Biomedical Waste

Public Health General Provisions – Florida Statutes Chapter 381 – Biomedical Waste

Florida Statutes Chapter 381 – Environmental Health Professionals

Biomedical Waste – Florida Administrative Code Chapter 64E-16 

Sample Biomedical Waste Plan

Florida Dept of Health: Bureau of Community Health/Bio Medical Website


Biomedical waste is defined as any solid or liquid waste which may present a threat of infection to humans.  Included in this definition are non‑liquid human tissue and body parts, laboratory and veterinary waste which contains human‑disease causing agents, discarded disposable sharps, human blood, blood products, body fluids and other material.

The segregation, handling, labeling, storage and treatment of biomedical waste is regulated by the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS) rules which are designed to eliminate exposure of employees, patients and the public to disease‑causing agents.  HRS has jurisdiction within the facility for storage, treatment or transfer to a disposal facility onsite.  The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has jurisdiction for offsite transport and storage, onsite incineration and for all final disposal facilities.

A permit, obtained from the Office of Medical Services, and which must be renewed annually, is required.  Information about how biomedical waste will be handled within the facility and the plan for disposition of the waste must accompany the permit application.  Policies and procedures required include procedures for onsite segregation, handling, labeling, transport within the facility, storage and treatment of biomedical waste and contingency plans for spills.

The surgery center must contract with a DEP registered biomedical waste transporter if waste is to be removed from the center for disposition.  The transporter will provide receipts and other forms to document handling, storage, transfer and education compliance.  The transporter may provide, or refer you to a supplier for, approved labels and containers for inside and outside storage.

Employee education is required and must be conducted at orientation and at least annually.  Biomedical waste haulers and container suppliers can often provide video tapes for educational purposes. 

An on‑site inspection is conducted annually.  Labels, signage, employee education and documentation of handling, storage and transfer will be reviewed.