Welcome to the State of California 

Medical Waste Generators

The Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA), Section 117705 of the California Health and Safety Code, considers any person whose act or process produces medical waste to be a “medical waste generator” in California (e.g., a facility or business that generates, and/or stores medical waste onsite).

Medical waste generators may be either large quantity generators (LQG = >200 lbs/month), or small quantity generators (SQG = <200 lbs/month). Medical waste generators shall register with their local enforcement agency.


Medical waste generators, whether LQGs or SQGs, located in counties where the state acts as the local enforcement agency (see the state map (GIF)Opens in new window.to determine the enforcement agency in each county) shall complete the Generator Registration Application (below) and mail it along with the fee page (below) to the address provided. 

For medical waste generators treating medical waste on-site, an on-site treatment permit application shall also be completed and submitted to the address below. 

Each application, along with a check made payable to the Medical Waste Management Fund shall be mailed to:

California Department of Public Health
Medical Waste Management Program
P.O. Box 997377, MS 7405
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377 



Hospital Waste Reduction Posters and Stickers

The CalRecycle has "Know Where to Throw" medical waste posters to hang near red bad receptacles, in break rooms, meeting rooms, and training areas. The poster is a great educational tool to inform staff about red bag and non-red-bag wastes. These posters and stickers are available to California businesses, governmental agencies, public service organizations, and educational institutions in limited quantities at no charge.

CalRecyele hosts Encapsulated Post Script (EPS) versions of the "Know Where to Throw" poster and sticker. EPS files are very large high quality digital files used by professional graphic artists and professional printers to create high definition reproductions. These are available for health care facilities and agencies who wanted to reproduce their own copies. For more information, go to the CalRecycle, telephone (916) 341-6363, or email bzassist@carecycle.ca.gov

Limited Quantity Hauling Exemptions (Home Health Agencies)

Limited Quantity Hauling Exemptions (LQHEs) may be useful for agencies performing home health care. If your agency/practice is located in a county where the state is the local enforcement agency for medical waste and qualifies for an LQHE, follow the steps below to insure that all necessary data is provided to the state. Once all documentation is reviewed and verified, an exemption will be sent to you. Medical waste may not be hauled until the California Department of Public Health or Local Enforcement Agency has issued a limited quantity hauling exemption. Complete and submit the LQHE form below.

CDPH 8664 - Limited Quantity Hauling Exemption Application (PDF)Opens in new window.

Small Quantity Generators

For the two types of medical waste, biohazardous and sharps waste, the storage times do differ.  A facility that generates less than 20 pounds of biohazardous waste per month may store it for 30 days.  The waste may be stored for up to 90 days if kept at 32° F or below.  Sharps waste can be stored for 30 days, once the container is full.   To determine how frequently your facility requires pickup by a medical waste transporter, you should weigh the amount of biohazardous waste generated in one month.  Do not include the amount of sharps waste generated in the weight.   

Trauma Scene Waste

Individuals and companies in the business of cleaning trauma scenes must register with the Medical Waste Management Program. Registered Trauma Scene Waste Practitioners properly dispose of medical waste that is generated as a result of a trauma scene. Only practitioners should be hired to clean trauma scenes.  A property owner does not need to be registered to clean a trauma scene on his property. 


Last modified on: 11/12/2014 8:03 AM