Managing health care waste

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Health care waste may be generated in households or health care facilities, such as hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, as well as medical research facilities, laboratories, veterinary practices, first aid stations and schools. Some products used for health care, such as sharps, chemotherapy drugs, pharmaceuticals, disinfectants and sterilants, may harm the environment and human health if they are not disposed of properly.

Guidelines for properly managing health care waste can differ depending on where the waste is generated, managed and disposed. Some residential health care facilities may qualify as households. Determine whether your health care facility fits the definition.

If you are a business, health care provider, farmer or other institution that generates less than 50 pounds per month of infectious waste, this fact sheet [PDF] will help you manage your infectious waste safely and may also help reduce your costs.

Last Revised: Wednesday September 17 2014