Medical Waste Disposal

Definition of Regulated Medical Waste

Regulated medical waste is defined by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality as a waste or reusable material that contains an “etiologic agent” and is generated in the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals; research pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings; or disabling or fatal disease.  The term “etiologic agent” is synonymous with the term “infectious substance”.  Examples of RMW include:

  • Cultures and stocks of etiologic agents or live vaccines
  • Human blood, blood products, and human body fluids, except urine or feces
  • Pathological wastes consisting of human tissues, organs, and body parts removed during surgery, autopsy, biopsy and other medical procedures;
  • Untreated sharps
  • Used blood collection bags, tubes, and vials
  • Contaminated carcasses, body parts and bedding of animals intentionally exposed to pathogens in research, in the production of biologicals or the “in vivo” testing of pharmaceuticals
  • Items contaminated with blood or other human body fluids which drip freely or would release such materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed or are caked with dried blood or body fluids and are capable of releasing these materials
  • Isolation wastes unless determined to be noninfectious by the infection control committee at the health care facility
  • HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV
  • All disposable materials that have come in contact with cytotoxic or antineoplastic agents during the preparation, handling, and administration of such agents. Such wastes include, but are not limited to, masks, gloves, gowns, empty IV tubing and bags, vials, and other contaminated materials
  • Any other material or equipment which, in the determination of the health care facility staff, infection control committee or other responsible party, presents a significant danger of infection because it is contaminated with,or may reasonably be expected to be contaminated with, etiologic agents

Waste Acceptance Protocol


    • Sharps including any object capable of cutting, protruding or penetrating its packaging, including needles, syringes, scalpels, blades, broken glass, broken pipettes, dental wires, and sharp plastic.
    • Disposable items generated in the treatment of humans or animals with a known or suspected communicable disease.
    • Blood, blood products, or items saturated with blood so that it is wet or dripping such as bandages, dressings, and other disposal products.
    • Laboratory cultures and disposable items used in a laboratory setting.
    • These items are acceptable when placed as required in the appropriate containers.

Other Acceptable Wastes:

The following waste streams are acceptable providing they are segregated in containers appropriately labeled and containing the words “For Incineration Only.”

  • Pathological Waste
  • Trace Chemotherapy Waste
  • Pharmaceutical Waste not regulated under RCRA as hazardous or DEA as a controlled substance.



CWS does not accept any waste regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as hazardous, ignitable, corrosive, toxic, etc, nor any of the following wastes: Bulk liquids, radioactive waste, heads, torsos, human fetuses, human fetal tissue, infectious substances rated either Category A by USDOT or at or above Biosafety Level 4 by CDC. Further CWS does not accept any Controlled Substance as defined by the Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), or any chemical waste of any kind.

CWS maintains the right to refuse to accept any waste that due to packaging, labeling, or questions about contents brings into question the conformity of the waste. Should CWS receive any non-conforming waste without prior knowledge it may be returned to the generator for proper disposal.