Q&A: Vial and Syringe Disposal

Recently, we received the following question from a customer: How should we dispose of our vials and syringes? Should they be discarded separately from wastes contaminated with blood or OPIM?

Here’s our answer:

OSHA does not specify how medical wastes other than “regulated waste” (i.e., waste contaminated with blood or other infectious material, including contaminated sharps, should be handled. Regulated wastes go in the biohazard red bag/box. Other wastes are regulated under environmental rules for disposal.

Wyoming DEQ recommends that medical wastes be placed in “red-bags” for proper identification of the waste to ensure handler safety and avoid potential exposure…sharps should be adequately contained in rigid containers and identified. Click the following link to the U.S. EPA guidance document that Wyoming DEQ recommends at EPA Guide for Infectious Waste Management.

So there are no Wyoming regulations that address the packaging and disposal of “vials and injectables”. The Wyoming solid waste landfill to which these materials are being sent may itself have some requirements as to how it wants the materials to be packaged for disposal. Perhaps your disposal company is passing on the landfill’s requirement regarding packaging.

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