Medical Waste Disposal Regulations

Medical Compliance

Medical sharps disposal regulations vary from state to state. ENVCAP.ORG provides a convenient online resource for one to research the particular regulations governing medical waste destruction and disposal.

Sharps, due to their inherent ability to provide a portal of entry, must be managed properly regardless of their contamination status. Disposal of special waste from health care-related facilities in sanitary landfills or otherwise is under the jurisdiction of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and is governed by its rules found in Title 30, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 330.

Section 38 of chapter 330, Title 30 in the Texas Administrative Code says the following of Sharps Disposal:

38. Sharps.

  1. All discarded unused sharps shall be disposed of in accordance with Title 30, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 330.
  2. Contaminated sharps shall be subjected to one of the following methods of treatment and disposal.
    1. Hypodermic needles, and hypodermic syringes with attached needles, shall be subjected to one of the following methods of treatment and disposal:
  3. chemical disinfection, and if the item can cause puncture wounds, placement in a puncture-resistant, leak-proof container followed by deposition in a sanitary landfill;
  4. steam disinfection, and if the item can cause puncture wounds, placement in a puncture-resistant container followed by deposition in a sanitary landfill;
  5. incineration, and if the item can cause puncture wounds, placement in a puncture-resistant container followed by deposition in a sanitary landfill;
  6. encapsulation in a matrix which will solidify and significantly reduce the possibility of puncture wounds followed by deposition in a sanitary landfill;
  7. moist heat disinfection followed by deposition in a sanitary landfill;
  8. chlorine disinfection/maceration followed by deposition in a sanitary landfill; or
  9. an approved alternate treatment process, provided that the process renders the item as unrecognizable and can no longer cause puncture wounds, followed by deposition in a sanitary landfill.
    1. Razor blades, disposable razors, and disposable scissors used in surgery, labor and delivery, or other medical procedures; and scalpel blades shall be subjected to one of the following methods of treatment and disposal:

For the complete Texas Administrative Code Title 30 Environmental Quality, Part 1 Chapter 330, Subchapter Y, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Municipal Solid Waste Medical Waste Management, click here.