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Managing Solid Waste Contaminated with a Category A Infectious Substance


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Managing Solid Waste Contaminated with a Category A Infectious Substance


This replaces: Domestic Resilience Group. (2017). Interim – Planning Guidance for the Handling of Solid Waste Contaminated with a Category A Infectious Substance. from 2017-01-19.
And a previous version from 2019-08.

What this is for
: This Guidance is for safe handling of solid waste contaminated with a Category A infectious substance (henceforth, “contaminated waste”) and the proper management of inactivated Category A waste materials in the United States.*An infectious substancemeets Category A criteria if it is in a form capable of causing permanent disability or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals upon exposureto the substance.

Who this is for: Local emergency medical services (EMS); hospital or healthcare facility personnel; public health officials; environmental officials; individuals and organizations involved in healthcare waste management and solid waste management operations; and Federal, State (or, in some jurisdictions, tribal or territorial), or local officials who have to handle, transport, or dispose of waste from aperson with a suspected or known exposure to a Category A infectious substance. NOTE: Parts of this guidance may not apply to every State or hospital, depending on individual State or hospital plansin place.

How to use: Use these recommendations to: 1)identify handling considerations for contaminated waste for your locality; 2) develop a contaminated waste protocol or evaluate an existing protocol; 3) guide protection of worker health and safety; and 4) support the development of Category A waste management and response plans for contaminated and inactivated waste materials. This guidance does not address wastewater streams or provide instruction on decontamination measures, nor does it remove the obligation to comply with all applicable Federal, State,and local laws and regulations.

*NOTE: Wastewater treatment is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and State agencies and is outside the scope of this document.This document is also not intended to describe environmental cleaning and decontamination




Information in this guidance serves several purposes. As a whole, the document offers readers an overview of Category A waste management in the United States. The main component of this guidance addresses planning for Category A waste management activities, including considerations for developing, evaluating, and revising organizational (e.g., hospital) or jurisdictional (e.g., state, territorial, or local) plans. It is presented in sections that break down waste management activities according to responsibilities as waste is moved from its point of generation to its place of disposal. Several accompanying appendices provide users with information about pathogens classified as Category A infectious substances, decision making for waste treatment and disposal activities, communicating effectively about safe waste management and associated issues, and additional related resources. The included listing of acronyms and glossary of terms applies to the entire document. Unless otherwise noted, references to a particular appendix or section refer to parts of this document (and, in the electronic version, can be clicked to navigate to that information directly).


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