130A-309.26. Regulation of medical waste.

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Sharps" means needles, syringes, and scalpel blades.

(2) "Treatment" means any process, including steam sterilization, chemical treatment, incineration, and other methods approved by the Commission which changes the character or composition of medical waste so as to render it noninfectious.

(b) It is the intent of the General Assembly to protect the public health by establishing standards for the safe packaging, storage, treatment, and disposal of medical waste. The Commission shall adopt and the Department shall enforce rules for the packaging, storage, treatment, and disposal of:

(1) Medical waste at facilities where medical waste is generated;

(2) Medical waste from the point at which the waste is transported from the facility where it was generated;

(3) On-site and off-site treatment of medical waste; and

(4) The off-site transport, storage, treatment or disposal of medical waste.

(c) No later than 1 August 1990, the Commission shall adopt rules necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public and to carry out the purpose of this section. Such rules shall address, but need not be limited to, the packaging of medical waste, including specific requirements for the safe packaging of sharps and the segregation, storage, treatment, and disposal of medical wastes at the facilities in which such waste is generated. (1989, c. 784, s. 2; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 594, s. 20.)