Fact Sheet - Biohazard Autoclave Bags
Autoclaving is a commonly used procedure for treating biohazardous (infectious) waste. The following bags are recommended for autoclaving infectious materials: clear or orange polyethylene plastic bags that are strong, pliable, lead and puncture resistant. A clearly visible biohazard symbol which darkens to show proper autoclaving temperature is also recommended. Acceptable autoclave bags may be obtained from UK Stores (Stock numbers for clear bags are: 8"x12", 6532-0041; 12"x24", 6532-0042; 24"x30", 6532-0043; 24"x36", 6532-0044).
See the UK Biosafety Manual for infectious waste guidelines and for a list of materials which must be rendered non-infectious by autoclaving. Do not place needles, broken glass or other sharps in autoclave bags. Following autoclaving, these bags will be picked up by the custodial staff and disposed of with the regular trash. Treated waste is considered solid waste and may be safely landfilled. If waste cannot be treated it must be incinerated (see the UK Biosafety Manual for proper use of Red Bags).
WARNING: Red Bags must not be used for autoclaving!!!
UK uses Red Bags to designate infectious waste that must be incinerated. Red Bags should not be used for any other purpose. Do not use Red Bags for autoclaving infectious material and, regardless of their contents, do not place Red Bags in the regular trash for disposal. If Red Bags are dumped at the landfill, facility operators will call UK to come and get them. Since land filling infectious waste is against the law, this practice can result in regulatory action, fines, and even loss of landfill privileges.
Only Medical Center and Hospital custodians are trained to pick up Red Bags and take them to the Hospital incinerator room. Other Red Bags on Lexington campus must be picked up by Environmental Management. If Red Bags are observed in the regular trash, please notify Environmental Management immediately.