Georgia Medical Waste Requirements

A quick look at Georgia medical waste requirements.

In the state of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources oversees medical waste disposal under its environmental protection division. Biomedical waste is its own category under the solid waste management plan, which outlines what is considered medical waste, storage specifications, and treatment plans.

The state defines medical waste as “…any solid waste which contains pathological waste, biological waste, cultures, and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, contaminated animal carcasses (body parts, their bedding, and other waste from such animals), chemotherapy waste, discarded medical equipment and parts, not including expendable supplies and materials, which have not been decontaminated.”

Medical waste disposal rules apply to generators such as ambulatory service centers, blood banks, clinics, county health departments, dental offices, funeral homes, hospitals, laboratories, medical buildings, physicians offices, veterinary offices, research and manufacturing facilities, nursing homes, and biomedical waste transportation, storage, treatment, and disposal facilities.

Medical waste must be stored in such a way that it is protected from animals, rain and wind, and does not provide a breeding place or a food source for insects and rodents. All medical waste must be segregated from other wastes at the generator site.

All medical waste, with the exception of sharps must be discarded in containers which are impervious to moisture. These containers must also be tear-resistant and be able to withstand normal use without bursting.

Sharps must be disposed of in leak-proof, rigid, puncture-resistant sharps containers, which are taped closed or have a tight lid. These containers must also be red or orange with the “biohazard” label affixed to it.

The state doesn’t allow medical waste to be transported with other solid wastes unless it’s contained in a separate, fully enclosed leak-proof container within the vehicle.

Treatment of medical waste includes incineration and autoclaving, whereas chemotherapy waste must be treated at a permitted thermal treatment technology facility.

Georgia is also one of 26 states covered by the federal OSHA program, which affect various aspects of medical waste. This includes management of sharps, container requirements, and the labeling of medical and infectious waste bags.

It is imperative that medical waste generators adhere to their state’s medical waste regulations to avoid non-compliance, and to avoid risk of infection.

Contact Red Bags today for a free quote to discuss how we can help you comply with your Georgia medical waste and other state requirements.

Learn more about other state medical waste requirements:

Georgia MEdical Waste

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