University of Wisconsin Stout | Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
Health and SafetyEmergency Management
Infectious waste is regulated under the recently enacted Chapter NR 526, Medical Waste Management. A waste is considered to be an infectious waste if it falls in one of the following categories:
a. Contaminated sharps which are both infectious and may easily cause punctures or cuts in the skin, including but not limited to: hypodermic needles, syringes with needles attached, scalpel blades, lancets, broken glass vials, broken rigid plastic vials and laboratory slides. Contaminated means they have come in contact with blood or other potentially infectious material.
b. Unused or disinfected sharps which are being discarded, including hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, lancets and syringes with needles attached.
Note: Only "contaminated" broken glass, plastic vials, laboratory slides, etc. are considered infectious waste. However, all discarded sharps (contaminated or not) such as hypodermic needles, scalpel blades, lancets and syringes with needles attached are considered infectious waste.
More than one treatment option is available for infectious waste. Sharps are collected and sent off campus for incineration to comply with Chapter NR 526. The remaining infectious waste is autoclaved (steam sterilization) and then disposed of as normal trash.