The State of Illinois considers animal carcasses, tissues, organs, and bedding from infected animals to be pathological waste. University policy requires that the following items be incinerated:

  • Any animal inoculated with infectious agents;
  • Transgenic animals, potentially transgenic animals, “no-takes” in the production of transgenic animals, and offspring of transgenic animals;
  • All sheep and goats;
  • Small research animals (e.g., cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, mice, birds);
  • Central nervous systems of adult cattle over 30 month old;
  • Human tissues and organs;
  • Bedding from animals inoculated with infectious agents.   

There are no exceptions to this policy without prior notification and approval by the Division of Research Safety (DRS). Other animals, tissues, or organs not listed may still qualify for incineration; contact the DRS via e-mail with specific questions. 

Packaging Instructions for Incineration

DRS picks up this waste from laboratories that generate a small volume. Materials for incineration must be packaged and labeled by the generating laboratory and must NOT contain glass or liquids.

  • Accumulate the waste in plastic bags. Each parcel should be limited to 10 pounds. 
  • Contact DRS about an exception to the weight limit if it presents a hardship (e.g., large species). 
  • Twist the top of each bag closed and secure it with tape or a plastic cable tie. 
  • Double bag as necessary to prevent leakage and/or protrusion of sharp edges. 
  • Refrigerate or freeze waste between disposal and pickup.
  • Submit a pick up request through the Chemical Waste Disposal portal using the waste name "UI#10, tissue/carcass waste".
  • You will receive an email with scheduling information and instructions for printing out waste labels. 
  • Print the labels and attach them to the waste parcel using a DRS Incineration tag or similar cardstock tag. There is no need to complete the tag, because the label provides all necessary information. 

Request incineration tags via e-mail.

Materials not packaged or labeled properly may be refused.


Packaging instructions for bulk quantities of waste

For groups who generate bulk quantities, waste is shipped directly for offsite incineration. Materials must conform to the vendor's specifications. 

  • Accumulate the waste in lined plastic tubs containing no more than 45 pounds of waste (60 pounds gross weight, including the tub). 
  • Tubs must be lined with a 4-mil red plastic bag (provided with the empty tubs).
  • Twist the top of each bag closed and secure it with tape or a plastic cable tie, then snap the lid in place.
  • Clean mud and debris from the tub exteriors.
  • Place a DRS Incineration tag on one handle of each tub. The only information required is the PI name.

Properly packaged materials should be delivered to the ACES/Farms Cooler located at the south entrance to Special Materials Storage Facility at 2006 Griffith Drive.

  • The cooler is kept locked. The key is kept in a key box with a combination lock. Contact DRS for the combination to the key box (333-2755 or
  • Stack the properly packaged tubs in the cooler as far away from the door as possible. 
  • Relock the cooler and return the key to the key box. 
  • Empty tubs, liners, cable ties, and tags are available in a shed adjacent to the cooler. Be sure to sign out the tubs you take.

Fixed Tissues

Fixatives must be separated from the tissue and placed in an approved container for collection and disposal through the DRS Chemical Waste program Drained tissues are packaged according to incineration instructions.

Last Updated: 12/4/2023