VUMC Lab Guide: Red Bag Biowaste Collection SaniPak FAQ

VUMC research and clinical areas now use the Sani-Pak sterilization system to sterilize red bag biohazardous waste. In VUMC research buildings*, red bag biowaste is picked up by School of Medicine Environmental Services (SOM EVS) staff in the evenings.

To have your red bag biowaste picked up from a VUMC research building:

  1. Tightly tie closed each red biohazardous waste bag.
  2. Place bags in an appropriate leak-proof secondary container for transfer to the designated biohazardous waste pickup location
  3. Place closed bags in the large Sani-Pak cart closest to your lab. Refer to this list for locations. Do NOT place sharps in these containers.

*VUMC research buildings include Medical Center North, Light Hall, Medical Research Building IV, Robinson Research Building and Preston Research Building

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the Sani-Pak carts located?

The list of all Sani-Pak cart locations can be found here.

Is a SaniPak cart available on every floor?

SOM EVS places carts in as many publicly available spaces as possible, but the nearest collection point may not be on your floor.

What if there is no cart near my lab?

In some laboratory buildings it has been difficult to find publicly available spaces outside of public hallways to place a Sani-Pak cart. If you have found a space where you want to house a Sani-Pak cart, have the administrator for the department that controls that space contact the SOM EVS office at 615-322-6107. SOM-EVS will work to see if a Cart can safely be placed in that location.

What if my Sani-Pak Cart is full?

If you find that your Sani-Pak Cart is full, temporarily store the waste in secondary containment in your lab and dispose of it in the Sani-Pak Cart when there is room. If you regularly find that the Sani-Pak Cart is full, contact the SOM EVS office at 615-322-6107 to report the issue.

Should the Sani-Pak Cart have a clear bag liner? Do I close this bag at the end of the day?

Sani-Pak Carts will be lined with the clear plastic liner when dropped off. Do not tie the liner bag closed.

What goes into the Sani-Pak Cart?

Solid, non-sharps biohazardous waste, as defined in the Biological Waste Guide, is the only waste that should be placed in the Sani-Pak Carts.

Do my sharps containers go in the Sani-Pak cart?

No, sharps containers should be placed in secondary containment for pickup from labs like they have been in the past.

What do I do with my old biohazardous waste containers?

If you have biohazardous waste containers that you wish to repurpose to collect other kinds of waste or if you wish to dispose of these old biohazardous waste containers, remove or deface all biohazard symbols on the container and thoroughly surface disinfect the inner and outer surface of the container. You can then reuse it or dispose of it as regular trash.

Can I move the SaniPak containers to more convenient locations? What if someone in my area consistently moves the Sani-Pak Cart I’m supposed to use?

Sani-Pak Carts have been placed in locations that were carefully reviewed by both SOM EVS and OCRS Biosafety. Individual labs should not move them to other locations. If you find that the Cart has been moved, please contact SOM EVS at 615-322-6107 to report this problem.

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