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What is Medical Waste Management



September 8, 2021



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What is Medical Waste Management?

What is Medical Waste Management? Medical waste management is the process of disposing of, transporting, and treating healthcare waste in a way that it does not harm humans or the environment. The EPA says “medical waste includes all wastes that are generated by any of the following:

1) Healthcare activities in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, dental clinics, veterinary facilities, blood banks, other medical research laboratories.

2) Healthcare related educational programs in universities and colleges.

3) Medical research laboratories outside the hospital setting.”

Differences of Medical Waste by State

State rules vary on requirements and possible registration for generators. Here we will concentrate on some Midwest states.

Illinois Medical Waste. Illinois calls medical or biohazard waste “Potentially Infectious Medical Waste”. While Illinois does not have any specific permits or licenses for medical waste generators, it does fall on the generators to ensure proper segregation, packaging, and labeling. See the Illinois EPA website for detailed information.

Indiana Medical Waste. In Indiana Biohazard or Medical waste is referred to as Infectious Waste as defined by the Indiana Department of Health. According to the Indiana General Assembly, generators and those who provide services to generators are responsible for proper containment, labeling, effective treatment, transport, and disposal of infectious wastes. Indiana Department of Environmental Management regulates offsite management of infectious wastes by businesses. Infectious waste must be treated or incinerated before it can be disposed of in a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill.

Michigan Medical Waste. In Michigan, medical waste is referred to as medical waste. Producers of medical waste are required to be registered. A producing facility may include but are not limited to, private practices, hospitals, funeral homes, health departments, tattoo and body art facilities, clinics, etc. A producing facility is any facility that generates, stores, or decontaminates medical waste.

 Wisconsin Medical Waste. In Wisconsin, medical waste is called infectious waste but they do go on to describe the difference between medical waste and infectious waste. ““Infectious waste” means solid waste that contains pathogens with sufficient virulence and in sufficient quantity that exposure of a susceptible human or animal to the solid waste could cause the human or animal to contract an infectious disease. “Medical waste” means infectious waste, as defined, and other waste that contains or may be mixed with infectious waste.

Some states call medical waste as any waste produced in a healthcare setting even just normal solid waste or garbage. Other states like Wisconsin call infectious waste, waste that can cause harm to humans or the environment which is different than medical waste which is basically infectious waste mixed with normal waste. Wisconsin goes on to clarify that medical waste does not mean all the waste produced in a healthcare setting. Non-infectious materials from a healthcare facility are “medical waste” only if the generator mixes them with infectious waste or manages them as though they are infectious waste.

Any other waste materials from a healthcare facility are not considered “medical waste” under Wisconsin law. If possible, these non-infectious items or solid waste should be reused or recycled.

You can see how even the terms are not the same from state to state, therefore it is important to hire a medical waste management company like Healthcare Waste Management who has been serving the Midwest for decades, serves thousands of customers, and has our own medical waste treatment plant. We are required to keep abreast of all the local, state, and federal regulations so you don’t have to.

Contact Healthcare Waste Management today for a hassle-free quote at 888-427-5797.


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