North Carolina Medical Waste Disposal Regulations

Raleigh medical waste disposal

Medical Waste Disposal Regulations in North Carolina

In 1903 the Wright Brothers made the first successful powered flight by man at Kill Devil Hill near Kitty Hawk. This is one of the many great historic achievements that took place in North Carolina. In addition to having a rich history, North Carolina has its own rules and regulations regarding the management and disposal of medical waste and waste produced in a clinical setting.

Classifications of Waste

Medical waste means any solid waste which is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research and testing, but does not include any hazardous waste, radioactive waste, household waste or those substances excluded from the definition of solid waste.

Regulated medical waste means blood and body fluids in individual containers in volumes greater than 20 ml, microbiological waste, and pathological waste that have not been treated pursuant to .1207. (definition of treatment) or those substances excluded from the definition of solid waste.

Types of Wastes

Microbiological Waste:

  • cultures and stocks of infectious agents
  • specimens from medical, pathological, pharmaceutical, research and industrial laboratories

Pathological Waste:

  • Human tissues, organs and body parts
  • Carcasses and body parts of animals that were known to have been exposed to pathogens potentially dangerous to humans during research or died of a known disease transmissible to humans

Blood and Body Fluids:

  • liquid blood, serum, plasma, and other blood products
  • emulsified human tissue
  • spinal fluids
  • pleural and peritoneal fluids
  • this does not refer to blood absorbed by materials such as bandages or dressings

Sharps Disposal

Sharps must be packaged in a container that is rigid, leak-proof when in an upright position, and puncture-resistant. Sharps includes needles, syringes with needles, capillary tubes, slides, cover slips, and scalpel blades. Sharps cannot be processed in small compaction units inside the generating facility.

Sharps generated in a private household are not subject to the medical waste management rules. However, home users should place sharps in a hard wall container before disposal to protect collectors from needlesticks.

Learn more about MedPro Disposal’s mail-back sharps container disposal service.

Storage Requirements

Regulated medical waste being treated off-site must be:

  • In a plastic bag inside of a rigid fiberboard box or drum in a manner that prevents leakage of the contents
  • The outer surface must be labeled with a biohazard symbol
  • Labeled with the words “infectious waste” or “medical waste”; the date of shipment; and the name, address and phone number of the generator, transporter, storage facility and treatment facility

All medical waste must be stored in a manner so as not to create a nuisance either by noxious odors or by encouraging the presence of vermin. It also must be stored in a manner that maintains the integrity including labels and markings. Areas used to store regulated medical waste must be accessible only to authorized personnel.


To learn more about biohazard waste disposal companies in North Carolina, see where we service medical waste pickup

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 image: Mark Turner
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