Frequently Asked Medical Waste Questions
1. What is a "generator"?
A medical waste generator is a person whose act or process produces medical waste. When used in this context, “person” includes an individual, partnership, private or municipal corporation, firm, board of metropolitan district or other sanitation district, or other association of persons.
2. What types of facilities are regulated?
Medical waste generators include hospitals, clinics (such as medical, dental, and veterinary), surgery centers, dialysis centers, blood banks, long term care facilities, hospices, funeral homes, laboratories (such as clinical, diagnostic, pathological, veterinary, and biomedical research), pharmacies, body art establishments, acupuncture facilities, trauma scene cleanup sites, facilities holding shot clinics or health fairs, and pet shops. Although the majority of medical waste is generated at health care facilities, wastes meeting one or more of the medical waste category descriptions can be generated at other types of facilities. “Facility” is used in a broad context and does not necessarily mean that these wastes are generated in a hospital or clinic.
3. What are the types of medical waste?
Medical waste includes wastes generated in a health care setting in the diagnosis, treatment,
immunization, or care of humans or animals; generated in autopsy or necropsy; generated during
preparation of a body for cremation or interment; generated in research pertaining to the production or
testing of microbiologicals; generated in research using human or animal pathogens; or related to
accident, suicide, or other physical trauma.
4. What is a "Medical Waste Management Plan"?
Each medical waste generator is required to develop and implement an on-site medical waste
management plan for each facility. The medical waste management plan must be specific to the type
of medical waste generated by your facility and contain the following:
Designation of medical waste.
Provisions for the handling, treatment, and disposal of medical waste.
A contingency plan for spills or loss of containment.
Designation of a person responsible for plan implementation.
5. What is RCRA?
"The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gives EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous solid wastes. The 1986 amendments to RCRA enabled EPA to address environmental problems that could result from underground tanks storing petroleum and other hazardous substances."
Hazardous Pharmaceutical RCRA is most commonly classified as U, P and D Listed. P listed must be keep separate form U & D listed as not to contaminate the rest and cause the U & D listed now to be considered P listed. P listed RCRA must be disposed of with its packaging.
6. What goes in the red regulated medical waste (RMW) bin?
Regulated Medical Waste consists of, Infectious Waste – Blood, blood products, bodily fluids; Laboratory wastes (cultures, viruses, test tubes, culture plates); Contaminated equipment, Instruments and disposal material; Sharps in rigid, puncture-resistant sharps containers; IV tubing and bags, catheters; Disposable gloves and gowns, dressings; Human dialysis waste material; Disposable material contaminated with isolation waste.
7. Where can I put my disposable sharps?
In the Regulated Medical Waste bin.
8. What if the syringe still has medication in it, where does it go?
Depending on the classification of what type of medication in it, non-hazardous or RCRA hazardous in would go in a sharps container labeled non-hazardous pharma or RCRA hazardous (P, U or D listed) pharma and then disposed of accordingly.
9. Can I put medication in the RMW bin?
No, medication must be incinerated. All medication must be classified either non-hazardous or RCRA hazardous pharmaceuticals and disposed of in compliance with CDPHE and Federal Regulations. MSDI can provide a quote for both services and offers Waste ID Evaluation, to assist with classifications of pharmaceuticals.
10. Where is the final destruction place for waste?
MSDI can provide documentation of destruction and final location for your medical waste upon request.