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Disposal and release of specified material

All contaminated waste, including packaging material, pots, soil and plants associated with specified material must be decontaminated by a validated means prior to disposal. Where incinerators are available on site, these may be used. These should be located as close to the working area as possible, with any movement outside of the quarantine station/confinement facility only permissible in three layers of containment.

The options available for the disposal of solid waste following disinfection or sterilisation are:

  • incineration
  • authorised landfill or similar disposal sites,

The options available for the disposal of waste effluent following sterilisation are:

  • incineration
  • discharge to the sewer system – Restricted. Authorisation holders should be advised to check the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for chemical disinfectants, which will contain safety (S) and risk (R) phrases for each of the chemicals in the product and should give information on disposal of the product. Guidelines for disposal to sewers is set out and enforced by local water authorities.

The selection of the appropriate option should be based on the sterilisation treatment used, the nature of the waste itself, environmental effects, reliability and cost.  It is the responsibility of the authorisation holder to determine the most appropriate disposal route.


Release of material

Specified material is normally required to be destroyed when the research work involving it is completed. However, in some circumstances it may be possible for specified material to be tested and released from the terms of an authorisation. The release of specified material can be a significantly costly and lengthy process and APHA should be contacted at the earliest opportunity for advice if the release of material is being considered. The authorisation holder is responsible for meeting all costs associated with the release of material from a scientific authorisation.

Release protocols are developed by Defra and you should contact them to discuss this further. Defra are required to design a strategy based on the biology of the material which removes the biosecurity risk of releasing the material. These protocols will consider

  • What type of inspection is required
  • When to inspect
  • What to inspect for
  • What testing is required
  • What duration should the material be held in order to detect the presence of any organism which presents a biosecurity risk to GB.

The above is only relevant for the release of specified material into England and Wales. Plants held under a scientific authorisation can be exported to third countries without the need for testing provided they meet the importing requirements of that country or permission has been granted by the NPPO of that country.


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