Infectious Waste

The Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances regulates the treatment, packaging, storage, transportation, and disposal of infectious waste in the state.

Detailed requirements for managing infectious wastes are found in the Delaware Regulations Governing Solid Waste (7 DE Admin. Code 1301). All generators must submit a registration application to the Compliance and Permitting Section to obtain an Infectious Waste Identification Number. They must also submit an annual report detailing how the wastes generated were handled.

Disposing of Home-Generated Infectious Waste

Most infectious waste is generated at medical and health care facilities. Individuals who generate medical waste for health care treatment in their own home, such as an insulin-dependent diabetic, are considered home “sharps” users.

Sharp waste, including lancets, hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpel blades, and non household glass articles that have been broken, should be packaged into a rigid container, the lid should be securely taped and then double bagged prior to putting in your household trash. This is to protect other family members and solid waste workers who must handle the waste.

Common household containers which meet the description of rigid are: liquid detergent and bleach bottles, two-liter soda bottles, and coffee cans if the lid is securely taped to the can. These containers can then be placed in your household trash. Home-generated sharp wastes are also accepted at household hazardous waste collection events sponsored by the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA).

Infectious Waste Transporters 

Any person who transports infectious wastes must obtain a Solid Waste Transporter Permit from the Compliance and Permitting Section. A motor vehicle that does not have a valid Transporter Permit may not be used for transporting infectious wastes.

A completed permit application must be accompanied by a $350 payment. This includes a nonrefundable $300 permit fee and a $50 public notice fee. A check, made payable to the “State of Delaware,” must be submitted with the permit application.