Medical Waste Management

medical waste container

The County of San Diego, Department of Environmental Health (DEH), Hazardous Materials Division (HMD) issues permits and inspects facilities that handle or store hazardous materials, generate hazardous waste, generate medical waste, and/or operate underground storage tanks. Starting January 1, 2013 all Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) regulated businesses are required by law (Assembly Bill 2286) to submit business information electronically through the California Environmental Reporting System (CERS). This includes information related to your Unified Program Facility Permit (UPFP) required for the generation of medical wastes.  

IMPORTANT. Please Read: Changes in the law, AB333 might affect your facility and medical waste management. 

Medical waste temporary events registration can now be completed through the Citizen Access Portal. For detailed instructions on how to register your event, please refer to the Medical Waste Temporary Events Registration Guidance Presentation.

ATTENTION: All new and existing business owners or operators requiring a Unified Program Facility Permit will need to request access to their CERS facility information. To gain access please complete, sign, and submit the CERS Access/I.D. Request Form to the HMD-Permit Desk by e-mail .

CERS Guide for Businesses Generating Medical Waste

The video below will help existing medical waste facilities through this process:


 Medical Waste Management Plan

The Medical Waste Management Plan is a document that includes the medical wastes you generate at your facility and how they are managed.  

Disposal documentation: Review of documentation for disposal of medical wastes, uniform hazardous waste manifests and receipts documenting proper disposal of hazardous waste. If your facility generates photographic waste, the inspector will review your management practices for this waste stream.

Onsite treatment documentation: For facilities that treat medical waste onsite, records reviewed will include: 

  • Written operating procedure
  • Annual thermometer calibration
  • Monthly spore testing
  • Autoclave logs with records of time, pressure, temperature, type and quantity of the wastes treated
  • Onsite Treatment Permit for large quantity generators that treat medical wastes onsite
Limited Quantity Hauling Exemption: Please be advised, as of January 1, 2015, this document is no longer required.  If you are a small or large quantity generator of medical waste, please refer to the CDPH Medical Waste Generators website for additional information.

Please refer to the Medical waste container labeling guidance for additional information on labeling requirements. 

 Medical Waste Inspections

This page intends to provide information regarding medical waste inspections conducted by this Department. It is for information purposes only, and is designed to briefly explain the main issues a typical inspection will address when we visit your site. Compliance inspections are conducted on a routine basis and focus on five general areas:

Site Inspection: The walk-through of the facility is performed to observe:

  • The areas where medical waste is generated and managed.
  • The management of any hazardous wastes generated at the facility.
  • Management standards reviewed include: containment, storage, labeling, treatment, and waste disposal procedures.
  • The current Unified Program Facility Permit.

Employee Training Program Documentation: If your facility generates hazardous wastes, (such as waste amalgam, waste solvents, waste cold sterilants, etc.) the inspector will review your written records for training in hazardous waste management.


The County of San Diego Ordinance governing medical waste is codified in the San Diego County Code section 68.1201.

The California Medical Waste Management Act is codified in the Health and Safety Code, Division 104, Part 14. For a copy of this law, lists of registered medical waste haulers, medical waste treatment facilities, alternate treatment technologies, compliance tools and a variety of other pertinent information please visit the California Medical Waste Management Program.

A fact sheet for the proper management of Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Wastes has been provided by the California Department of Toxic Substances and Control.  HMD has created a reference table for the Management of Regulated Wastes for Dental, Veterinary and Medical Practices. For additional forms, templates, and guidance documents, please refer to the medical waste section of the HMD Forms page and the HMD Publications page

Please feel free to contact the Hazardous Materials Duty Desk at (858) 505-6880 if you have any general questions regarding medical waste. The Hazardous Materials Duty Specialist is available Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm.