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How Long Should You Maintain Medical Waste Manifests?

You might realize you have a growing pile of paperwork and manifests and wonder just how long you’ll need to keep this documentation on file.

Medical waste manifests play an important role in the tracking and compliance required for the waste disposal process. When it comes to medical waste records management, having this documented chain of handling and processing is key to proving and ensuring that all regulated medical waste has made it to the proper destination and has been disposed of accordingly.

This system which began in 1980 by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), is a system which tracks waste throughout its journey. From the moment it leaves a generator’s facility through to the point when it reaches an off-site waste management facility where the medical waste will either be stored, treated or disposed of.

Numerous copies of this manifest documentation are created for accountability so that each party involved in any way with the handling of the regulated medical waste will sign the manifest. In the final step, once the waste has reached its final destination at the receiving facility, the generator will receive a signed copy of the manifest to keep on record.

Over time, as more regulated medical waste is picked up and hauled away for destruction, you may realize you have a growing pile of paperwork and manifests and wonder just how long you’ll need to keep this documentation on file.

According to the EPA, three years from the date the waste was accepted by the transporter is the minimum time frame for which to keep all manifests. Keep in mind however, that some states will require additional storage so it’s important to check with your state before disposal of the manifests.

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Medical Waste Manifests

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