Colorado Medical Waste Requirements

A peek at Colorado medical waste requirements.

Colorado’s medical waste disposal regulations and requirements are managed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The aim of these requirements are the same as all other states: to reduce medical waste and to protect the environment from infectious disease.

For healthcare facilities and other medical waste generators, the state says that each facility must first properly evaluate waste; per the state, medical waste includes “wastes generated in a healthcare setting in the diagnosis, treatment, immunization, or care of humans or animals; generated in autopsy or necropsy; generated during preparation of a body for cremation or interment; generated in research pertaining to the production or testing of microbiologicals; generated in research using human or animal pathogens; or related to accident, suicide, or other physical trauma.”

The state also separates medical waste into 8 different categories: radioactive, blood and body fluids, infectious waste, potentially infectious waste, pathological waste, pharmaceutical waste, sharps waste, and trauma scene waste. There is a last and a sort-of “miscellaneous” category of substances that have been determined to pose a sufficient risk of infectiousness so as to be regulated as medical waste on a case-by-case basis.

The CDPHE has extremely detailed rules on pharmaceutical waste as well. The state defines pharmaceutical waste as follows:

  • Expired drugs;
  • Patients’ personal medications;
  • Waste materials containing excess drugs ( IV bags, tubing, vials, etc.);
  • Drugs that can no longer be used;
  • Containers that held drugs;
  • Drugs that are intended to be discarded; and
  • Contaminated garments, absorbents and spill cleanup material.

Colorado’s hazardous waste compliance and enforcement program once focused on the companies that generated the greatest amount of hazardous waste. That has since changed, as the focus has shifted on any and all health problems that may result from mismanaging even small quantities of hazardous waste. Because of this, Colorado has an exhaustive list of medical waste generator requirements, which includes fees, certification programs, restrictions, and more.

No matter what state you live in, as a medical waste generator, your best course of action is to to hire a compliant medical waste disposal company to take care of the complicated disposal process.

Contact Red Bags today to discuss how we can help you comply with your state medical waste requirements.

Colorado Medical Waste

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