In the state of Arizona, medical waste disposal and storage is regulated by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
—the state agency tasked with preventing air, water and land pollution and ensuring comprehensive cleanup and remediation.
The first step in successfully complying with Arizona’s medical waste requirements is to fully understand what they entail. Although the state’s regulations span a variety of topics, here are some key points related to storage of which to be aware:
- Storage areas for biohazardous waste are required to be secured so as to restrict access to authorized persons.
- The storage area cannot be used to store substances for human consumption or for medical supplies. So, for example, a healthcare organization cannot keep food or medical supplies in the same location in which the biohazardous medical waste is stored. However, it can place a container of biohazardous medical waste alongside a container of solid waste, as long as the two waste types are clearly identified and not allowed to co-mingle.
- Putrescible biohazardous waste stored over 7 days must be refrigerated. Biohazardous waste may be stored for 90 days maximum. The storage area should be protected from the elements and any possible vermin. If there are any spills or objectionable odors, they must be dealt with promptly in accordance with requirements stated in the regulations available at the above cited website.
- Signage for the storage area should be clear and prominently displayed. The state requires that the universal biohazard symbol be displayed with warning signs in both English and Spanish. See regulations for details concerning specific required verbiage.
Note that the abovementioned points are just some of the regulations Arizona requires. A complete list can be found here
, under the Biohazardous Medical Waste section that is found in Article 14.
Stericycle stands ready to help healthcare organizations understand and comply with the regulations and properly dispose of medical waste. With deep experience in servicing thousands of customers across Arizona and beyond, we offer a total solution for practices, facilities or businesses—keeping healthcare organizations one step ahead of regulatory demands.