Infectious Waste

Infectious Waste

Infectious waste is regulated under the recently enacted Chapter NR 526, Medical Waste Management. A waste is considered to be an infectious waste if it falls in one of the following categories:

  1. Sharps, as follows:

a. Contaminated sharps which are both infectious and may easily cause punctures or cuts in the skin, including but not limited to: hypodermic needles, syringes with needles attached, scalpel blades, lancets, broken glass vials, broken rigid plastic vials and laboratory slides. Contaminated means they have come in contact with blood or other potentially infectious material.

b. Unused or disinfected sharps which are being discarded, including hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, lancets and syringes with needles attached.

Note: Only "contaminated" broken glass, plastic vials, laboratory slides, etc. are considered infectious waste. However, all discarded sharps (contaminated or not) such as hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, lancets and syringes with needles attached are considered infectious waste.

  1. Bulk blood and body fluids from humans. "Bulk blood and body fluids" means drip-able or pour-able quantities or items saturated with blood or other potentially infectious materials. In making this determination ask yourself whether blood or other potentially infectious material is drip-able, squeezable, pour-able or flake-able.

  2. Human Tissue

  3. Microbiological laboratory waste

    Note: Microbiological waste means cultures derived from clinical specimens or laboratory equipment which has come in contact with these cultures.

  4. Tissue, bulk blood or body fluids from an animal which is carrying a zoonotic infectious agent.

    Items which generally are not considered infectious waste include the following:

    1. Items soiled but not saturate with blood of body fluids from humans (application of the drip-able, squeezable, pour-able, flake-able rule).

    2. Tissue, blood, body fluids or cultures from an animal which is not known to be carrying or experimentally infected with a zoonotic infectious agent.

    3. Animal manure and bedding.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

More than one treatment option is available for infectious waste. Sharps are collected and sent off campus for incineration to comply with Chapter NR 526. The remaining infectious waste is autoclaved (steam sterilization) and then disposed of as normal trash.

COLLECTION AND HANDLING

  1. Infectious waste should be segregated and contained in an enclosed area until it is treated.

  2. Sharps should be placed in a puncture-proof and leak-proof container with a sealable lid. The outside container must be labeled with a visible biohazard emblem (fluorescent orange background with contrasting color - typically black - biohazard symbol). Red sharps containers are commercially available.

  3. Other infectious waste should be placed in an infectious waste bag (leak proof) with a biohazard label.

  4. Contact University Police, x2222 for the transportation of infectious waste to the Health Services.