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Biomedical Waste Recovery and Disposal


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The 1965 Solid Waste Disposal Act encouraged states to develop waste management programs.  The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act had required installation of pollution control devises on smokestacks and pipes.  These Acts did not directly dictate where the waste was supposed to go nor the processing of the waste prior to disposal.  


Landfills at the time were simply holes in the ground that were compacted by bulldozers until full and then covered with topsoil in preparation for commercial development above.Prior to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), there wasn’t stringent record keeping requirements to identify the origination of the waste.  


The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act were enacted in 1976 to address the limitations of the existing legislation.  


The RCRA is an amendment to the Solid Waste Disposal Act.  


The four basic goals of RCRA are (1) to create definitions to determine the classes of wastes coming under its authority; (2) to create a tracking system for hazardous waste from its creation to its ultimate disposal; (3) to establish handling standards for the waste from its generation to its disposal; and (4) provides authority for mandatory clean-up of polluted treatment, storage, and disposal sites.RCRA was the first environmental law to take a life-cycle approach when it established standards for waste from its generation to its disposal.  When cleaning a crime/trauma scene, the waste associated with a human decomposition, suicide, homicide, or accident falls under RCRA Subtitle C.  Subtitle C is the hazardous waste management program that was created to ensure safe hazardous waste handling from the moment it is generated to the moment it is finally disposed.Clandestine methamphetamine labs can be broken down into two legs of remediation, Bulk Decontamination and Residual Decontamination.  


Both of these types of contamination are covered by each of the regulatory arms of RCRA and CERCLA, the Comprehensive Emergency, Response, Compensation and Liability Act (1980).  RCRA takes a command-and-control approach by dictating the protocol for waste handling from its generation to disposal, while CERCLA focuses on liability related to prior waste disposal and the remediation of contaminated sites.  “Almost every methamphetamine lab will produce either a listed or characteristic hazardous waste under RCRA”North Carolina Journal of Law & TechnologyCERCLA is not simply used to punish unauthorized disposal.  CERCLA is also intended to ensure remediation of sites after the toxins have been released.  CERCLA, also known as “Superfund”, has a joint and strict liability structure and its reach is broad.  CERCLA liability spans several categories of “potentially responsible parties”, including current property owners or operators and past property owners or operators.  These definitions enable the EPA to assign liability to every party who comes into contact as a contributor with a contaminated property (19).  During the 1960’s and 1970’s residents of this later declared Superfund site began suffering a number of medical problems such as chronic headaches and skin rashes to geographical clusters of cancers, birth defects, and miscarriages.  The soil in this area was tested in 1978 and showed high levels of chemical contaminants in the soil and air.  Additional research into the area revealed that a large portion of Love Canal had been built upon a landfill.  This landfill contained over 21,000 tons of chemical wastes.  The landfill that contained this waste was lined with clay and the contamination plume penetrated this clay and infiltrated local groundwater sources, significant soil deposits, and even local housing basements.  Beginning in September 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) modernized the hazardous waste tracking system by standardizing the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest form.  


This action improved the waste handling process, helped standardize interstate commerce, and reduce the paperwork required with hazardous waste disposal.  The new process will save waste handlers and regulators time and money, while guaranteeing the continued, safe management of hazardous waste.  The new hazardous waste management forms are (1) to standardize content and appearance; (2) enhance reporting of international waste shipments (imports and exports); (3) to make the form more available by increasing the distribution to a wide range of sources; and (4) to clarify processing procedures for rejected waste shipments and shipment container residues.  


One drawback of the current system is the variability in state manifest requirements.  The new system has reduced the time and money wasted by businesses involved in multiple state compliance requirements for transporting and disposing of their hazardous waste.The hazardous waste manifest system dictated by RCRA requires each state to spend from $6 to $37 million to administer the hazardous waste manifest system annually.  According to the EPA’s estimates, the annual national savings for government administration and industry compliance from this change was between $12 and $20 million.


The Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.1030 applies to all occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials.  This Subpart Title: Toxic and Hazardous Substances, Title: Bloodborne Pathogens discusses (1) occupational exposure to blood or other potential infectious materials; (2) the establishment of an exposure control plan; (3) methods of compliance through engineering and work practice controls; (4) personal protective equipment requirements; (5) the handling and disposal requirements of bloodborne pathogen contaminated waste; (6) training requirements; (7) vaccination availability; and (8) record keeping.

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Biohazard Disposal

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We provide biohazard medical waste pickup for compliant disposal for your dental surgeon, dentist, doctor, funeral home, or clinical practice. And unattended death cleanup.


Your needles and sharps containers may be locked and included in the medical waste box contents for destruction in the Rockwall, Fate, Grapevine, TX area.

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