A look at New Mexico medical waste requirements.
New Mexico medical waste disposal regulations are managed by the New Mexico Environment Department Solid Waste Bureau and, like other states, there are clear definitions and restrictions in place when it comes to the management and disposal of medical waste.
The state considers medical waste “special waste,” which includes lab waste, pathological waste, utensils which have come in contact with infectious materials, human blood and blood products, and animal waste.
New Mexico’s containment rules follow suit with other states; infectious waste must be segregated with sharps waste disposed of in a leak-proof, rigid, puncture-resistant container, and red bag waste must be labeled “biomedical waste” with a classified strength of at least 200-pound mullen test.
Medical waste is only allowed to be be disposed of at solid waste facilities authorized for disposal of special waste. Any infectious waste that needs to be incinerated must only be incinerated in an infectious waste incinerator authorized under applicable Air Quality regulations and permitted under the regulations. Sterilization by autoclaving is also acceptable for treating infectious waste.
New Mexico also has very stringent transporting regulations for medical waste; medical/infectious cannot be transported in the same vehicle with other waste unless the infectious waste is contained in a separate, fully enclosed leak-proof container. Haulers must be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE), and vehicles transporting infectious waste must be identified with the name or trademark of the hauler, as well as the universal biohazard symbol.
The state is also one of 21 states operating an approved occupational safety and health (OSHA) program, and therefore follows the federal medical waste laws as determined by OSHA.
While states do outline specific categories of regulated medical waste, it is important that healthcare facilities understand certain key concepts to avoid improper segregation of wastes.
Learn how other states handle medical waste requirements.
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