June 03, 2022

Regulated Medical Waste Shipping Paper Guide

If you generate regulated medical waste (RMW) and send it off site for treatment, it is important to understand that documentation is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to help track medical waste from its point of generation to treatment. In addition to DOT requirements, the transportation of RMW may be subject to additional state and local regulations.

What Is the Purpose of Shipping Papers?

The purpose of a shipping paper is to describe and document the material being transported, and record each handler of the material. Different portions of the shipping paper must be completed by the person offering the material for shipment (an RMW generator), the transporter, any intermediate handlers, and by the end destination facility (such as an RMW treatment facility). RMW shipping papers vary by state, but generally contain the following information: 

  • Generator name, address, phone number
  • Transporter name, address, phone number
  • Treatment facility name, address, phone number
  • Signatures and dates for each transfer/receipt
  • Description of waste
  • Container type
  • Number of containers and quantity
  • Generator Certification

RMW Treatment and Disposal

Beyond shipping papers, the generation, storage, shipping, transportation, treatment and disposal of RMW is subject to regulation at the local, state, and federal level. Some examples include:

  • The DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations which, as noted above, include requirements for shipping papers  and packaging
  • The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
  • State health department and/or environmental agency regulations
  • Local city or county regulations

With Stericycle, Your Facility Can Take Steps to Maintain Compliance

Learn more about our regulated medical waste service and how we can help you take steps to protect your practice.

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