Infectious Waste

Ohio EPA regulates the generation and treatment of infectious waste, as authorized by Chapter 3734 of the Ohio Revised Code. Businesses generating more than fifty (50) pounds of infectious waste in any calendar month are required to register with Ohio EPA and, among other requirements, ensure all infectious waste is treated prior to ultimate disposal.  Approved treatment technologies may be used onsite, or infectious wastes may be sent to a commercial treatment facility.

Ohio’s infectious waste regulations contain approved treatment methods.  Most commonly, autoclave and incineration technologies are used to treat infectious waste prior to disposal.  Additional approved treatment methods include chemical treatment utilizing a sodium hypochlorite solution (bleach) for stocks and cultures; applied heat encapsulation for sharps; and chemical treatment utilizing peracetic acid and grinding.  A business may submit a request for site-specific or statewide approval of an alternative treatment technology.

Transportation of infectious waste (hazardous material) is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).  For more information regarding the transportation of infectious waste, please contact PUCO by telephone at (800) 686-PUCO (7826).

For more information about Ohio’s Infectious Waste Program, please see the menu below.

The Division of Materials and Waste Management sent a letter to infectious waste transporters on August 23, 2012, notifying these businesses of the elimination of Ohio EPA requirements governing the packaging, labeling, and transportation of infectious wastes.  A copy of this letter can be viewed by Clicking Here.

On March 5, 2013, DMWM offered a webinar to communicate Infectious Waste Program changes to the regulated community and health districts. The power point presentation from the webinar is now available for you to view.  If you have any questions about the rule changes, please contact Maera Flynn at (614) 728-5338 or by email at Maera.Flynn@epa.ohio.gov.

Infectious Waste Guidance Documents

 
  • Ohio EPA Answer Place - Enables users to search frequently asked questions, or submit their own question/comment on a variety of Ohio EPA issues and topics.


The answer depends on the quantity of infectious waste generated in a calendar month.


For more information, see Ohio EPA's guidance document Small Generators of Infectious Waste.


Ohio law allows for this type of waste from small generators to be placed in the trash.  Please contact your trash hauler or the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio at (800) 686-7826 for further information.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also addresses the management of blood contaminated wastes though the blood borne pathogen regulations.  More information is available on the OSHA web site .


Ohio law allows a small generator of infectious waste to dispose of these wastes (with the exception of untreated cultures) in the regular trash.  Biohazard bags and wastes visibly contaminated with blood are also allowed into the trash from a small generator.  A small generator is defined as generating less than 50 pounds of infectious waste in any one calendar month at a single location.


If you generate more than fifty pounds of infectious waste in a month, you are classified as a large generator.  You must register with Ohio EPA as a large infectious waste generator.  Large generators cannot put untreated infectious waste in their dumpster. They must ensure that the waste is properly treated either on-site or shipped off-site to a licensed infectious waste treatment facility.  Once rendered non-infectious through treatment, wastes can be disposed of at a licensed solid waste disposal facility.  Additional requirements for large generators include using a registered transporter, completing shipping papers, developing spill containment/clean up procedures and recording spills in a log.


For more information, see Ohio EPA's guidance document Large Generators of Infectious Waste.

Organizations that provide home health care are generators of infectious waste and are required to handle their infectious waste in compliance with the regulations. Only those infectious wastes generated by the individual for the purpose of their own care or treatment and disposed with their solid wastes are exempt from the infectious waste regulations. Therefore, a home health care organization will be either a large or small infectious waste generator.


For more information on the requirements that apply to home health care providers, see Ohio EPA's guidance document Home Health Care Providers.

Infectious wastes generated by an individual from their own medical care at home can be disposed of with your regular household trash.  Syringes should be packaged to prevent injury. You can purchase medical-grade sharps containers  at most pharmacies. You can also use any rigid, leak-proof, puncture resistant container with a tight fitting lid, such as detergent bottles, bleach bottles, two liter bottles, plastic juice containers and coffee cans (if you tape the lid shut on the can). Label the container with the word “SHARPS” on all sides in big letters to help protect your waste hauler from injury.

If you need more information, see Ohio EPA's guidance document Disposal Tips for Household Generated Sharps.


If you have additional questions, feel free to contact Ohio EPA's Division of Materials and Waste Management at (614) 644-2621.

     
McCoy, Bruce Manager (614) 728-5345
Compliance Assurance
Chapman, Barry Solid waste; infectious waste; construction & demolition debris and compliance & inspection support (614) 728-5344
Hagar, Jen  Solid waste; infectious waste; construction & demolition debris and compliance & inspection support  (614) 728-5325
Hillyer, Holly  Solid waste; infectious waste; construction & demolition debris and compliance & inspection support  (614) 728-5348
Shear, Aaron  Solid waste; infectious waste; construction & demolition debris and compliance & inspection support  (614) 728-5350 
     

     
Carroll, Jeremy Manager (614) 644-2830
Engineering, Remediation and Authorizations
Hester, Scott Supervisor, Authorizing Actions & Engineering (614) 728-5359
Ferron, Pete Authorizing actions - solid waste, infectious waste, beneficial use rules (614) 728-5367