Waste Transport Certificates must be completed for the collection and transport of specific waste by EPA-approved waste transport companies (called Accredited Agents). This is so waste can be tracked from its generation to final disposal. The companies currently used by Deakin, i.e. Sweeney Todd, Sterihealth, Toxfree (was Chemsal) are all EPA-approved for the transport of biowaste (but not necessarily its treatment). Deakin has a responsibility to ensure it has copies of certificates for all waste, including biowaste, collected by these companies. The certificates can be completed for a single collection, or for the collection of multiple loads from several waste producers. These certificates can be completed as multiple paper copies or via an Biowaste Procedure Denise Elson June 2013 Page 4 of 6

5 on-line lodgement system called WasteCert. They are usually provided and completed by the biowaste transporter, with a copy given to the producer of the waste, i.e. Deakin. Staff at Deakin who organise the collection of waste must ensure they have a certificate for each load of biowaste. If it is not given automatically when the load is picked up, then it should be requested. If paper certificates are used, then Deakin will be given a green copy (or photocopy if from multiple pickups) and a pink copy. The pink copy is to be sent to the EPA by Deakin. If the biowaste transporter uses the on-line WasteCert system, then the waste producer, i.e. Deakin, is automatically ed a copy once part C of the form is completed. 5. Summary Table of Treatment and Disposal Options Waste type Animals or parts thereof deliberately infected with microorganisms Animals not deliberately infected with microorganisms e.g.: dissection in teaching excess to research requirements aquatic species used for physiological, growth research, dietary studies dead GM animals Aquaculture waste water (with zooplankton) Human tissues, blood & body fluids (small volumes) Identifiable human body Autoclaving followed by landfill Landfill only Autoclaving and shredding Collection, treatment and disposal by approved biowaste contractor Y N NA Y Y Y NA Y To sewer* if not under OGTR or DAFF legislation Y N NA Y N N N Y (incineration mandatory) parts Lab cultures etc Y N NA Y Sharps N N Y Y Biowaste Procedure Denise Elson June 2013 Page 5 of 6

6 Cytotoxic and pharmaceutical, including cytotoxic sharps * If local TWA accepts this N N N Y (incineration mandatory) 6. References 6.1. EPA Website 6.2. Personal communication with Myles Whelan of EPA Victoria 6.3. AS/NZS : 2010 Safety in laboratories Part 3: Microbiological safety and containment 6.4. OGTR Guidelines for the Transport, Storage and Disposal of GMOs (Version 1.1) 6.5. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Biosecurity: Quarantine Approved Premises Criteria 5.2 for Quarantine Containment Level 2 (QC2) facilities Biowaste Procedure Denise Elson June 2013 Page 6 of 6

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