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Chapter 17 - Waste Management - Biology

Chapter 17 - Waste Management - Biology


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Chapter 17 - Waste Management

The Environment and You, Second Edition, by Norm Christensen and new co-author Lissa Leege, gives today's generation of students reason to be hopeful about environmental challenges by emphasizing problem solving and scalable solutions that inspire students to make more informed choices to support the well-being of humans and the planet.

The new edition has added New Frontiers discussions that emphasize the interaction between new scientific discoveries, ethics, and policy and Where You Live activities that invite students to use primary data sources to explore environmental principles and issues in their local community. A new chapter organization also improves connections between chapters and integrates key concepts with relevant environmental issues.

The textbook is closely integrated with MasteringEnvironmentalScience to support you and your students using a wide variety of engaging assignments that incorporate videos, current events, and interactive activities.


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Autoclaving Biohazardous Waste

Autoclaving is an accepted procedure for decontamination of certain biohazardous waste. Biological cultures and stocks, contaminated solid waste, liquid waste, and small animal carcass waste can be sterilized through autoclaving. After sterilization in a steam autoclave, these materials are considered non-infectious. Except for animal carcasses, this bagged waste can then be disposed of as ordinary trash (to go to sanitary landfill) however, it is recommended that autoclave bags containing sterilized waste be placed in an opaque trash bag prior to disposal. Materials that contain hazardous chemicals or radioisotopes are not to be autoclaved (contact EH&S at 327-5040 for assistance).

The Washoe County Health Department has promulgated regulations that cover the treatment and disposal of biohazardous waste. Specific University procedures for management of biohazardous waste are contained in the University Biohazardous Waste Operational Plan . The following information summarizes the procedures related to autoclaving biohazardous waste see the Operational Plan for more detailed information.

To ensure that biohazardous waste is properly decontaminated during autoclaving, Washoe County regulations require that the following procedures be followed.

Treatment of infectious waste must be conducted as specified in the University Biohazardous Waste Operational Plan. For treatment of microbial cultures and contaminated solid waste (e.g., gloves, absorbent pads, and pipette tips) a minimum time of 60 minutes at 121 C (250 F) and 15 psi is required. The total processing time required to decontaminate infectious waste depends on the specific loading factors (container type, water content, quantity, etc.) and in some cases a longer autoclave time may be required.

Note: Autoclave times of less than 60 minutes must be approved by the IBC. Such proposals must be submitted to the IBC in writing with justification for the shorter time period, and a written SOP that describes the material to be autoclaved, typical waste volume, waste container, autoclave time, and procedure and frequency of autoclave efficacy testing.

  • Sterilization by autoclaving is accomplished through exposure and penetration of the contaminated material by superheated steam for an adequate amount of time. Because steam may not effectively penetrate a sealed plastic autoclave bag, bags containing dry loads must not be tightly sealed (rubber band closures will allow bags to &ldquobreath&rdquo) or adequate amounts of water must be added to the load. Consult the manufacturer&rsquos instructions for sterilizing materials inside sealed plastic autoclave bags.

Autoclave Efficacy Testing

Autoclaves used to treat biohazardous waste must be tested for sterilization efficacy at least once every three months using commercially available Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore ampoules, which contain a suspension of viable spores and are designed for this purpose.

  1. Place ampoule of G. stearothermophilus spores and in the center of an autoclave load (a representative non-biohazardous waste load can be used as a surrogate).
  2. Process the load under normal operating procedures.
  3. After the autoclave cycle is completed retrieve the spore ampoule and incubate it with a non-autoclaved control ampoule at the recommended growth temperature (as prescribed by the spore ampoule manufacturer&rsquos directions).
  4. After completion of the incubation period, inspect the ampoules for growth as described in the manufacturer&rsquos instructions. Lack of growth in the test ampoule indicates that the autoclave conditions were sufficient to inactivate the heat-resistant spores, and thus provides good assurance that the autoclave conditions are sufficient to kill more heat sensitive microbial agents.
  5. If an autoclave fails an efficacy test, any waste that was autoclaved during the failed test is not considered to be sterilized and must be re-autoclaved. The failed autoclave cannot be used to treat biohazardous waste until efficacy testing demonstrates adequate autoclave conditions are achieved.

In addition to quarterly efficacy testing requirements, the performance of autoclaves used to treat biohazardous waste must be verified through efficacy testing at the following times:

  1. Prior to initial use to treat biohazardous waste (whether unit is new, reconditioned, or pre-existing)
  2. Upon relocation of pre-existing, previously tested autoclaves
  3. After maintenance, repair, or calibration that has potential to negatively affect autoclave performance

Autoclave Records

The following records must be maintained for each autoclave used to treat biohazardous waste for a minimum of three years:

  1. Each autoclave cycle used to treat biohazardous waste, to include:
    1. date and operator name
    2. autoclave temperature and pressure
    3. general description of waste load, including waste containers (e.g., 2 small bags of solid waste)
    4. quantity of biohazardous waste* (record number of containers by type or volume of liquid waste)
    5. autoclave run time
    6. results of visual indicators (e.g., heat sensitive tape) used to verify adequate autoclave conditions

    Contact the BSO for a template of an example autoclave log sheet that includes fields for all required information.


    Watch the video: ΤΕΡΝΑ ΕΝΕΡΓΕΙΑΚΗ: Εγκατάσταση Μονάδας Επεξεργασίας Αστικών Στερεών Αποβλήτων Περιφέρειας Ηπείρου (November 2022).