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Autoclave Bags/Biohazardous Waste Disposal

If your research or teaching activities generate waste that is autoclaved, please

  • Place all biohazardous waste to be autoclaved in an orange bag.
  • Prior to autoclaving, crisscross the bag’s biohazard symbol and/or markings with heat sensitive autoclave tape, available from Fisher Scientific (15-999-34A) and other safety supply vendors.
  • Provide biological indicator testing that meets regulatory requirements.

Landfill workers look for the tape to confirm that the waste has been properly treated. If the tape is not present, Landfill Operators may hold or reject the University’s entire waste load. To prevent undue disruption and higher disposal costs, we need your cooperation to properly treat, package and mark biohazardous waste.

Heat-sensitive tape or a sticker is required even if you use biohazardous waste bags that change to reveal the word “autoclaved” after autoclaving.

Do not use orange bags for any other waste.

Biohazardous waste contains infectious agents, blood or body fluids, including waste from research and teaching activities covered by biohazard levels 1, 2, or 3, or plant biohazard levels 1, 2, or 3. Chapter 10, Section I of the UNC-CH Biological Safety Manual explains the identification and disposal of biohazardous waste in further detail.

A different procedure is used to manage biohazardous waste from patient care areas.