Biological Waste

Biological waste primarily consists of animal carcasses, bedding, and excrement. It may also include specimens in vials or containers. Waste containing biological (excluding animal carcasses), pathogenic, or infectious material or equipment (e.g., syringes, test tubes, capillary tubes) used to handle such material, shall be treated to reduce, to the maximum extent practicable, the potential hazard from the non-radiological materials.

Waste with a half-life less than 90 days needs to be segregated from other waste. Small animals may be bagged and kept frozen until the date of pick-up. Researchers working with large animals such as large dogs, sheep, or hogs must contact the Radiation Safety Office to make arrangements for disposal.

Important Items

  • Animal carcasses, contaminated bedding and tissues must be placed in strong, tightly closed, leak-proof plastic bags. Bags must be placed in freeze until date of pick-up.
  • Separate waste with a half-life of < 90 days from longer half-life waste.
  • Needles and other sharps must not be placed in bags with animal carcasses.
  • Do not put nonbiological materials into carcass bags. Collect paper, plastic, foil, syringes, and absorbents separately and treat, if necessary, to reduce non radiological hazards.
  • All waste containers must indicate radionuclide and total activity per gram weight, averaged over the initial weight of the disposed animal.

Contact Us

Radiation Safety
MSC 08 4560
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
RHFH (Fitz Hall) - Room B89