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Managing healthcare waste

3/26/20: COVID-19 UPDATE

Thank you for your patience during the COVID-19 public health emergency. As state agencies continue operations, please understand that most of our staff are teleworking and may have limited access to files and delayed online connectivity.

With this in mind, we ask that our customers:

  • Use email whenever possible to communicate with staff.
  • Set up conference calls or Skype meetings in lieu of in-person meetings.
  • Request electronic public records online using our standard system, whenever possible.
    • State staff are not currently available to access physical files and no staff are available on-site to allow physical inspection of files by the public until the Governor's COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
  • Submit documents electronically, preferably via a download link (ftp servers, DNR system, etc.). Note: If that option is not available to you, DNR staff can receive emails up to 20 MB.

Staff will keep their voicemails and out-of-office messages up to date and will respond as they are able.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 information webpage. For program-specific information, please search keyword "COVID19."

Additional COVID-19 Resources

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is recommending routine management and disposal of healthcare waste from COVID-19 patients or persons under investigation. For more information on requirements and recommended practices for healthcare facilities, households and waste management professionals handling COVID-19-related healthcare waste, go to Wisconsin's infectious waste regulations.

a registered sharps collection site
to Healthcare Waste News.

Healthcare waste may be generated in households or healthcare 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 healthcare, 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 healthcare waste can differ depending on where the waste is generated, managed and disposed. Some residential healthcare facilities may qualify as households. Determine whether your healthcare facility fits the definition.

If you are a business, healthcare 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: Monday March 23 2020