Waste Management

William J. Pate, BS, MBA, MPH, DrPH, CIH, CSP, CHMM Program Director, Radiation & Occupational Safety

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Galveston, TX

Jeremy Wilke, BS, CIH, CSP Senior Environmental Protection Specialist

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Galveston, TX


Infection preventionists have varying levels of involvement with healthcare waste management and are often focused on regulated medical waste. The categories of regulated medical waste streams of particular interest to infection preventionists include infectious waste, pathological waste, and sharps waste. An effective waste management program is complex due to numerous regulations and guidelines, evolving technologies, expanding healthcare delivery settings, emerging infectious diseases, and the potential for bioterrorism. Although responsibility for the management of healthcare waste is typically outside the area of responsibility for most infection preventionists, they may still be affected or involved in a wide range of issues related to regulated medical waste management. Safe management of medical waste continues to present a challenge in countries with developing economies. This chapter provides information and resources to assist the infection preventionist with successful participation in the safe management of regulated medical waste and associated healthcare waste streams.