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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Contact the Florida Department of Health Biomedical Waste Program

Biomedical Waste FAQs: 

  

  1. How do I apply for a biomedical waste generator permit?
    • Complete the Application for Biomedical Waste Generator Permit/Exemption (form DH4089) (21kb PDF) in its entirety.
    • Submit completed application and permit fee to the local Department of Health office having jurisdiction of the biomedical waste program in the county in which the business resides.
    • It is also recommended that you contact the local Department of Health office to learn if there are any additional local fees for the permit.

 

  1. How do I apply for a biomedical waste exemption?
    • To qualify for a biomedical waste exemption, a permitted facility must show documentation from the previous 12 months showing the actual weight of biomedical waste generated in each 30-day period was less than 25 pounds.

 

  1. My transporter stated that I can change the frequency of pick-up and I can ask for an exemption. How do I change this?
    • There is no exemption to change the frequency of your biomedical waste pickup.
    • Storage of biomedical waste at the generating facility must not exceed 30 days.
    • The 30-day period will commence when the first non-sharps item of biomedical waste is placed into a red bag or sharps container, or when a sharps container containing only sharps is sealed.

 

  1. I would like to open a trauma scene clean-up company. What do I need to do?

 

  1. I would like to transport biomedical waste from a medical office. What applications do I need to submit?

 

  1. What is the process after I submit an application?
    • The local Department office will conduct an inspection of your facility to ensure compliance with section 381.0098, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 64E-16, of the Florida Administrative Code, prior to issuing a permit or registration.

 

  1. My facility has relocated or moved to another location. How do I change the address?
    • Complete the Application for Biomedical Waste Generator Permit/Exemption (form DH4089) (21kb PDF) in its entirety.
    • Write “Amended” at the top of the application.
    • Submit the to the local Department office having jurisdiction of the biomedical waste program in the county in which the facility resides.
    • **Please note that if there was a change in ownership or control, the facility must submit a new application and permit fee.

 

  1. Is a permit or registration transferrable?
    • Biomedical waste permits, exemptions, and registrations are not transferable from one ownership to the other.
    • Also, biomedical waste permits, exemptions, and registrations are not transferable when there is a change in control.

 

  1. How do I dispose of my personal-use needles that I have at home?

 

  1. I had an accident or injury in my home. Do you have any guidance for disposal of this biomedical waste?

 

  1. What do I need to transport biomedical waste?
    • A transport vehicle must meet the requirements of Rule 64E-16.008, of the Florida Administrative Code, including but not limited to:
      • Area holding the biomedical waste must be fully enclosed.
      • Capable for the containment of outer containers of all sizes.
      • Impervious to liquids and prevention of leakage. Vehicles with upholstery or carpeting or exposed crevices are not allowed.
      • Floors must be constructed of smooth, easily cleanable materials that are impervious to liquids.
      • All transport vehicles containing biomedical waste must be visibly identified with the business name, registration number, a 24-hour telephone number, and placards showing the phrase and the international biological hazard symbol. The symbol shall be at least six inches in diameter.

 

  1. How do I treat biomedical waste?
    • Biomedical waste must be treated by steam, incineration, or an alternative process approved by the Department of Health as described in Rule 64E-16.007(4), of the Florida Administrative Code, prior to disposal.
    • Incineration of biomedical waste is regulated and permitted by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
    • Treatment shall occur within 30 days of collection from the generator.

 

  1. How do I open a biomedical waste treatment facility?
    • A treatment facility must meet the requirements of Rule 64E-16.007, of the Florida Administrative Code, including but not limited to:
      • A treatment method utilizing steam, or an alternative process approved by the Department of Health as described in Rule 64E-16.007(4), of the Florida Administrative Code.
      • Complete the Application for Biomedical Waste Treatment Permit (form DH4111) (19kb PDF) and Application for Biomedical Waste Storage Permit (form DH4107) (19kb PDF) in its entirety.
      • Submit completed application and permit fee to the local Department of Health office having jurisdiction of the biomedical waste program in the county in which the business resides.
      • It is also recommended that you contact the local Department of Health office to learn if there are any additional local fees for the permit.
      • Achieving successful validation testing.
      • Achieving a satisfactory inspection by the Department of Health.
    • Treatment processes must be approved in accordance with section 381.0098, Florida Statutes, and Rule 64E-16.007, of the Florida Administrative Code. The review process is conducted jointly with the local Department office and the State Health Office.