The definition of regulated medical waste (RMW) varies by state. Stericycle provides regulatory expertise throughout the RMW lifecycle, to help manage the safe and responsible packaging, transportation, treatment, and disposal of medical waste.
- Step 1 – Segregation: Once you generate waste, you must separate waste types based on the guidelines set by Stericycle’s Waste Acceptance Policy and any applicable state or local requirements. There are specific containers for biohazardous waste, sharps waste, and trace chemotherapy waste.
Step 2 – Packaging and Labeling: Next, package and label the waste based on the guidelines and requirements set by the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the state you are located in. It is important to ensure all waste bags are properly tied and any boxes containing pathological waste are marked “for incineration only.”
- Step 3 – Storage: Once you have packaged your waste, store it in your facility until your scheduled pickup. It is important to note that storage requirements for medical waste vary by state.
- Step 4 – Pickup and Documentation: At your scheduled pickup time, a Stericycle driver will arrive at your facility, transport the waste to the truck and provide you with new containers. They will also provide you with the required shipping papers, which you will be asked to sign, and then be given a copy to retain for your records.
- Step 5 – Transportation: The driver safely transports your waste to a Stericycle facility in accordance with DOT and other applicable transportation standards.
- Step 6 – Treatment and Disposal: Waste is treated to be rendered non-infectious, typically at an autoclave or incineration facility, and then is disposed of in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations. Biohazardous and sharps waste are autoclaved, while incineration is also used to a lesser extent for certain materials that need to be destroyed such as pathological wastes and trace chemotherapy and is required in some states.
- Step 7 – Records Retention: Waste shipping papers are retained by the generator and Stericycle for the required period to ensure compliance. Records are easily accessible on our customer portal, MyStericycle.com. Record retention periods may vary by state.
Our holistic approach to healthcare waste management enables us to serve communities across the U.S. Every day, we protect what matters so you can work in a safer environment, live in a healthier community, and enjoy the world around you knowing your health and well-being are being protected.
We protect what matters.