Medical Waste Disposal in California

Get a free quote now for a complete solution to all of your medical waste needs.


Eco Medical is here for all of your medical waste disposal needs.

Whether you are a large or small generator of biohazard waste, Eco Medical offers medical waste disposal specifically tailored to you and your facilities needs.


Medical Waste Disposal and Management

Eco Medical Waste Disposal will:

Communicate to understand your biohazard disposal needs

Offer an all inclusive “pick up” price at a frequency that is compliant with state and local laws

Send you your compliance login and provide manifests for tracking and certifications of destruction

Supply you with biohazard containers

Haul away your biomedical waste and dispose of it with compliance

Have local service representatives readily available to answer your calls

Medical waste disposal


What is Medical Waste?

According to the California Medical Waste Management Act - Medical waste is any biohazard, pathology, pharmaceutical, or trace chemotherapy waste not regulated by the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act generated in a health care setting in the diagnosis, treatment, immunization, or care of humans or animals.

Of all healthcare waste generated, 15 to 25% is regulated medical waste or infectious waste and contains potentially infectious agents.

Red biohazard containers and bags are used in healthcare today to properly dispose of needles, sharps, syringes, personal protective equipment, and many other medical care materials that contain blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIMs).

Medical waste disposal


Biohazard Waste Types

Liquid Biohazardous Waste

Bulk quantities of blood, blood products, or bodily fluids contaminated with animal or human blood.

Solid Biohazardous Waste

Any non-sharps solid waste contaminated with blood or OPIMs such as contaminated PPE, culture plates, and pipettes.

Sharps Biohazardous Waste

Any device capable of puncturing through skin that is contaminated with biological materials with a risk of transmission of infectious disease such as used needles, syringes, and scalpels.

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.

Medical Waste Types

The World Health Organization identifies the following types of medical waste:
infectious, pathological, sharps, chemical, pharmaceutical, cytotoxic, radioactive, and general waste.

For the purposes of medical waste disposal and management, including using the correct containers for each waste stream.

Regulated Medical Waste

Other Waste in Healthcare Settings

Pharmaceutical Waste

Unused over the counter drugs or medications that are not hazardous as defined by the RCRA.

Hazardous Waste

Any waste defined as hazardous waste by the RCRA such as chemical waste and hazardous waste pharmaceuticals.

Non Hazardous Waste

Regular waste generated from trash items like plastic wrappings, office paper, floor sweepings, paper towels, and other regular waste generated.


Different Names for Medical Waste

There are many terms for medical waste that often refer to the same thing - medical waste stream that may be contaminated by blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials and poses significant health hazards.

Each of these terms can be used in substitute of another, and will differ depending on your location.

Medical waste

Regulated medical waste

Clinical waste

Biomedical waste

Laboratory Waste

Biohazard waste

Healthcare waste


Medical Waste Regulations

Agencies with medical waste disposal regulations include:

Environmental Protection Agency


Regulations regarding the safety of human and environmental health, including medical waste handling and disposal.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration


Regulations which ensure safety of workers with occupational exposure to hazardous materials, including regulated and hazardous medical waste.

Drug Enforcement Agency


Regulations regarding the disposal and storage of controlled substances such as some prescription medications.

U.S. Department of Transportation


Regulations related to the packaging, labeling, and transportation of medical waste.

Centers for Disease Control


Regulations related to reducing the risk of spreading diseases when handling and disposing of medical waste.

Medical waste is regulated by state health departments and lack of compliance can result in fines, injuries, and environmental issues.

What happens to Medical Waste?

Medical waste is generated by healthcare facilities or medical research facilities, placed into the appropriate waste container, and stored in an accumulation area before it is transported to a treatment facility and undergoes a treatment method to kill any pathogens in infectious medical waste so the treated waste is no longer a health or environmental hazard.


How to dispose of Medical Waste

Most medical waste problems can be avoided by simply following all healthcare waste laws which are designed to protect healthcare workers, the community, and the environment. Here are some the best practices for disposing of medical waste:

Be knowledgeable on all state regulations and guidelines

Regulations differ from state to state. Ensure you are abiding by all state and federal regulations.

Wear personal protective equipment (PPE)

Whenever there is occupational exposure, appropriate PPE such as gloves, gowns, coats, and any other necessary protections.

Provide all necessary trainings

Properly classifying, handling, and storing medical waste all starts with training your healthcare workers. RMW training and bloodborne pathogens trainings are 2 essential trainings.

Waste Segregation

Each waste stream has a specific storage container to protect waste workers and ensure the medical wastes are appropriately treated for disposal. Color coding containers is an easy way to properly segregate wastes.

Ensure all containers are compliant and labeled appropriately

Containers have specific regulations and labels. For example, sharps containers have a fill line at 3/4ths of the container and must be sealed for disposal.

Store your waste in a designated accumulation area

Your medical waste containers should be kept in a designated accumulation area which prevents access from unauthorized personnel.

Pay attention to accumulation times

Each stream of waste has a specific accumulation time to abide by. Medical waste must be transported for treatment within a compliant timeframe.

Hire the right medical waste disposal company

They will have medical waste disposal services and do medical waste pickups at a compliant frequency and can provide advice on compliant practices.

Retain all necessary documentation

Maintain all certificates of training, tracking records, and destruction records. Depending on your state and size of your facility, you may need to retain tracking and destruction documents for waste management for 3 years.


Medical Waste Management

Medical waste generators such as hospitals, dental practices, and research laboratories have 3 options for management medical waste in California.

Off-Site treatment

A medical waste disposal company will pick up and haul away your medical waste at a frequency of your choosing. This is the most popular method of medical waste disposal for healthcare.

Mail back Solution

You will package up your medical waste and mail it away for treatment

On-Site Treatment

The waste generator will have all the necessary specialized equipment, trained personnel, and expertise on site to do medical waste treatment and disposal on site.

Regardless of the option you choose for your infectious medical waste, it will undergo an approved treatment to kill any infectious material before disposal.


Medical Waste Treatment Methods

Most commonly, medical waste disposal services will pickup your waste and take it to a treatment facility. Medical waste can not go to regular landfills without being properly disinfected. The process involves sterilizing the waste streams to kill any infectious agents. Here are the most common treatment methods:

Incineration medical waste disposal


Incineration involves burning medical waste at extremely high temperatures. The waste is loaded into an incinerator and burned at over 800 degrees Celsius.

Autoclave medical waste disposal


Autoclaves use steam sterilization and high pressure to kill infectious agents. Steam sterilization is performed using boiling water and is trapped by the autoclave to create pressure and kill any microorganisms.

Chemical medical waste disposal


Sterilization of medical waste using chemical treatment such as soaking the waste in a solution or using a sealed chamber and chemical gasses.

Microwave medical waste disposal


Disinfecting waste using electromagnetic waves which vibrate and create heat to kill pathogens.


Medical Waste Resources

Medical Waste Management Act - California Health and Safety Code Sections 117600 - 118360 covers everything you need to know about managing clinical waste in California.

Healthcare Environment Resources - State-by-State Regulated Medical Waste Resource Locator.

Environmental Compliance Assistance Platform - California Medical Waste.


Have a question? Our team is happy to assist you!

Get a free quote now for a complete solution to all of your medical waste needs.

Sales Number +1 (707) 840-3423

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