Definition of Regulated Infectious Waste
Managing Regulated Infectious
Statutes, Regulations and Guidelines
Definition of Regulated Infectious
waste is considered a solid waste and is defined as follows:
Cultures and stocks
of infectious agents and associated biologicals, including cultures
from medical and pathological laboratories; cultures and stocks of
infectious agents from research and industrial laboratories; wastes
from the production of biologicals; discarded live and attenuated
vaccines; and culture dishes and devices used to transfer, inoculate,
and mix cultures.
Human pathological waste, including tissues, organs, and body parts
and body fluids that are removed during surgery or autopsy, or other
medical procedures, and specimens of body fluids and their containers.
Human blood and blood
products. Liquid waste human blood; products of blood; items saturated
or dripping with human blood; or items that were saturated or dripping
with human blood that are now caked with dried human blood (including
serum, plasma, and other blood components, and their containers).
Sharps that have been
used in animal or human patient care or treatment or in medical,
research, or industrial laboratories, including hypodermic needles,
syringes (with or without the attached needle), pasteur pipettes,
scalpel blades, blood vials, needles with attached tubing, and culture
dishes (regardless of presence of infectious agents). Also included
are other types of broken or unbroken glassware that were in contact
with infectious agents, such as used slides and cover slips.
Animal waste. Contaminated
animal carcasses, body parts, and bedding of animals that were known
to have been exposed to infectious agents during research (including
research in veterinary hospitals), production of biological, or testing
Isolation waste. Biological
waste and discarded materials contaminated with blood, excretion,
exudates, or secretions from humans who are isolated to protect others
from highly communicable diseases, or isolated animals known to be
infected with highly communicable diseases.
Unused sharps. Unused,
discarded sharps, hypodermic needles, suture needles, and scalpel
Ash from incineration
and residues from disinfection processes are not infectious waste once
the incineration or the disinfection has been completed.
Managing Regulated Infectious
Every person who collects,
stores, transports, treats, or disposes of regulated infectious waste
shall comply with the following standards of performance.
At the point of origin,
regulated infectious waste must be separated from other wastes and
placed in distinctive containers which do not leak and which are
impervious, puncture resistant, and tear resistant and which contain
obvious markings (for example, red or orange plastic bags or the
biohazard label). Bags and containers holding regulated infectious
waste must be tied, closed, or sealed securely to prevent leakage.
At the point of origin,
sharps must be separated from other regulated infectious waste, disinfected
onsite, rendered non-sharp onsite, and then disposed; or, placed
in rigid and puncture-resistant biohazard containers and handled
The handling and storage
of regulated infectious waste, before treatment, must be conducted
in a manner that minimizes exposure to employees of the waste generator,
the waste transporter, and the public.
or devices such as carts used for the handling of wastes must be
disinfected after each use.
All regulated infectious
waste must be incinerated or disinfected and sharps that are not
incinerated must be rendered non-sharp before disposal. Incineration
and disinfection equipment and facilities shall meet all applicable
Blood and blood products
can be discarded without incineration or disinfection through municipal
sewage disposal systems that meet applicable requirements.
The disposal of nonviable
human fetuses shall meet all applicable requirements.
An infectious waste
that is not regulated may be disposed at a permitted municipal waste
Household waste containing
regulated infectious waste in amounts normally found in household
waste may be disposed of at a permitted municipal waste landfill.
Any person who owns
or operates any premises, business establishment, or industry is
responsible for infectious waste management activities, such as storage,
transportation, resource recovery, or disposal, of infectious waste
generated or managed at that person's premises, business establishment,
No infectious waste
may be delivered to a facility that is not in compliance or abandoned
upon any street, alley, highway, public place, or private premises.
Infectious waste must
be stored, collected, and transported in a manner that provides for
public safety, prevents uncontrolled introduction into the environment,
and minimizes harborage for insects, rats, or other vermin.
Except in unincorporated
areas of this state, household waste must be removed from the premises
or containers at regular intervals not to exceed seven days and transported
to a solid waste management unit or facility.
and Transportation Vehicles
used for the commercial collection and transportation of any residue,
sludge, agricultural, inert, industrial waste, or special waste must
be loaded and moved in such a manner that the contents will not fall,
leak, or spill there from. Where spillage does occur, the collector
or transporter shall immediately return spilled waste to the vehicle
or container and, if necessary, clean and decontaminate the area.
Vehicles used for
the commercial collection and transportation of regulated infectious
waste, household waste, or municipal waste incinerator ash must be
fully leak proof and fully enclosed or covered to prevent scattering
of material. Regulated infectious waste may not be subject to mechanical
stress or compaction during loading, unloading, and transit. Any
spilled material must be immediately returned to the transport vehicle
or container and, if necessary, the area must be cleaned and decontaminated.
body of a vehicle used for commercial collection or transportation
of solid waste must be maintained in good repair and in sanitary
Every person who treats
or transports solid waste or operates a solid waste management unit
or facility is required to have a valid permit issued by the department,
unless the activity is an emergency, exemption, or exception.
A solid waste management
permit is not required for the following activities or facilities:
used by hospitals, clinics, laboratories, or other similar facilities
solely for incineration of commercial waste or infectious waste generated
Transport solely their
own waste to a solid waste management unit or facility; or
Transport waste entirely
within a regulated facility or entirely on their property.
Resource Recovery Facilities
The owner or operator
of a facility that conducts treatment or resource recovery other than
processing shall comply with the following standards:
All liquids must be
collected and treated to meet water protection provisions.
Surface water must
be diverted away from all open storage areas.
Solid waste must be
confined to storage containers and areas specifically designed to
store waste. Waste handling and storage systems must provide sufficient
excess capacity to prevent nuisances, environmental impacts, or health
hazards in the event of mechanical failure or unusual waste flows.
systems or facilities must be operated on first-in, first-out basis.
Stored solid waste containing garbage may not be allowed to remain
unprocessed for more than forty-eight hours unless adequate provisions
are made to control flies, rodents, odors, or other environmental
hazards or nuisances.
All solid waste, recovered
materials, or residues must be controlled and stored in a manner
that does not constitute a fire or safety hazard or a sanitary nuisance.
All residues from
resource recovery systems or facilities must be handled and disposed
of according to applicable regulations.
All incinerators used
for solid waste must be constructed and operated in compliance with