Knight:Biohazardous waste

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CSAIL logo
Knight Lab


Types of waste

Anything contaminates with biologicals but not hazardous chemicals.


Liquid waste gets poured into beakers in the sink. Then add 10% by volume bleach which is stored under the sink. Let sit for a bit then pour it down the sink. (It is okay to let bleach go down the sink).

Rinse glassware that contained biologicals with bleach and place on dirty glassware cart.

Solid waste goes into the biohazardous waste trash cans. There is one in 32-306 and one in 32-322.

Sharps contaminated with biologicals can be disposed of as sharps. No sterilization is required.

When the container is full

  1. Pull out the bag of biohazardous waste. It should have two layers of bags.
  2. Place open bag in autoclave basket.
  3. Fill out autoclave log and autoclaved waste tag which are found on the shelf above the autoclave. Use a pencil to write on the tag since pen ink may bleed.
  4. Tuck the tag in the basket but outside the waste bag so that you can retrieve it afterwards.
  5. Take an autoclave validation vial and tie it to a piece of string. Drop the vial into the waste bag and drape the string over the side so that you can retrieve it afterwards.
  6. Autoclave at 121°C for 1 hour.
  7. Put a new double layer of clear (not red) biohazard bags in the biohazardous trash can.
  8. When the autoclave is finished, remove the autoclave validation vial.
  9. Place the vial in a 14mL conical tube and label the tube with a testing label found on the shelf above the autoclave. Submit the tube to MIT EHS for testing. There are drop-off locations in VWR Office 56-022, E19-105 (near the loading dock) or in 68-204.
  10. Gently pull the waste bag out of the autoclave. Be careful or else the bag may rip spilling media and agar everywhere.
  11. Use the autoclaved waste tag to tie the bag shut and dispose of the bag in regular trash.

Replacement supplies

  • Autoclave tags and vials can be requested from John Courtney by email (jcourtne).
  • Autoclave bags need to be ordered from VWR.