A Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Guidance Document Disposal of Deer Processing Waste


Many deer processors have been disposing of deer carcasses by routing this waste to rendering plants. Recently, some of the rendering plants no longer accept animal carcasses, other than chickens. This change has been made to prevent the possible introduction of "mad cow" disease. The elimination of this handling option by some rendering facilities has presented a dilemma for deer processors.


Deer carcasses retained by processing facilities are considered to be "commercial solid waste" as defined by the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management. These rules provide for disposal of animal carcasses at permitted municipal solid waste landfills (MSWLs) when the waste is not directed to a rendering facility for processing into a usable protein product. If incineration or rendering are not available in your area, arrangements must be made to dispose of deer carcasses in a permitted MSWL. This waste must not be buried or dumped in any location other than a MSWL. If a biomedical waste incinerator is located nearby, this waste can be incinerated and the ash can then be disposed of in a MSWL. Many counties have transfer stations that accept waste for bulk transfer to MSWLs. These transfer stations may accept carcasses for transfer.


The following is general guidance for the preparation and handling of carcasses for transfer and disposal:

Contacting the county transfer station or disposal facility is recommended, as their requirements may be very specific for how they can handle this waste. Many transfer stations and disposal facilities will require that this waste be in a sealed container and labeled to minimize their employee's exposure to this waste. This waste should be carried to a transfer station or disposal site on a routine schedule. This schedule should be at least twice per week to prevent extensive decomposition of this waste. Prior notification to the landfill is advised when large quantities of this waste will be delivered in order for the landfill to prepare for special handling and disposal.

Carcasses should be separated from other waste and containerized. The processor should check with the transfer station or disposal facility as to the preferred method for containerization of carcasses.

Carcasses should not be held without refrigeration for more than three days. Transport of carcasses must occur prior to extended decomposition. Decomposition will occur faster in warmer temperatures.

Any questions regarding this matter should be directed to your local DNR Conservation Ranger.

SWM-GD Disposal of Deer Processing Waste 10/96