California Biohazard Waste Disposal Services

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Biohazardous Waste

Biohazard waste is also known as regulated medical waste, infectious waste, and red bag waste. Biohazard waste is any waste which has been contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIMs) capable of causing harm to public health and the environment.

Biohazard disposal in California involves strict regulations due to the capability of transmitting infectious disease.

Biohazard Waste Categories

Biohazard waste has 4 general categories:

Solid Waste

Non-sharps items contaminated with blood or OPIMs such as contaminated gloves and PPE, cultures and stocks, or blood tubing.

Liquid Waste

Liquid items like blood or blood products and body fluids contaminated with blood.

Sharps Waste

Sharps materials or devices that are capable of piercing skin that has been in contact with potentially infectious biological material.

Pathological Waste

Any unfixed human organs, tissues, or body parts (excluding teeth) that are deemed a biological risk such as human tissue, contaminated animal carcasses, and organs.

California Medical Waste Management Act

The California Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA) of California's Department of Health is a 59 page document with regulations on the generation, handling, storage, treatment, and disposal of medical waste and biohazardous waste.

California has strict requirements and it is important that you handle your biohazard waste in line with state and federal regulations to maintain compliance.


Biohazard Waste Types

Being able to classify and segregate biohazard waste is a key part of compliance with the MWMA. You should be segregating your biohazardous waste into the following categories and containers:

Biohazardous Waste

Any waste which has been contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials.

Blood and blood products

Such as waste blood, body fluids contaminated with animal or human blood, and any materials that come into contact with blood.

Cultures or Stocks of infectious agents

Such as materials that may have come into contact with bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens in a laboratory setting.


Such as gloves and gowns that came into contact with potentially infectious agents.

Sharps Waste

Any medical device or material that can pierce the skin and contains potentially infectious materials.




Pathological Waste

Any tissues, organs, body parts, or materials involved in surgery, autopsy, and other medical procedures.

Animal or human tissues


Human or animal body parts

Red Biohazard Waste Bags

Biohazard Disposal

Biohazard waste has 4 general categories:

Anytime you generate non-sharps biohazardous wastes, it should be placed into a red biohazard bag (not to exceed 3 pounds or 1 gallon), tied to prevent any potential leakage, and placed into its respective biohazard container.

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Biohazard Containers

Things like pharmaceutical waste and hazardous waste have their own respective containers and should not be mixed with your biomedical waste.

Biohazard waste container:

Rigid, leak proof, has tight fitting covers, and is kept in good condition. Labeled with the biohazard symbol and the words "BIOHAZARD" on the lid and both sides.

Pathology waste container

Rigid, leak proof, has tight fitting covers, and is kept in good condition. Labeled with the biohazard symbol and the words "PATH" or "Pathology Waste" on the lid and both sides. Only pathological waste should go into this container.

Sharps containers:

Puncture resistant, sealable, and labeled as "sharps waste" with the international biohazard symbol. Should have a 3/4ths fill line and be sealed for disposal once this line is reached. A sharps container ensures that needles and other sharps waste don't poke through red bags and harm healthcare workers or waste workers.

Designated Accumulation Area

All of your regulated medical waste and biohazardous waste containers should be kept inside of a designated accumulation area. This area should have clear biohazardous waste warning signs which are legible from at least 25 feet away in both English and Spanish, be secured, and deny access.

medical waste disposal biohazardous waste warning


Biohazard Collection

It is important that biohazardous waste generated is disposed of at an appropriate time frame.

For generators of more than 20 pounds of biohazardous waste per month:

At least every 7 days if kept above 32 Fahrenheit

At least every 90 days if kept below 32 Fahrenheit


Treatment and Disposal

Biohazardous waste must be treated to eliminate any potential health hazards to human health and the environment. A biohazardous waste disposal company will haul away your infectious waste from the healthcare facilities for treatment so it can be properly disposed of. Medical waste disposal companies are licensed to transport medical waste safely.

An essential part of medical waste generation is ensuring waste streams are properly disinfected. Medical waste can contain blood or other potentially infectious materials that cause disease and often contain hazardous waste which can be harmful to the environment. After the waste is treated, it becomes non hazardous waste and can be disposed of like regular waste.


Incinerating medical waste is a common method which involves burning the medical waste at extremely high temperatures, reducing the waste to just gases and ashes. The process involves heating the waste to 800 to 1200 degrees Celsius to destroy all infectious agents.


Autoclaving medical waste is another common method for treating biohazardous waste. This process involves placing the waste in a chamber and killing biological materials using high heat steam and pressure.


Medical waste is shredded and then sterilized using electromagnetic waves. It is shredded into very small pieces and then disinfected by electromagnetic waves for around one hour until all potentially infectious materials are gone.


Regulated Medical Waste Disposal Experts in California

Eco Medical has been collecting, transporting, and disposing of biohazard waste since 2013 in California. Contact us today for a compliant and cost-effective solution to your biohazard waste.

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