How to Package Your Regulated Medical Waste Properly

July 30, 2020

Approximately 2 Million plus tons of regulated medical waste is generated yearly. This waste is generated through laboratories, physician’s offices and hospitals, urgent care facilities, dental offices, surgery centers, pharmacies, and several other medical facilities. Properly packaging your regulated medical waste is very important for your safety and the safety of others who will also be handling your facilities waste. As a health care provider, your regulated medical waste comes with high dollar fines when it is not properly packaged. The steps below will ensure you have properly packaged your regulated medical waste, have complied with local, state and federal laws, and will save your facility from being fined thousands of dollars in liability claims for the endangerment of another or the environment.

1. Choose the Correct Container(s)

The type of RMW (Regulated Medical Waste) your facility is producing will determine the correct containers your facility will need. Below are the different types of containers. BioWaste, LLC can help you determine your needs.


Now that you have determined the type(s) of container(s) your facility will need, you will need to follow the next steps below to ensure proper packaging.

2. Your Red Bio Hazard Bags Should Be Placed Inside Your Medical Waste Container(s)

The red biohazard bag should line the inside of the container, much like you place your trash bag in your kitchen trash can. However, you must make sure that there’s an overlap at the top of the container so the red bag can be gathered properly. You must also comply with any state-specific requirements for thickness of the red bags. Your medical waste provider will have the correct bags for your state. You must also make sure you do not exceed the weight limits of the container. Each container has its own weight limit.

3. Regulated Medical Waste Only. Do Not Throw Trash, Pathological Waste, Trace Chemo, or Pharmaceuticals (controlled or uncontrolled) in Your Container.

You can place closed and locked disposable sharps containers in a red bag for collection along with gloves, gowns, gauze, cotton balls, bibs, swabs, thermometer covers etc. Fill the container no more than 3/4 full so you have enough red bag to twist and knot correctly. See step 4 below.

4. Gather, Twist, and Tie the Red Bag

Wearing gloves during this step is a must! Gather the edges of the red bag from the sides of your container. Twist the bag to seal its contents. Hand tie a tight single knot to secure a strong seal and to prevent any leakage in case it is juggled during transport.

5. Seal your Regulated Medical Waste Container/Box

If you use cardboard boxes, close the flat tops and tape them so they are securely closed (just like you prepare a box for shipping). For reusable containers, secure the lid, and engage all closures, and if any, lock the locking mechanisms.

6. Check the Markings on Each Regulated Medical Waste Container/Box

The red bags and containers have Federal Markings, but if your state requires additional labeling you may also need to label the waste further.


BioWaste LLC provides comprehensive medical waste solutions to clients throughout Middle Tennessee. To learn more, please give us a call at 615-491-4929 or complete the form on this page. We look forward to hearing from you!

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