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Infectious Waste

Infectious waste is defined by the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) rules (410 IAC 1-3-10) and Indiana code IC 16-41-16-4 as waste capable of transmitting a dangerous communicable disease. Infectious waste includes pathological wastes, such as tissue, organs and body parts, contaminated sharps, biological cultures, blood and blood products in liquid or semiliquid form, laboratory animal carcasses, body parts, bedding, infectious agent stock, and other waste.

According to IC 16-41-16 and 410 IAC 1-3-22, generators and those who provide services to generators are responsible for proper containment, labeling, effective treatment, transport, and disposal of infectious wastes. IDEM regulates offsite management of infectious wastes by businesses. Infectious waste must be treated or incinerated before it can be disposed of in a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill (MSWLF).

Transporting Infectious Waste Off-Site

Treated and untreated infectious waste will need to comply with labeling and shipping requirements specified in 410 IAC 1-3. All persons and facilities subject to the Infectious Waste rule who are transporting infectious waste off-site, whether effectively treated or not, must:

  • Mark containers of infectious waste with a label that states the name, address, and telephone number of the generating facility and treatment facility, if applicable
  • Provide a form that contains:
    • The name, address, and telephone number of the generating facility and treatment facility, if applicable
    • A brief description of the waste and the method of effective treatment
    • The signature of a responsible person

Required information may be enclosed between the secondary packaging and the outer packaging, when such packaging is used. The outer packaging must contain a biohazard symbol.

Infectious Waste at Transfer Stations and Processing Facilities

A transfer station must not accept infectious waste, except as provided in the Indiana State of Health rule 410 IAC 1-3-26 and 329 IAC 11-13.5-15. A transfer station must have approval to receive treated and/or untreated infectious waste. Any untreated infectious waste accidently received a transfer station needs to be stored and transported off-site as described in 410 IAC 1-3-25 (storage) and 410 IAC 1-3-28 (label and manifest), and shipped in outer packaging with a biohazard symbol label.

If treated infectious waste will be managed at this facility, it must be stored in a secure location separate from the general waste stream until loaded in a transfer trailer. The trailer must be marked with a biohazard symbol label.

Processing facilities accepting treated or untreated infectious waste must have operations plan for tracking labeling, manifests, secure storage area, etc. (329 IAC 11-13.5-15 and 410 IAC 1-3-28).

Treated and untreated infectious waste will need to comply with labeling and shipping requirements specified in 410 IAC 1-3.

IDEM permits treatment of infectious waste like autoclaving, microwaving, ozonation or incineration.

Infectious Waste Treatment

Medical or infectious waste treatment facility must have processing facility permit regulated by 329 IAC 11. IDEM permits treatment of infectious waste like autoclaving, microwaving, ozonation or incineration. A treatment is effective if it reduces the pathogenic qualities of infectious waste designed for specific infectious waste involved and is carried out in a manner consistent with 410 IAC 1.3.