3441 Southeast Willoughby Boulevard
Stuart, FL 34994
When biomedical waste is improperly managed, it places health care workers, sanitation workers, and the general public at risk for contracting dangerous diseases. Both the Department of Health and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have responsibilities under this program. The Department of Health has primary authority and responsibility for facilities that generate, transport, store or treat biomedical waste through processes other than incineration.
Facilities which produce or generate biomedical waste require a biomedical waste generator permit. These include the hospitals, medical and dental offices, rehab & residential facilities, veterinary practices, animal rescue establishments, home health establishments, body piercing establishments, tattoo and permanent make-up establishments, crime scene clean-up businesses and funeral homes, just to mention a few. Facilities which store biomedical waste from facilities in addition to their own require a biomedical waste storage permit. Facilities which transport biomedical waste from one location to another, including their own waste if it is 25 pounds or greater, require a biomedical waste transporter registration. Facilities which treat biomedical waste through processes other than incineration require a biomedical waste treatment permit.
How do I find out if I need a biomedical waste generator permit?
If your business will generate sharps (i.e. needles, syringes, lancets, scalpel blades, tattoo needles. etc.) or other types of biomedical waste (i.e. gloves contaminated with blood or body fluids), you are required to obtain a biomedical waste generator permit PRIOR to operating and annually. If you are in doubt if your business requires a permit, contact us and ask to speak with an inspector who works in this program.
A biomedical waste permit or registration may not be transferred from one owner to another. When the ownership, control, or name of a biomedical waste facility is changed and continues to operate, the new owner shall apply for a permit from the Department. The permit may be transferred by the same owner to a new location, however an amended application and inspection of the new location are required PRIOR to operating. If the same owner operates more than one facility, usually each facility is required to hold a separate biomedical waste permit.
Do I need a permit for needles or other biomedical waste at my home?
The Florida Department of Health does not regulate individuals living in their home. To protect others, biomedical waste (such as used syringes or diagnostic lancets) generated by individuals in their own homes should be properly managed. To minimize the risk from improper disposal, the Health Department in Martin County provides homeowners assistance through a needle collection program at both the Stuart and Indiantown locations. Please call 772-221-4090 or visit the office for details.
Where biomedical waste is produced in a home through injury or other major traumatic conditions, these guidelines are provided for proper cleanup: home cleanup of biomedical waste provide guidance for proper cleanup or trauma scene clean up providers can be contacted to manage site decontamination.
Can I get an exemption from the biomedical waste generator permit?
After obtaining an initial permit, biomedical waste generators who produce less than 25 pounds of biomedical waste in each 30-day period for 12 consecutive months are eligible to apply for an exemption from the permit fee. An amended application may be submitted together with written documentation of the weight of biomedical waste generated each 30-day period for the previous 12-month period. Once approved, facilities must maintain written documentation that they continue to meet the requirements of the exemption from the permit fee which will be reviewed at their inspection.
NOTE: the exemption is only an exemption from the annual permit fee. There is no exemption from compliance with the laws governing biomedical waste in Florida.
Once you submit a completed application form to the Department with the required permit fee, an appointment will be scheduled for an opening inspection at your facility. Permits cannot be issued until you have a Satisfactory inspection which includes a review of your site-specific biomedical waste operating plan and documentation that staff who will handle biomedical waste have completed the initial biomedical waste training. Please call the office (772-221-4090) to request an application and information regarding the fee for each type of biomedical waste license or registration. Applications are also available online at the Florida Department of Health Biomedical Waste website.
A sample fill-in-the-blank biomedical waste plan is available to assist you.
Biomedical waste training consists of a review of the facility’s site-specific biomedical waste operating plan and a review of 64E-16, Florida Administrative Code and Florida Statute, Section 381.0098. NOTE: this is separate from OSHA bloodborne pathogens training.
Where can I find more information, including the laws governing biomedical waste in Florida?
- Florida Department of Health Biomedical Waste
- Florida Statutes Chapter 381.0098 Regulation of Biomedical Waste
- Florida Administrative Code Chapter 64E-16, Biomedical Waste
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Where can I find results of biomedical waste inspections?
The Department maintains inspection data for Biomedical Waste establishments.
Some helpful links:
- A list of registered transporters in Florida.
- A list of licensed treatment facilities in Florida.
- A list of red biomedical waste bags approved for use in Florida.