Miscellaneous Waste

Infectious Waste Management Program

 

Regulations imposed by local, state, and federal agencies dictate that infectious waste must be segregated, packaged, and disposed of in a specific manner. The primary purpose of the regulations is to limit on-the-job exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials. The following guidelines were implemented by the University during November 1988 and revised in July, 1997.

All wastes listed in this section must be segregated from other wastes, packaged, and disposed of in accordance with DEHS procedures. DEHS requires infectious waste to be classified as one of three types of waste:

Medical Waste

  • Microbiological waste - i.e., stocks and/or cultures of etiological or infectious agents, including culture plates, test tubes, swabs, etc. contaminated with these agents

  • Human blood and blood products - i.e., all liquid blood, serum and plasma

  • Potentially Infectious Medical/laboratory glassware including slides, pipettes, blood tubes and vials, and contaminated broken glass

  • Transgenic Plant Material - plant's genetic material that has been altered by the introduction of genes from another organism.

Sharps

  • Syringes

  • Needles

  • Scalpel blades

  • Glass and plastic pipettes and vials

  • All needles, scalpels, syringes or other sharps, regardless of their use are to be managed as Sharps.

Pathological Waste

  • Human organs, body parts and surgical specimens or body parts removed during surgery or invasive procedures i.e.

  • obstetrical, autopsy and laboratory procedures.

  • Contaminated animal parts/tissues, and carcasses.

  • Chemotherapy waste

 

Infectious Waste Segregation

 

At the point of generation, infectious waste is to be segregated by type and placed into separate containers for shipment. Laboratories and other infectious waste generator areas will separate each infectious waste stream into 32-gallon red containers lined with an approved biohazard bag. It will be the responsibility of all University employees or students that generate infectious waste to segregate the waste accordingly. Infectious waste that has not been segregated appropriately will remain in the laboratory or treatment area and an "Incomplete Work Notice" will be issued through Custodial Services. For more information please contact 852-6670.

 

Medical Waste and Sharps Segregation

 

Medical waste consisting of microbiological waste, human blood and blood products, potentially infectious medical/laboratory glassware, transgenic plant material and sharps will be managed in the following manner:

Medical waste will be placed in 32-gallon red infectious waste containers lined with an approved biohazard bag. All sharps must be placed in an approved sharps container. When the sharps container is full, it must be placed into a 32-gallon red infectious waste container lined with an approved biohazard bag. When the 32-gallon red container is full, laboratory or clinical staff will tie the bag shut. Custodial staff will pick up the waste whenever they find the bag has been tied shut. There is no need to notify Custodial Services to have infectious waste picked-up as custodians routinely collect infectious waste each evening. Infectious waste must be properly secured for collection by the custodians. "Properly secured" is defined as all biohazard (red or orange) bags tied, fastened or secured in the most efficient manner prior to custodians removing the container from a work area. If the bags are not closed, custodians are required to leave the bag/container where it was left and issue an "Incomplete Work Notice".

 

Pathological Waste

 

Pathological waste consisting of human organs, body parts, surgical specimens, contaminated animal parts/tissues and carcasses, and chemotherapy waste will be managed in the following manner:

Pathological waste will be placed in 40 pound, square, fiberboard, DOT approved shipping containers lined with an approved biohazard bag. Custodial staff will pick up the waste whenever they find the bag has been tied shut, and the boxes taped closed. The generating location must be on the box. There is no need to notify Custodial Services to have infectious waste picked-up as custodians routinely collect infectious waste each evening. Infectious waste must be properly secured for collection. If the boxes are not closed, custodians are required to leave the boxes and issue an "Incomplete Work Notice". All biohazard bags are to be kept in containers designated for infectious waste only. These containers are supplied by the University's infectious waste contractor and are made available through Custodial Services (Ex. 7174). Any biohazard bag found in a regular trash container will be left in the work area where it was discovered.

Waste minimization should be encouraged to reduce the amount of infectious waste that must be treated and disposed. Normal refuse that is not contaminated should be placed in the trash can.

 

Broken Glassware

 

Other wastes not covered in this guideline may require special handling or disposal as follows:

Pipettes, broken glassware, microscope slides, and cover slips not considered infectious under this guide should be regarded as injurious materials because they present a physical hazard to custodians if placed in the regular trash. Additionally, plastic vials, pipettes etc are also defined as injurious and should be handled as such in the same manner indicated. These items should be boxed, sealed, and labeled "Broken glassware disposal". Please insure the box selected for shipping broken glass is suitable, sturdy and is taped completely closed for shipping. Boxes needed to insure proper shipping of broken glass and plastic can be ordered through VWR Scientific (1-800-923-5000).

Any uncontaminated intact and broken lab glassware and hard plastic lab ware that could penetrate a trash bag (i.e. pipettes, pipette tips) shall be placed into a non-red (i.e. use clear, black or white) plastic bag lined cardboard box.

  • Glass trash box shall be marked or pre-labeled to convey the hazard  i.e. “Caution: Glass Trash”, Broken Lab Glassware”, etc.
  • Full glass trash boxes cannot exceed 20 lbs/ 9 kg.
  • Full glass trash boxes must be securely taped closed.
  • Full glass trash boxes should be placed near a regular trash can within the lab for pick up by Custodial Services

It is the responsibility of every department, unit, or laboratory generating infectious waste to provide the appropriate packaging materials (i.e., sharps container and orange or red infectious waste bags). Biohazard waste bags must be orange or red and can be obtained from either Superior Paper (583-1647), Fisher Scientific (1-800-766-7000) or other laboratory supply companies.

 

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ASBESTOS MATERIALS

 

If the presence of asbestos-containing materials is suspected, especially those in poor condition, contact DEHS at 852-6670. Asbestos containing waste should be disposed of through the Chemical Pickup procedure detailed in Chapter 3.

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PCB MATERIALS

 

PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls) are compounds that were widely used in the past in oils and dielectric fluids due to their excellent heat exchange and insulating properties. However, because of their persistence in the environment and ecological damage from water pollution, their manufacture was discontinued in 1976. The handling, storage, transportation, and disposal of PCBs are now strictly regulated by the EPA. Some examples of items which may contain PCBs are:

  • Electrical transformers

  • Electrical capacitors

  • Fluorescent light ballasts

  • Hydraulic fluids

  • Optical liquids

Anyone generating these materials at the University must handle them as a chemical waste as outlined in Chapter 3. Items such as gloves, clothing, or utensils/tools that become contaminated with PCBs shall also be handled as a chemical waste in accordance with Chapter 3.

Physical Plant employees who repair or replace lighting fixtures throughout the University must follow the following procedures while handling the ballasts associated with these fixtures. Manufacturers are now required to label ballasts "Non- PCB". Prior to handling any ballast, check to see if it is labeled "Non-PCB". If the article is not labeled "Non-PCB", assume it contains PCBs and precautions should be taken when handling these items. If the article is intact and not leaking, wear a pair of rubber or plastic gloves. Inexpensive surgical gloves will suffice if not worn for extended periods of time. If the article is leaking, also wear a pair of goggles. Contact DEHS to coordinate any clean-up from the floor or other areas.

Do not put leaking ballast in containers already holding non-leaking ballast. Leaking ballast must be segregated in a small container and managed as a chemical waste as outlined in Chapter 3.

55-gallon drums for lighting ballast can be obtained from DEHS. Physical Plant must notify DEHS of the location of ballast drums to ensure that they are labeled appropriately. Only lighting ballast should be placed in these drums. They should not be used for general trash or other special wastes. Once the drums are full, follow the procedures in Chapter 4 to have DEHS pick them up.

 

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GAS CYLINDERS

 

Gas cylinders are widely used at the University in teaching and research laboratories and in maintenance and construction operations. University personnel using cylinders must make every attempt to return them to the supplier when finished. Suppliers will usually accept empty or partially full cylinders at no cost. The best approach is to check with the supplier before purchasing any cylinders to see if used cylinders will be picked up when new ones are delivered. If the supplier will not, try to locate one that will. It is extremely difficult and expensive to have cylinders disposed.

If cylinders cannot be returned to a supplier, they can be handled through the DEHS chemical waste program. Follow the procedures in Chapter 3 to have them picked up by DEHS.

 

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EMPTY CONTAINERS

 

The improper handling or management of empty containers not only creates an undesirable aesthetic situation at the University but, due to their contents, may also pose an environmental and human health hazard. The University is governed by state and federal environmental agencies which regulate the management of these containers and their contents. Improper handling can result in fines or other penalties imposed against the University.

Empty containers, ranging from small glass bottles to 55-gallon drums, are defined as those having all contents removed by commonly employed practices (e.g., pouring, pumping, scraping, etc.), with no solids or free-flowing liquids remaining in the container.

All chemical containers handled under these procedures must be empty. That means that no material can be poured or practicably removed from that container. If any material can be poured from the container then it must be either used or managed under the Chemical Waste Management Program outlined in Chapter 3. If a container held an acutely hazardous waste it must be managed as a hazardous waste through the procedures detailed in Chapter 3. Contact DEHS for a list of the acutely hazardous wastes.

To handle empty containers:

    • Empty EPA P-listed chemical (acutely toxic) containers must be tagged with a DEHS uniquely numbered chemical/hazardous waste label and submitted for DEHS pick up via online Chemical Waste Pick up form www.louisville.edu/dehs/waste-program

      For your convenience, here is a link to the EPA P-Listed Chemicals http://louisville.edu/dehs/waste-program/documents/epa-p-list-pdf

    • Empty Reactive chemical (air-reactive, water-reactive, pyrophoric, compressed gas cylinders, lecture bottles) containers must be tagged with a DEHS uniquely numbered chemical/hazardous waste label and submitted for DEHS pick up via online Chemical Waste Pick up form www.louisville.edu/dehs/waste-program
    • All other empty non-P Listed and non-Reactive chemical containers, regardless of size, must be verified empty (no pumpable, pourable residue), thoroughly rinsed, labeled defaced, lids removed and dry prior to discard.
    • Empty non-P Listed and non-reactive plastic, metal, and fiberboard containers that are  ≤ 1 gal/4L can be placed in recycling bin.
    • Custodial Services will dispose empty ≥ 5 gallon  into a regular trash dumpster
    • Any non-P-listed and non-reactive chemical empty glass container must be placed into a non-red (i.e. use clear, black or white) colored plastic bag lined cardboard box.  The  box should be marked or pre-labeled to convey the hazard  i.e. “Caution: Glass Trash”, Broken Lab Glassware”, etc.
    • Full glass trash boxes cannot exceed 20 lbs/ 9 kg.
    • Full glass trash boxes must be securely taped closed.
    • Full glass trash boxes should be placed near a regular trash can within the lab for pick up by Custodial Services
    • Custodial Services will dispose full glass trash boxes into a regular trash dumpster.
    • Empty non-P-listed and non-Reactiveplastic or metal containers ≥ 5 gallon shall have lids removed, thoroughly rinsed to displace any residual vapors, labels defaced, ensure container dry, and placed next to the normal trash can for pick up by Custodial Services


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EXPIRED PHARMACEUTICALS/DEA CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

 

EXPIRED AND UNWANTED PHARMACEUTICALS

Clinics managed by U of L employees can request from DEHS a ” Black container” (8-gallon in size) for the collection of expired and unwanted pharmaceuticals only. Please contact the DEHS Hazardous Waste Coordinator at 502-852-2956.

 

Black Container Use Requirements

  • Every item placed into the black container must be clearly marked or labeled to describe its contents.

  • Any damaged package should be placed in plastic bag prior to placement into this container.

  • This container should be kept in a secure, non-patient access area.

  • Absolutely:
    • NO FREE LIQUIDS

    • NO DEA CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

    • NO SHARPS

    • NO VACCINES CONTAINING LIVE VIRUSES (these items can be placed in “Red Bag” waste)

    • NO CHEMICALS i.e. isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, acids, bases, phenol, etc. Chemicals must be submitted separately on-line

  • When container is near-full, Submit Pick-Up Request

 

A DEHS container label is not required. However, you must enter your name, department, and location information. In chemical name field enter the words “Expired Drugs”.

 

DEA CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

 

To minimize waste, DEA registrants should only purchase quantities they intend to use. Damaged, expired, unwanted, unusable, or non-returnable controlled substances must be accounted for, retained, and disposed of in accordance with the following procedure.

A Registrants Inventory of Drugs Surrendered (DEA Form 41) must be completed prior to disposing of any DEA controlled substance.  Click the link provided to download a copy of this form.

There are two disposal options for expired or unwanted controlled substances recommended by the University’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS). DEHS should be contacted to help determine the correct disposal method.

Supplier Disposal:

  • Some suppliers (reverse distribution) will take back pharmaceuticals for credit. Utilizing this option transfers the ownership of the Controlled Substances to a DEA registered and authorized processor for destruction or resale. Multiple forms must be completed and the DEA Registration Number is required to utilize this option. The fee associated with this service will be the responsibility of the registrant. Contact your vendor to see if this is a viable option.

Witness Destruction Disposal:

  • Small quantities (less than 1 pound) can be disposed by the DEA registrant using the following disposal procedure:

    • Contact DEHS, Hazardous Waste Coordinator, Cathy Price , with a DEA controlled substance disposal request.

    • Complete the Registrants Inventory of Drugs Surrendered (DEA Form 41).

    • Inform DEHS when the DEA Form 41 has been completed and signed to schedule a date for on-site witness destruction at the Environmental Protection Services Center (EPSC) located at 1800 Arthur Street.

    • DEHS will make arrangements for a University Police Officer and DEHS representative to be present as witnesses to the disposal, and to verify the DEA Form 41 and inventory records. The PI and/or authorized agent must also be present during the destruction.

    • The controlled substance(s) will be poured into a solvent drum to render the material irrecoverable. The DEA form 41 will be signed by the University Police Officer, DEHS representatives, and PI and/or agents to attest that the material has been destroyed.

    • DEHS will provide a copy of the DEA Form 41 for the researcher's inventory records. This copy should be retained by the registrant for at least 2 years. The original DEA Form 41 will be retained in the DEHS office for three years (3) and available for review by a DEA authorized agent request or inspection.

 

Controlled Substance Spills

Breakage, spills, or other witnessed controlled substance losses do not need to be reported as lost. This type of loss must be documented by the registrant and witness on the inventory record. Controlled substances that can be recovered after a spill, but cannot be used because of contamination (tablets), must be placed in Witness Destruction disposal waste stream (completion of DEA Form 41 required). If the spilled controlled substance is not recoverable (liquids); the registrant must document the circumstances in their inventory records and the witnesses must sign (must include PI as witness in record).

 

Theft of or Missing Controlled Substances Reporting

The DEA license holder must have complete accountability of all controlled substances stored or used in their area. This makes keeping good records essential so that any shortages or missing controlled substances will not go unnoticed. Theft or misuse of a controlled substance is a criminal act that must be reported to the following agencies:

Louisville DEA office: 1006 Federal Building, 600 Martin Luther King, Jr. Place, Louisville, KY 40202

Diversion Number: (502) 582-5905

Diversion Fax: (502) 582-6360

University Department of Public Safety: (502) 852- 6111

University DEHS: (502) 852-6670

 

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Used OILS

 

Used oils from maintenance shops, pumps, equipment, machinery, etc. should be collected by DEHS using the Chemical Waste Management Procedures outlined in Chapter 3. Do not mix any other material with used oils and do not allow water to enter used oil containers. Used oils can usually be transferred to a recycler at little or not cost to the university. However, used oil which has been mixed with water, solvents, heavy metals, toxics, PCB's, or other chemical substances may result in substantial costs to the university. Containers used for accumulating used oils must be clearly marked "USED OIL" to help prevent this problem.

 

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LIGHTING WASTE

 

Fluorescent light tubes and compact lamps contain a small amount of mercury. Recycling is the most environmentally acceptable method of handling lighting waste. Fluorescent lamps can be recycled for their mercury (Hg) content. Comprehensive recyclers also can recover other metals, soda glass and phosphor powder from fluorescent lighting waste as well. DEHS manages the University's lighting waste recycling program. The lighting wastes included in this program are as the follows:

  • Fluorescent light tubes

  • High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, such as high pressure sodium and mercury vapor

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs, including U-tube and circular

  • Ultra-violet (UV) lamps

Physical Plant personnel collect and transport these used lighting wastes generated from routine service and maintenance operations to several designated DEHS managed accumulation sites. When possible, used lighting wastes should be placed into original or-like packaging to minimize breakage during transport to accumulation areas. University departments can request a pickup of used lamps by either contacting DEHS at 852-2956 or by sending in a waste pick-up form via the DEHS web-site. Generators please note that affixing a hazardous waste container label to used lamps is not required for pick-up.

 

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USED BATTERIES

 

Rechargeable batteries are used in a wide variety of products, including cellular and cordless phones, digital cameras, laptop computers, portable electronic devices, and cordless power tools. While using rechargeable batteries reduces waste and can be more economical than regular household batteries, they may contain mercury, cadmium, lead, and other heavy metals.

DEHS manages the University's battery recycling program. Currently, the following types of batteries are included in this program:

  • Lead-acid, wet-celled (vehicle and golf cart type)

  • Lead batteries, sealed (Pb)

  • Nickel-cadmium, sealed (Ni-Cad), Nickel-Hydride (NI-MH)

  • Lithium hydride, sealed (Li), Li-Ion, Lithium, LiSo

  • Mercury (Hg)

  • Alkaline (A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt)

  • Zinc

  • Carbon

  • Silver Oxide

 

Physical Plant personnel collect and transport these used batteries generated from routine service and maintenance operations to designated DEHS managed accumulation sites. University departments can request a pickup of used batteries by either contacting DEHS at 852-2956 or by sending in a waste pick-up form via the DEHS web-site. Generators please note that affixing a hazardous waste container label to used batteries is not required for pick-up.

 

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Department of Environmental Health And Safety

Main Office

1800 Arthur Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40208

Phone

tel (502) 852-6670

fax (502) 852-0880

Department of Environmental Health And Safety

Radiation Safety Office

319 Abraham Flexner Way

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Phone

tel (502) 852-5231

fax (502) 852-8911

Office Hours

M-F 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

No holiday hours

IH Service Account

dehsih@louisville.edu

IBC Service Account

biosafe@louisville.edu