sole means of assessing the effectiveness of the sanitation program. A decision to alter the frequency of cage bedding changes or cage washing should be based on such factors as ammonia concentration, bedding condition, appearance of the cage and animals, and the number and size of animals housed in the cage.
Mechanical washer function should be evaluated regularly and include examination of mechanical components such as spray arms and moving headers as well as spray nozzles to ensure that they are functioning appropriately. If sanitation is temperature dependent, the use of temperature-sensing devices (e.g., thermometers, probes, or temperature-sensitive indicator strips) is recommended to ensure that the equipment being sanitized is exposed to the desired conditions.
Whether the sanitation process is automated or manual, regular evaluation of sanitation effectiveness is recommended. This can be performed by evaluating processed materials by microbiologic culture or the use of organic material detection systems (e.g., adenosine triphosphate [ATP] bioluminescence) and/or by confirming the removal of artificial soil applied to equipment surfaces before washing.
Waste Disposal Conventional, biologic, and hazardous waste should be removed and disposed of regularly and safely (Hill 1999). There are several options for effective waste disposal. Contracts with licensed commercial waste disposal firms usually provide some assurance of regulatory compliance and safety. On-site incineration should comply with all federal, state, and local regulations (Nadelkov 1996).
Adequate numbers of properly labeled waste receptacles should be strategically placed throughout the facility. Waste containers should be leakproof and equipped with tight-fitting lids. It is good practice to use disposable liners and to wash containers and implements regularly. There should be a dedicated waste storage area that can be kept free of insects and other vermin. If cold storage is used to hold material before disposal, a properly labeled, dedicated refrigerator, freezer, or cold room should be used that is readily sanitized.
Hazardous wastes must be rendered safe by sterilization, containment, or other appropriate means before their removal from the facility (DHHS 2009 or most recent edition; NRC 1989, 1995b). Radioactive wastes should be kept in properly labeled containers and their disposal closely coordinated with radiation safety specialists in accord with federal and state regulations; the federal government and most states and municipalities have regulations controlling disposal of hazardous wastes. Compliance with regulations concerning hazardous-agent use (see Chapter 2) and disposal is an institutional responsibility.
Infectious animal carcasses can be incinerated on site or collected by a licensed contractor. Use of chemical digesters (alkaline hydrolysis treat-