Texas Tech University

Autoclaving Biological Waste

Waste Containers

  • Waste is to be collected in leak-proof containers. Bags with the Solid biowaste containersuniversal biohazard symbol must be used to collect solid waste. If you steam-sterilize your waste, make sure your bags are autoclavable.
  • Other than benchtop collection, biohazard bags must be contained in a solid, leak-proof container with a lid capable of decontamination. The container must be marked with the biohazard symbol.

Preparing for the Autoclave

  1. Prepare waste to allow steam circulation (i.e., loosely tie bags, loosen lids or loosely cover with foil). Apply autoclave tape.
  2. If you have to transport waste through common areas, use a closable tub w/ locking lid; take the autoclave tub(s) with you.
  3. At the autoclave, place waste in a leak-proof, autoclavable tub. Do not overload the tub.

Transporting waste to the autoclave requires a tub and sign

Autoclaving and Final Disposal

  1. Autoclave waste no less than 30 minutes at 121°C and 15psi pressure.
  2. After autoclaving, Record the run in the log, carefully remove the load, and affix a "treated" sticker to biobags.
  3. Place the biobag in a black trash bag.
  4. Lab personnel can then discard waste in the dumpster.
  5. Log the treatment on your Treatment Log.

Solid biowaste autoclave treament process