How should infectious waste be packaged and stored?
- Sharps must be placed in rigid, leak- and puncture-resistant containers secured tightly. All other waste should be stored and maintained in a rigid or semi-rigid leak-proof container.
- Containers must be strong enough to resist bursting and tearing during handling and transport and must be able to be closed tightly and securely.
- Plastic bags used inside containers must be red or orange.
- Reusable containers are acceptable but must be disinfected after each use.
- Waste should not be compacted before or during storage or transport.
- Waste storage begins when a container is closed.
- While waste is being stored, it must be kept safe from insects and rodents, weather and leaking.
- If the waste is stored outside, the storage area must be locked.
- Access to storage areas must be limited to authorized personnel only.
- Storage areas should be labeled with the biohazard symbol and the words INFECTIOUS WASTE (or BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE or MEDICAL WASTE).
- Waste cannot be stored onsite for more than 14 days; if kept at or below 42° Fahrenheit, waste cannot be stored more than 30 days.
- Waste should have no odor. If it begins to smell, it should be transported immediately.
Transport/Treatment of Waste
- Containers must be labeled properly before transport.
- Labeling must be clearly visible and include:
- Biohazard symbol
- Infectious Waste Program Registration Number
- Date the container was placed in storage or sent off-site
- Words INFECTIOUS WASTE (or BIO-HAZARDOUS WASTE or MEDICAL WASTE).
- Before waste can be transported, it must be manifested. This manifest must accompany waste at all times after leaving the generating facility. The manifest must include:
- The generator's name, address and infectious waste program registration number
- A general description of the waste being shipped
- The number of containers and the weight
- The name of the treatment facility where the waste is going
- Certification by the generator that the waste is packaged, described and labeled properly
- Certification that the waste does not include hazardous or radioactive waste
- The name of the transporter
- The date the transporter picked up the waste
- The date the treatment facility received the waste
Not all of this information will be available when the waste is picked up for transport, although the manifest should include all but the last two at pick-up. The fully completed manifest should be returned to the generator within 50 days of pick-up. If it is not returned within 50 days of pick-up, the generator should notify the infectious waste program.