Biohazardous Spill Protocols

Biohazardous Spill Protocols and Disposal

When a biological spill occurs, contact Heather Vandertol-Vanier (, 780-492-7659) for assistance. The University of Alberta Biological Spill Remediation protocol can be found at

Biological Spill Kit

A biological spill kit must be available for all biohazardous lab spaces. The kit must be equipped as follows:

Dedicated mop and bucket
Jug of household bleach
Old bath towels (minimum three)
Package of J-cloths or box of cheesecloth
One pair large forceps
Face-shield or safety glasses
Two single-use self-adhesive N-99 respirators
Large garbage bags or clear autoclave bags
Copy of the biohazard spill remediation protocols
Specific biological spills protocols can be found in the University of Alberta Biosafety Manual.

Biohazardous Waste

Transporting biohazardous waste

When waste must be moved between rooms, the closed waste container must be placed in a leak proof container on a cart for transport. Do not carry the waste container. Biohazardous waste that has been decontaminated can be placed in the appropriate area (bags in the general garbage, glass in glass waste etc…). If waste cannot be decontaminated in the lab, it must be appropriately packaged and sent through Chematix for pickup.

Biohazardous waste accumulation

All biohazardous must be segregated and decontaminated before disposal. The University of Alberta Biosafety Manual has a detailed chart outlining how to appropriately accumulate, decontaminate and dispose of biohazardous materials.

A few common procedures for biohazardous waste are briefly discussed below.

Accumulation and handling of solid biohazardous waste

Place a clear autoclave bag inside an orange biohazard bag to collect biohazardous material. When ~50% full, remove the bag and contents from the orange biohazard bag and place in an autoclavable tray. These are loaded into an autoclave and run on an appropriate biobag cycle. The top of the bag should be open to allow steam to penetrate inside.

Accumulation and handling of liquid biohazardous waste

Liquid waste is accumulated in autoclavable containers with lids. Label with your name, the date and what is in the waste. When autoclaving lidded containers, the lids must be loosened before autoclaving.

Cell culture waste

Cell line liquid waste is accumulated in a container, treated with 10% bleach for 30 min and poured down the sink with ample cold water. Waste must not be accumulated for more than one day.

Solid cell culture waste should be accumulate in the same manner as solid biohazardous waste.

Animal waste

Animal carcasses and human specimens must be collected in yellow biohazard pails with sealable lids. When the buckets are 2/3 full, seal the lids and use Chematix for disposal.

Mixed waste

Biohazardous materials that are mixed with non autoclavable chemicals must be disposed of through Chematix.

Gloves must not be disposed of in the regular garbage. Gloves used for biohazardous work must be decontaminated prior to disposal. Gloves can be accumulated with solid biohazardous waste.