Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 20. Virginia Waste Management Board
Chapter 121. Regulated Medical Waste Management Regulations

9VAC20-121-130. Reusable container requirements.

A. The requirements of this section shall be implemented whenever regulated medical waste is conveyed in reusable carts or containers.

B. The waste in the cart or container shall be packaged and labeled in accordance with 9VAC20-121-110.

C. Reusable carts and containers must be constructed of smooth, easily cleanable materials that are impervious to liquids and made of materials designed to withstand exposure to hot water or chemical disinfectants. A plastic bag shall not be reused.

D. Use of reusable carts and containers and any automated or mechanical cleaning and disinfection systems shall maintain the integrity of the packaging at all times, prevent damage, leakage, and spills and provide protection from the elements, vectors, and trespassers.

E. Persons cleaning and disinfecting reusable carts and containers shall wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

F. Immediately following each time a container is emptied and prior to being reused, all reusable carts and containers, including reusable suction canisters and fluid carts that receive blood, shall be both thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Cleaning shall be conducted with detergent and water using an agitation method or by pressure and movement to remove all waste and visible contamination from all inner and outer surfaces of the container. At least one of the following methods shall be used for disinfection:

1. Utilizing an EPA-registered general or broad-spectrum disinfectant following manufacturer's label instructions;

2. Exposure to heated rinse water at a minimum of 180°F (82°C) and a maximum 195°F (90°C) for a minimum of 15 seconds, or until the surface reaches a temperature of 160°F (71°C); or

3. Immersion in or rinsing with, one of the following chemical sanitizers for a minimum of three minutes:

a. Hypochlorite solution (500 ppm available chlorine);

b. Phenolic solution (500 ppm active agent);

c. Iodophor solution (100 ppm available iodine);

d. Quaternary ammonium solution (400 ppm active agent); or

e. Other organic, plant-based, or nonchemical disinfectant registered by EPA.

G. All wash water from cleaning and disinfection shall be contained and discharged directly to an approved sanitary sewer system.

H. Reusable carts and containers shall not be reused if there are cracks, holes, damage, or other defects, including to a lid or locking mechanism or if contamination or waste residuals are present.

I. Reusable carts or containers used for the holding or storage of regulated medical waste shall not be used for any other purpose.

J. When reusable carts or containers containing regulated medical waste are used for offsite transport, all aspects of the cart or container management shall comply with federal Department of Transportation Hazardous Material Regulations, 49 CFR Parts 171 through 180, as applicable.

K. Reusable carts or containers that are damaged, defective, or ready to be discarded shall not be disposed of as solid waste unless they are cleaned and disinfected in accordance with this section, and all regulated medical waste labeling is removed or covered, prior to disposal. Containers unable to be cleaned and disinfected must be treated as regulated medical waste.

Statutory Authority

§ 10.1-1402 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 6941 et seq.; 40 CFR Part 257.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 13, eff. March 15, 2023.

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