A look at Vermont medical waste requirements.

The state of Vermont governs its medical waste through its Agency of Natural Resources under the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Like other states, Vermont considers the following as regulated medical waste: pathological waste, human blood and blood products, cultures and stocks, sharps waste, animal waste, and chemotherapy waste.

Waste minimization is the ultimate goal when it comes to managing medical waste, but where medical waste is generated, it is all about proper containment, disposal, and treatment.  In addition to Department of Transportation rules and regulations, medical waste generators in the state of Vermont must also label all medical waste containers with their name and address.  Containers must also be leak-proof and rigid, and stored in areas that limit access, away from the elements and the environment around it.

Pathological waste, which is waste that contains any human or animal body parts, must be incinerated either on site or at a certified crematorium prior to disposal.  All other medical waste must be autoclaved or treated by other means that the state deems acceptable, such as chemical treatment.  According to state documents, treatment means “… the inactivation of vegetative bacteria, fungi, lipophilic/hydrophilic viruses, parasites, and mycobacteria.”

As long as the risk of infection is removed from the medical waste, it may be disposed of at a certified solid waste disposal facility.  Sharps waste that has been treated may be mixed in with municipal solid waste.

Transporters in the state of Vermont must have a solid waste transporter permit and must comply with all state packaging requirements.

Vermont is also one of 24 states operating an approved occupational safety and health program run by Vermont’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  These OSHA rules over see several aspects of regulated medical waste, including containers, medical waste labeling, and employee training.

When it comes to medical waste, many states follow federal guidelines, as well as implementing their own requirements to protect people and the environment.

Learn how other states handle medical waste requirements.

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