Medical Waste Generators
The Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA), Section 117705 of the California Health and Safety Code, considers any person whose act or process produces medical waste to be a “medical waste generator” in California (e.g., a facility or business that generates, and/or stores medical waste onsite).
Medical waste generators may be either large quantity generators (LQG = >200 lbs/month), or small quantity generators (SQG = <200 lbs/month). Medical waste generators shall register with their local enforcement agency.
Medical waste generators, whether LQGs or SQGs, located in counties where the state acts as the local enforcement agency (see the state map (GIF)to determine the enforcement agency in each county) shall complete the Generator Registration Application (below) and mail it along with the fee page (below) to the address provided.
For medical waste generators treating medical waste on-site, an on-site treatment permit application shall also be completed and submitted to the address below.
Each application, along with a check made payable to the Medical Waste Management Fund shall be mailed to:
California Department of Public Health
Medical Waste Management Program
P.O. Box 997377, MS 7405
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377
Limited Quantity Hauling Exemptions
As of January 1, 2015, the Limited Quantity Hauling Exemption has been eliminated. If you are a small or large quantity generator (SQG, LQG) of medical waste and want to transport small amounts of waste, refer to these sections of the Medical Waste Management Act.
SQG: §117946: (a) A small quantity medical waste generator or parent organization that employs health care professionals who generate medical waste may transport medical waste generated in limited quantities up to 35.2 pounds to the central location of accumulation, provided that all of the following are met:
(1) The principal business of the generator is not to transport or treat regulated medical waste.
(2) The generator shall adhere to the conditions and requirements set forth in the materials of trade exception, as specified in Section 173.6 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(3) A person transporting medical waste pursuant to this section shall provide a form or log to the receiving facility, and the receiving facility shall maintain the form or log for a period of two years, containing all of the following information:
(A) The name of the person transporting the medical waste.
(B) The number of containers of medical waste transported.
(C) The date the medical waste was transported.
(b) A generator transporting medical waste pursuant to this section shall not be regulated as a hazardous waste hauler pursuant to Section 117660.
LQG: §117976: (a) A large quantity medical waste generator or parent organization that employs health care professionals who generate medical waste may transport medical waste generated in limited quantities up to 35.2 pounds to the central location of accumulation, provided that all of the following are met: (same as (1) – (3) above).
By using an approved mail-back system, medical waste generators can dispose of their waste in an economical fashion. These systems return the waste to an appropriate medical waste treatment facility. As of January 1, 2015, the Department no longer grants approvals for the systems. The systems must meet USPS standards. See this page for the USPS mailability standards for medical waste (601.10.17): http://pe.usps.com/Archive/HTML/DMMArchive20100607/601.htm
Small Quantity Generators
The storage times for biohazardous and sharps waste do differ. A facility that generates less than 20 pounds of biohazardous waste per month may store it for 30 days. The waste may be stored for up to 90 days if kept at 32° F or below. Any amount of sharps waste can be stored for 30 days, once the container is full. To determine how frequently your facility requires pickup by a medical waste transporter, you should weigh the amount of biohazardous waste generated in one month. Do not include the amount of sharps waste generated in the weight.
Check here for a chart on storage times and segregation for dental offices: Dental Chart (PDF)
Trauma Scene Waste
Individuals and companies in the business of cleaning trauma scenes must register with the Medical Waste Management Program. Registered Trauma Scene Waste Practitioners properly dispose of medical waste that is generated as a result of a trauma scene. Only practitioners should be hired to clean trauma scenes. A property owner does not need to be registered to clean a trauma scene on his property.