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6 Must-Knows For Medical Waste Disposal In Michigan

Every state has its own set of rules and regulations that dictate how medical waste is to be disposed of. Many of the regulations are largely the same across states, but there are often significant differences as well.

The following are six things every Michigan medical practice or clinic handling any type of medical waste should know.

Regulatory Body

In Michigan, all regulations regarding the disposal of medical waste are handled by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Waste and Hazardous Materials Division, also called DEQ.

It’s this agency that issues permits and publishes the administrative laws and rules that determine how clinics and other organizations with medical waste are to properly dispose of it.

The Medical Waste Regulatory Act

The primary piece of legislation that governs medical waste disposal in Michigan is called the “Medical Waste Regulatory Act.”

There are specific sections that outline how organizations not incinerating medical waste onsite are to store and contain it until it’s picked up for disposal, as well as how it should be packaged.

The Medical Waste Regulatory Act also highlights how investigations of reported waste on land or water are to be handled.


Michigan is one of the states in the U.S. that also operates an occupational safety and health program approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This means clinics and healthcare facilities with medical waste need to follow particular rules set forth by OSHA, as well as state regulations.

The OSHA program is operated at the state level by Michigan Occupational Safety and Health. Some of the specific ways OSHA impacts medical waste disposal in Michigan include directives on the handling of sharps, and what types of containers can be used to store medical or infectious waste.

Certificate of Registration

In the state of Michigan a Certificate of Registration is required for any business or organization that produces regulated medical waste. This license expires every three years, and renewal applications are automatically distributed to facilities.

Employee Training

For facilities in Michigan, there are requirements regarding not only employee personal protective equipment, but the state requires facilities and organizations keep a record of employee training, including anyone who handles medical waste.

Documentation should be maintained within the Medical Waste Management Plan, and it should also be kept on hand in the event of an inspection for at least three years.

Disposal Shipments

As well as requiring facilities with any regulated medical waste to keep documentation of employee training, the state of Michigan also requires records are maintained regarding how waste is removed, treated and disposed of. These records should be available for inspection for at least three years.

As an additional note, Michigan doesn’t allow medical waste to be stored on-site for more than 90 days.

All facilities that produce regulated medical waste should not only ensure they adhere to the above rules and regulations but should partner with a professional waste disposal company to make sure their facility and employees are both safe and compliant.