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Infectious Waste Regulation - Overview

Picture of Infectious WasteThe Infectious Waste Program regulates generators and transporters of infectious waste in South Carolina as well as facilities that treat infectious waste.

In South Carolina, there are approximately 7000 registered generators of infectious waste, 17 registered transporters of infectious waste, and 1 registered treatment facility for infectious waste.

What is Infectious Waste?

Also known as medical or biohazardous waste, infectious waste is material that was used in healthcare, research or postmortem exams. It includes:

  • Sharps — any waste that may cause a puncture or cut
  • Microbiological specimens — culture dishes, vaccines and other waste that has been exposed to human pathogenic agents
  • Blood and blood products — unabsorbed blood or blood products or absorbed blood when the absorbent is supersaturated (drips when squeezed)
  • Pathological waste — parts removed from the human body (unless preserved by a preserving agent) and certain body fluids
  • Contaminated animal waste — parts, bodies and bedding of animals exposed to human pathogens
  • Isolation waste — waste from Biosafety Level 4 agents
  • Other waste — any other waste designated as infectious or any material that has come in contact with infectious waste.

Regulations

The regulations describe the registration process, explain what is considered infectious waste and what is exempted, and define treatment processes. There are three classes of generators, defined by the weight of waste generated in a calendar month:

  • Small quantity
  • Large quantity
  • Extra-large quantity

Infectious waste created in South Carolina does not have to be treated in South Carolina, but any person or company that generates or transports infectious waste in South Carolina must be registered.