Go Green Solutions, LLC

Mail Code: 401-02C
Division of Solid
Waste and Hazardous Waste
Bureau of Recycling and Hazardous Waste Management
P.O. Box 420
401 East State Street, 2nd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0420
Telephone: (609) 984-3438 Telecopier: (609) 777-1951

Guidance Document For
Regulated Medical Waste (RMW)

(Updated July 2016)

The information outlined herein is intended to
serve only as guidance to persons interested in understanding
the regulation of RMW management in New Jersey. This guidance
must be consulted in conjunction with the solid waste regulations
at N.J.A.C. 7:26 et seq. and other relevant regulations to understand
the complete requirements for the management of RMW. For the
reader’s convenience, an unofficial version of N.J.A.C. 7:26
et seq. can be found using the “N.J.A.C. 7:26 Solid Waste Rule” link in the Helpful Links section of the Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management’s web
page at https://www.state.nj.us./dep/dshw
or directly by using the Web link https://www.nj.gov/dep/dshw/resource/rules.html
. To obtain official copies of these regulations, consult the NJDEP Office of Legal Affairs “How to Get Copies of Department Rules” page at https://www.nj.gov/dep/legal/get_rule.htm

This guidance document summarizes the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection’s (Department) regulations
at N.J.A.C. 7:26 et seq. pertaining to the requirements for
the management, transportation and disposal of RMW. The guidance
document is intended only as a guide to the regulations to help
the reader understand the regulations and does not replace the
regulations in any context.

In 1987 two significant beach closings took place
along the Monmouth/Ocean County coast in New Jersey. This was
the result of washups of medical waste and other floatable debris,
the source of which was never identified. Although subsequent
washups had little if any medical waste the image of a syringe
in the eye of the public was not soon forgotten and strict federal
legislation, the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 (MWTA),
was enacted. Among the requirements of the MWTA the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was required to: 1) list
the types of medical waste to be tracked; 2) develop a uniform
cradle-to-grave tracking system; 3) set standards, as part of
the tracking system, for segregation, packaging, labeling, record-keeping
and reporting; and 4) consider a small quantity exemption from
tracking for generators of less than 50 pounds of regulated
medical waste (RMW) per month.

As a result of these wash-up incidents and others
on the Atlantic coast, stringent RMW disposal laws were enacted
in New Jersey which was based on the MWTA. A heightened public
awareness regarding the proper management and disposal of RMW
also resulted. Today, approximately 20,000 RMW generators in
the state of New Jersey dispose of an estimated 89,000 tons
of RMW annually. New Jersey’s medical waste regulations at N.J.A.C.
, federal EPA regulations, and United States Department
of Transportation regulations governing the interstate transport
of RMW, will ensure that RMW continues to be managed safely.
As a result of these measures, incidents of improper or unsafe
medical waste are uncommon.

In New Jersey, RMW consists of several classes,
including Cultures and Stocks of infectious agents and associated
biologicals, Human Pathological Waste, Human Blood and Blood
Products, Needles Syringes and Sharps, Contaminated Animal Waste
including carcasses, Isolation Wastes from patients with highly
communicable diseases. Each of these classes of RMW are required
to be treated (to kill pathogens or disease-causing organisms)
and destroyed (ground or minced into small unrecognizable pieces)
prior to disposal at an authorized solid waste management facility.
Such treatment and destruction can be achieved, depending on
the waste type, through autoclaving, incineration, or with an
alternative treatment technology (e.g., microwave, chemical
disinfection, electro-thermal and steam-thermal treatment) approved
by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and
the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH)
per N.J.A.C. 7:26-3A.47.

There are currently 10 facilities in New
Jersey that are registered to treat and destroy their own RMW
on site via various methods which include incineration or an
alternative technology such as but not limited to microwave/grinders,
chemical/grinders, autoclave/grinders. These sites process a
portion of the estimated 89,000 tons of RMW generated in New Jersey each
year including small amounts accepted from other registered
New Jersey RMW generators. There are currently no commercial
treatment and destruction facilities processing RMW in New Jersey.
The remainder of the RMW is shipped out of state to authorized

NJDEP, in conjunction with NJDOH, regulates
medical pursuant to the RMW regulations at N.J.A.C.
7:26-3A (RMW Regulations)

The RMW Program goal is to protect health care
providers and workers, waste haulers, refuse workers and the
general public from potential health risks associated with RMW.
The Department of Environmental Protection and the Department
of Health and Senior Services jointly share responsibilities
to administer this program:

Registers RMW Generators;
RMW Transporter Inspections;
Annual Reports;
Technical Assistance;
Authorize Alternative Technologies
RMW Generator Inspections
Needlestick Incident Investigations
RMW Abandonments and Emergencies
Efficacy Assessment of Alternative Technologies

For further information on the disposal of medical
waste please feel free to contact the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection’s Regulated Medical Waste Section
in the Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management at (609) 984-6620,
or email us at [email protected]
You may contact the New Jersey Department of Health’s Consumer, Environmental and Occupational Health Services at (609) 826-4941.
Additional informational documents are provided below: https://www.state.nj.us/health/phss/sanitation.shtml#medical

Available RMW Resources

Available Guidance and Resources for Home Care Waste


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