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Can You Track Your Facility’s Medical Waste End-to-End?

January 14, 2022

Medical waste regulations govern both packaging and transportation, and you are required to have proper documentation for both. Medical waste must be separated from regular garbage and properly labeled. It also needs to be transported and disposed of by a designated medical waste collection and management company. These laws are designed to protect patients, practitioners, waste procurement staff, and the public. “Cradle-to-Grave” regulations are part of The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Prior to the Act being signed into law in 1976, only 10% of hazardous waste material was being managed properly. Tracking your facility’s medical waste from beginning to end is law.

Cradle-to-Grave Processing

A medical waste generator is responsible for its medical waste from the moment it is generated to its disposal. This includes proper labeling, packaging, and tracking. Even if you contract with a medical waste management company, “Cradle to Grave” is still your responsibility.

Medical Waste Disposal

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws cover how medical waste must be handled, transported, and disposed of. Waste must be segregated and stored with proper color coding. Sharps, non-contaminated waste, and contaminated waste must be kept in separate, labeled containers.

Medical Waste Manifests

Manifests help maintain compliance with the law. Medical waste manifests are the forms used by all generators who transport, or offer for transport, hazardous or medical waste for off-site treatment, recycling, storage, or disposal. Manifests are initiated by the hauler and consist of an original and copies for the chain of custody. A hazardous waste manifest must accompany most hazardous waste that is shipped off site. The Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest is the shipping document that travels with hazardous waste from the point of generation through transportation, final treatment, storage, and finally to the disposal facility (TSDF).

Retention Periods

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires medical waste generators to keep manifests for three years. Since June 30, 2018, the EPA has recommended using the e-Manifest system. Some states have additional manifest requirements which should also be followed:

If you need help in tracking your facility’s medical waste, GreenServ can help you with training, equipment, and medical waste removal needs. We serve the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas with compliant medical waste disposal services. Just give us a call at 662-533-0940 or complete the form on this page so we can help you with the ins and outs of medical waste tracking.

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