Animal bedding makes up approximately 12% of our solid waste stream at the National Institutes of Health. Preference should be given to biodegradable and eco-friendly animal bedding that is safe for the animals. According to The National Institutes of Health, Laboratory Animal Allergy Prevention Program, corncob, recycled wood product (paper), and wood chip bedding are the primary bedding materials used at the NIH. Due to hypoallergenic properties, corncob bedding and recycled wood products are preferred for allergy prevention.
Contaminated bedding should be disposed of as chemical, radioactive, or medical waste, based on the contaminant. Uncontaminated animal bedding can be disposed of as general waste. Uncontaminated bedding could potentially be composted or used as landscape mulch. Composting uncontaminated animal bedding is a goal of the Division of Environmental Protection.
NIH Laboratory Animal Allergy Prevention Program
Alternatives to Cedar Shavings as Bedding
Small Animal Bedding