What Is NOT Considered Medical Waste?

Medical waste segregation and using properly marked containers is not only good practice, it’s economical and leads to less waste. Medical waste segregation deals with sharps waste, red bag waste, and general hazardous waste. While there are plenty of examples of what’s considered regulated medical waste under these categories, there is a gray area of what’s not, and it essentially comes down to a few checkpoints –


In New York, volume is a big factor in determining what’s considered regulated medical waste. Facilities that generate a small amount of medical waste are exempt from RMW regulation.

How much medical waste is on that medical gown, exactly?

Wipes, medical gowns, gloves, and other types of personal protective equipment tend to have trace amounts of medical waste on them, but not enough to be considered actual medical waste. This can also include bed linens, sheets, and towels.

At-home medical waste.

Bandages, bloodied tissues, that washcloth you used to cover up a laceration, while technically a potential contaminant, are actually not medical waste. These are thrown in the regular trash with no need for governance or regulation. Of course, those who use sharps at home should use the proper care and precaution when it comes to disposal of needles, as safety and prevention are necessary despite not being regulated within the home.

The process of segregating wastes into the right categories can greatly reduce the volume of what’s considered regulated medical waste. You wouldn’t put paper trash into red bag waste, nor would you put sharps in a trash receptacle. In these situations, you’re either paying for unnecessary services or violating OSHA regulations, thereby costing more in fines and penalties, but how can you be sure what goes where if there are some gray areas?

Your best course of action is to work with a certified, responsible hauler such as Red Bags to make sure you’re compliant. Choosing a medical waste disposal company means looking for a company that strictly adheres to compliance policies and provides reliable services at affordable rates. Red Bags can help your facility customize a waste removal plan that adheres to your needs. We maintain a highly trained staff that is properly equipped for medical waste removal so you can focus on keeping your home, your offices, and your communities healthy.

Contact Red Bags today to discuss service options.

Medical Waste Segregation

Service Areas: Long Island Medical Waste; New York City Medical Waste; Westchester Medical Waste and more!