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Biomedical Waste/Solid Waste

Oversight of Biomedical Waste management is conducted to assure proper identification, segregation, containment, storage and labeling of Biomedical Waste. What is Biomedical Waste? Biomedical Waste is:
  • Any liquid or solid waste that may present a threat of infection to humans
  • Liquid Waste: Blood and any other body fluids from humans
  • Solid Waste: Syringes, needles, clothing, towels, rags, sheets, gloves, plastic bags, or any objects soiled with blood or other body fluids

For more information call: (954) 467-4700 Ext 4202
Important Links:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)   Opens in a new browser
Florida Department of Health - Biomedical Waste Opens in a new browser


Home Disposal of Biomedical Waste FAQs

What do I need to do?
How do I discard soiled items?
How do I wash soiled reusable items?
What are the steps for safe SHARPS removal

 Answer: What do I need to do?          back to FAQ list

Before the start of cleanup, make sure to protect yourself.
You will need the following items:

  • Rubber Gloves - to protect your hands
  • Mask or handkerchief - to protect your nose and mouth
  • Kitchen tongs or pliers - to pick up any sharp items
  • Cat litter, dry swimming pool chlorine (or paper towels, cloth towels, or rags) - to absorb liquid waste
  • Tin can or plastic bottle with lid - to contain any sharp items
  • Household bleach - for wiping soiled area
  • Glasses or Goggles - to protect your eyes
  • Large shirt or plastic garbage bag - to cover your clothes
  • Plastic bags - to contain soiled items
  • Broom and dustpan or household spatula - to pick up the litter or dry chlorine after absorption
  • Heavy-duty tape - for securing the lid
  • Measuring cup - for mixing a bleach solution
  1. Cover your clothes with an old shirt or plastic bag.
  2. Use glasses or goggles and mask or handkerchief if there is a chance of splashing blood or body fluids.
  3. Using tongs or pliers, pick up any sharp objects and place them in a hard plastic or metal container with a screw-on or tightly secured lid. Be sure to reinforce the lid with heavy-duty tape.  
    CAUTION:  Do NOT use clear plastic.  Do NOT use a container you plan to recycle.
  4. Apply cat litter directly onto any liquid waste until it becomes absorbed.
  5. Sweep the absorbed material into a dustpan or scoop it up with a household spatula and place it in a doubled, plastic garbage bag. Securely tie the bag.
    Note: If cat litter is not available, you can absorb the liquid waste with disposable or reusable towels or rags. Place the used disposable towels into a doubled, plastic garbage bag and securely tie the bag. Place reusable towels into a separate plastic bag for laundering.
  6. Mix one-half cup of bleach with one gallon of water. Wipe the entire soiled area with this solution. If disposable items are used to wipe the area. place them in a doubled, plastic garbage bag and securely tie the bag. If reusable items are used, place them in a separate bag for laundering.


 Answer: How do I discard soiled items?          back to FAQ list     

  1. Be sure all disposable items are in plastic bags that are securely tied. Place the plastic bags and the metal or plastic containers in the center of your garbage can.
    Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. If you plan to discard large soiled objects such as carpets, mattresses, and furniture, use the same bleach mixture (one-half cup bleach to one gallon water) and pour over the soiled area. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  3. Contact your local garbage collection office and ask for instructions for pick up of large items. If this service is not available in your area, ask if you may transport the item to the local landfill.
    Note: If neither of these options is available in your area, contact the environmental health section of your local health department and request a listing of registered biomedical waste transporters who provide this type of service. Fees may vary.

Answer: How do I wash soiled reusable items?          back to FAQ list

  1. Place all soiled reusable items in your washer. Run one cycle using one-half cup of bleach for each gallon of water capacity for your washer.
  2. Run a second cycle using your regular laundry detergent.
    CAUTION:  Should you cut yourself during the clean-up process, call your health care provider as soon as you can. 

 What are the steps for safe SHARPS removal          back to FAQ list

  1. All sharps should be disposed of in rigid puncture-resistant containers such as liquid detergent bottles, bleach bottles, or sharps containers.
  2. Perform your routine blood tests and injections and place the used sharps into the containers.
    CAUTION: Do NOT snap off the needle. Do NOT recap the needle.
  3. Containers should be three-quarters full.
  4. All containers should have a lid which must be tightly sealed before it goes into residential garbage. Masking tape can be used to help secure the lid.
  5. Place container in residential garbage or dispose of it at the county's landfill.
    Note: Check with your local waste collection service to make sure these disposal procedures are accepted in your county.



Proper disposal of used syringes

To keep our community safe it is important to properly dispose of used sharps/syringes.
Never leave a SHARPS container unattended.

Problems SHARPS can cause:

  • They clog sewers and lift stations
  • They end up at recycling centers
  • They puncture solid waste containers and place workers along collection routes, and at the landfill, at risk of injury and/or disease
  • They threaten public safety
  • They may be contaminated with infectious disease

Preventing needle sticks:

  • Never throw sharps directly into the garbage
  • Never flush, bury, or burn sharps
  • Never use a container that is not rigid and puncture-resistant
  • Never use clear plastic or glass containers
  • Never mix sharps with recyclable items
  • Never leave sharps accessible to others

If someone in your home has an accidental needle stick,

Used SHARPS depository program Information, please click here Opens in a new browser Opens in a new browser 20 kb

Where can I obtain a Sharps container?

Visit a sharps participating pharmacy. SHARPS Disposal Participating Pharmacies 

  • Visit one of the participating pharmacies listed below
  • Ask for an approved sharps container and instructions on use
  • Take the container home and place it out of reach of children when not in use •As needed, perform your injection and dispose of the syringe completely intact into the sharps container

Pharmacy Locations


SHARPS Biomedical Waste Transporters Trauma Scene Responders


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Proper Disposal of Unwanted Medications

How to Dispose of Unwanted Medications Opens a new browser
New FDA Web Page Lists Disposal Instructions for Select Medicines Opens a new browser Opens a new browser14kb


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