Environmental Health Service - Environmental Compliance

What is Regulated Medical Waste (RMW)

Regulated Medical Waste is waste generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals which is capable of causing disease or which, if not handled properly, poses a risk to individuals or a community.

Examples of regulated medical waste are: cultures, stocks, vaccines, pathological waste. Articles caked, saturated, or dripping with blood, needles, vials, test tubes, pipettes, and animal waste.

General Waste VS. Regulated Medical Waste

General waste (uncontaminated paper, debris, pizza boxes, and plastic wrapping..etc) costs $.08 per pound whereas Regulated medical waste costs $.56 per pound. Correctly segregating general and medical waste saves tax payer money.

Steps to managing residential SHARPs

  1. Store sharps in an approved sharp container or in a rigid, puncture resistant and sealable container like those used for:
    • Liquid laundry detergent
    • Cooking oil
    • Household bleach
    Do not store in:
    • Paper or plastic bags
    • Cardboard or paper containers
    • Glass containers
    • Soda bottles, milk jugs or aluminum cans

  2. Make a small hole in the neck of the bottle. This allows air to escape
  3. Label your container with a biohazard sticker, or with the words “Sharps—Do Not Recycle,” if not already marked.
  4. Always drop sharps, needle first, into container.
  5. Continue adding until container is ¾ full. Do not overfill.
  6. Secure lid or cap tightly on container.
  7. Tape lid closed.
  8. Take sharp containers to one of the free disposal sites listed below.

Dispose of your residential sharps for free at:

Tacoma Landfill
Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Site

3510 South Mullen ST (Tacoma)

Pierce County Transfer Station

17925 Meridian E (Puyallup)

South Prairie Transfer Station

11710 Prairie Ridge DR E (Sumner)

Purdy Transfer Station

14515 54th AVE NW (Gig Harbor)

Key Center Transfer Station

5900 Key Peninsula North (Lakebay)

If you are unable to transport your sharps, you may place containers that are marked, closed and sealed in your regular trash can.

DO NOT bring your SHARPS back to Madigan.

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