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Minnesota Infectious Waste

Management guidance for generators

What is infectious waste?

Infectious waste is waste that poses an environmental danger due to its biological risk. Pathological waste also poses a biological risk and is regulated the same as infectious waste in Minnesota. Both are different from hazardous waste, which poses an environmental danger due to its chemical risk. All three types of waste are regulated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

Some wastes can be simultaneously infectious and hazardous, such as the contents of containers holding both sharps and pharmaceuticals. The MPCA refers to such wastes by the term-of-convenience dual waste. When handling dual waste, comply with both infectious and hazardous waste requirements.

Who else regulates infectious waste?

This information is intended to provide guidance only on requirements under Minnesota Infectious Waste Statutes and Rules found at Minnesota Statutes, administered by the MPCA. Infectious waste may also be regulated as:

49 CFR 173.134, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

The BBP and HMR may also regulate wastes that are not included in the Minnesota definition of infectious waste. For example, the HMR regulates all animal-generated veterinary waste, while infectious waste includes only veterinary sharps. Although this information does not discuss other regulations, generators of infectious waste must meet all applicable requirements.

What wastes are infectious wastes in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, infectious waste includes the following wastes generated by a regulated infectious waste generator.

Pathological waste includes human body parts or tissue (except teeth) removed and intended for disposal. Pathological waste must be managed in Minnesota the same way as infectious waste.

Regulated body fluids: Fluids that are not normally released from the body are infectious wastes. Solids that will release these body fluids when compressed are also infectious wastes. Liquids that normally are released from the body are not infectious wastes unless overtly contaminated with regulated body fluids or suspected to contain the Ebola virus. You may manage wastes containing only non-infectious liquids as normal solid wastes.

Contaminated sharps: any contaminated or potentially contaminated items from human or animal care that can induce sub-dermal inoculation, including, but not limited to needles, scalpel blades, pipettes, lancets, and glass or rigid vials that contained infectious agents. Unused needles, pipettes, and other items, or those used only in a sterile process are not contaminated sharps in Minnesota.

Note: Sharps with engineered sharps injury protection (SESIPs) remain regulated in Minnesota if contaminated or potentially contaminated. Manage infectious waste containing used SESIPs as you would any other infectious waste containing sharps.

On-site storage

In general, storage requirements at the site of generation are regulated under the BBP; however, the MPCA requires that the storage methods used, including packaging and labeling, are described in your infectious waste management plan. Comply with your management plan. Disposal

The four allowed disposal methods for regulated infectious waste in Minnesota are discussed in detail below:

  1. Decontaminate your site’s infectious waste at that site
  2. Discharge liquid infectious waste to a sanitary sewer or subsurface treatment system
  3. Transport your own infectious waste to another site for decontamination
  4. Ship your infectious waste to another site for decontamination using a Commercial Infectious Waste Transporter registered with the MPCA, or mail it to a disposal facility with the U.S. Postal Service Decontaminate your site’s infectious waste at that site

Decontaminate means to treat an infectious or pathological waste to make it safe to manage as a normal solid waste. Decontamination must be verified by standard biological indicators, such as Geobacillus stearothermophilus and Bacillus atrophaeus spores. Simply enclosing an infectious waste within a container or binding it into a matrix is not decontamination.

You may decontaminate your own infectious waste and manage it as a normal solid waste without MPCA approval as long as the waste does not contain sharps.

If your waste contains sharps, you may only use an on-site decontamination system approved by the MPCA, and you must comply with the specified conditions of that approval.

Benefits of Using Healthcare Waste Management’s Minnesota Medical Waste Disposal Services

As the name suggest we are a complete management team of your healthcare medical, biohazard, sharps and other wastes that is regulated. From pickup to destruction, we are the only company that handles your waste

  • We own the waste from pickup to destruction, no middleman, means no hidden cost.
  • Our state-of-the-art processing plants ensure the waste is disposed of as quickly and effectively as possible, with minimum impact to the environment.
  • With us it is our drivers, our trucks, our processing plants and our insurance. You can imagine the insurance one must have when they own their own processing plants.

Minnesota About

Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has many lakes, and is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. Its official motto is L’Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North).

Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U.S. states; nearly 55% of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the “Twin Cities”). This area has the largest concentration of transportation, business, industry, education, and government in the state. Urban centers in “Greater Minnesota” include Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester and St. Cloud.

Healthcare Waste Management

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Helpful Minnesota Resources

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Rd
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
(651) 296-6157
Minnesota Department of Health
11 East Superior Street, Suite 290
Duluth, Minnesota 55802
(218) 302-6166
Minnesota Department of Transportation
395 John Ireland Blvd
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
(651) 296-3000

Minnesota Information

The word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River, which got its name from one of two words in the Dakota language: “Mnísóta”, which means “clear blue water”, or “Mnißota”, which means “cloudy water”. Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many places in the state have similar names, such as Minnehaha Falls (“curling water” or waterfall), Minneiska (“white water”), Minneota (“much water”), Minnetonka (“big water”), Minnetrista (“crooked water”), and Minneapolis, a hybrid word combining mni (“water”) and polis (Greek for “city”).

Minnesota Medical Waste Disposal Service Area

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