A. Applicability. These regulations apply to:
1. All hospitals, medical and dental clinics, medical laboratories, nursing or intermediate care facilities, veterinary facilities, and other institutions that may generate biomedical waste as defined in SHDC 2.15.040, without regard to the quantity of infectious waste produced per month;
2. Businesses and individuals storing, treating, and/or transporting for disposal, biomedical waste. These requirements shall not apply to residentially generated biomedical waste from single-family dwellings unless specifically addressed in these regulations; and
3. Individuals that may generate medical or infectious wastes in quantity or quality sufficient to constitute a potential public health problem as determined by the Health Officer on a case-by-case basis.
B. Biomedical Waste Management Plan. Each facility shall follow a written biomedical waste management plan that includes specific policies and procedures covering the handling, treatment, transportation, storage and disposal of biomedical waste. The plan should include procedures for accidents or spills of biomedical waste. The plan shall be available for review by the Health Officer upon request.
C. Storage and Handling.
1. Biomedical wastes shall be segregated from the general medical waste stream at the point of origin and stored in separate containers.
2. Biomedical waste with multiple hazards (e.g., toxic, radioactive, or other hazardous chemicals) shall be segregated from the general biomedical waste stream when additional or alternative treatment is required, or in cases where the wastes are regulated under state or federal authority.
3. Sharps waste shall be contained for storage, transportation, treatment, and disposal in sharps waste containers. Sharps waste containers must be leak-proof, rigid, puncture-resistant and red containers that are taped closed or tightly lidded to prevent the loss of contents.
4. Each container used for the containment of biomedical waste shall be marked with a prominent warning sign, in English, that includes the word(s) “Biohazard,” “Biomedical” or “Infectious Waste.”
5. Reusable containers for biomedical waste shall be thoroughly washed and disinfected by a method approved by the Health Officer each time they are emptied, unless the surfaces of such containers have been completely protected from contamination by disposable bags, liners or other devices removed with the waste.
6. Biomedical waste storage, including vehicles used to transport biomedical waste, and treatment areas shall be accessible to authorized personnel only, marked with a prominent warning sign, in English, that includes the word(s) “Biohazard,” “Biomedical” or “Infectious Waste” and kept clean and free of all vectors capable of transmitting disease. Warning signs shall be readily legible from a distance of at least 25 feet. Vehicles shall have signs legible from a distance of 50 feet.
7. The handling and storage of all biomedical waste must prevent the dissemination of biomedical waste into the environment.
8. Floors of storage areas shall be of impervious material to prevent saturation of liquid and semi-liquid substances, and a perimeter curb is recommended to contain spills. Storage areas shall also be well lighted and ventilated.
9. Storage time of biomedical waste before treatment shall be kept to a minimum if not treated the same day as generated.
D. Treatment. All biomedical waste shall be treated in an autoclave, incinerator, retort or other approved process to render it harmless prior to disposal at a disposal site approved by the Health Officer. It is the responsibility of the generator to provide for and assure effective treatment of all biomedical waste generated on site.
1. Biomedical waste shall not be disposed of prior to treatment, as described in subsection (D) of this section. All biomedical waste, including medical waste that has been rendered harmless and noninfectious waste, shall be disposed of at a solid waste disposal site approved by the Health Officer.
2. All human or animal body parts, fetuses, and other pathological specimens shall be disposed of either by appropriate interment, incineration, or other method approved by the Health Officer.
3. Untreated liquid and liquefied biomedical waste may be disposed of by release into a sanitary sewage system if approved by the jurisdictional sewer utility. The Health Officer shall have the authority to require the treatment of any biomedical liquid waste in accordance with subsection (D) of this section prior to release into a sanitary sewage system if deemed necessary to protect the public health.
F. Sharps. Residentially generated sharps waste shall comply with the following standards:
1. Sharps waste shall be contained in sharps waste containers;
2. Sharps waste shall not be disposed of in any recycling container unless the container is specifically designated for sharps waste;
3. Sharps waste shall not be disposed of in refuse collection containers (e.g., garbage cans, garbage bags, dumpsters, etc.) if a source-separated collection service is provided for residential sharps waste by the public or private solid waste collection service provider; and
4. Providers of source-separated residential sharps collection shall be in compliance with the standards of Chapter 70.95K RCW.
G. Contingency Plan. Generators of all medical waste must develop and abide by a contingency plan for the treatment of biomedical waste should failure of the primary biomedical waste treatment system occur. This plan shall be available for review by the Health Officer upon request.
H. Inspection. The Health Officer shall have the authority to enter any biomedical waste generating facility, at any reasonable time, for the purpose of determining if medical waste is being stored, handled, treated, and/or disposed of in accordance with this section.
I. Solid Waste Handling Permit. Any facility storing, handling, transporting, treating, or disposing of biomedical waste found to be in violation of this section may be required to obtain a solid waste handling permit. Persons required to obtain a solid waste handling permit shall renew the permit annually during the active life of the facility. A permit may be issued or denied for one or more activities without simultaneously issuing or denying a permit for all activities. [Res. 04-06. Prior code § 3.1(XIX)].