Medical Waste Program

The purpose of this program is to protect the general public, environment, health care facility and solid waste management personnel from injury and exposure to pathogenic organisms associated with medical waste. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Environmental Management Branch (EMB) regulates medical waste through the Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA) (Health and Safety Code (H&SC), Sections 117600 - 118360).

The MWMA, considers any person whose act or process produces medical waste to be a "medical waste generator" in California (e.g. a facility or business that generates, and/or stores medical waste on-site). Medical waste generators may be either large quantity generators (generates 200 lbs./month or more), or small quantity generators (generates less than 200 lbs./month).

The MWMA requires all medical waste generators who treat their medical waste onsite to register and obtain a permit from their local enforcement agency. For Stanislaus County, the Department of Environmental Resources serves as the responsible agency for enforcement of applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. We require that Large Quantity Generators (LQGs), State-licensed Small Quantity Generators (SQGs), Common Storage Facilities (CSFs) and On-site Treatment Facilities (TFs) obtain registration from our Department.

Who Must Register or Obtain A Permit

Medical waste generators or activities that are in one of the following categories:

  • Large quantity generators (200 or more lbs/month) of medical waste.
  • A small quantity generator of medical waste.
  • Any medical waste generator or health care professional that treats medical waste on-site.
  • Any facility that operates a common storage facility by allowing other medical waste generators store their medical waste at their facility. (*Only small quantity generator facilities can be a common storage facility)

Who is Exempt from Registration, Permit and Exemption Requirements

  • State regulated facilities per MWMA (i.e. off-site treatment facilities and transfer stations)

* For those that are not required to register with our Department, a Certificate of Statement must be completed and submitted to our Department. If any changes with operation affect this exemption our Department must be notified immediately.

How to Comply

  • Complete the Pre-Application Questionnaire.
  • If your answers indicate you are not required to register as a medical waste generator, then complete the Certification Statement Submit the certification statement and pre-application questionnaire to our Department.
  • If you are required to register as a medical waste generator:
    • Complete the Registration Application, the Management Plan
    • If applicable, complete the Medical Waste Treatment Permit Application, and/or the Common Storage Facility Permit Application, in addition to the other required documents.

Medical Waste Facilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Hospitals
  • Chronic Dialysis Clinics
  • Physician's Offices
  • Medical and Dental Offices
  • Education and Research Centers
  • Laboratories, Research Laboratories
  • Surgery Centers
  • Skilled Nurses Facilities
  • Veterinary Hospitals, Veterinary Clinics

NOTE: As of 1/1/2015, the Limited Quantity Haulers Exemption (LQHE) was eliminated. Please refer to the CDPH Generators page for additional information.

NOTE: Please read the fact sheet for Senate Bill (SB) 225 and Assembly Bill (AB 333) regarding crucial updates that may affect your facility.

MEDICAL WASTE PROGRAM DEFINITIONS Medical Waste Management Act (MWMA Chapter 2, Section 117630)


Complete Medical Waste Management Packet (Page 6)

Medical Waste Management Plan

Common Storage Facility Application

Registration and Permit for Medical Waste Generation

Certification Statement (Page 4)

Permit Application for Medical Waste Treatment


Should you have any questions, please contact our office at (209) 525-6700 to speak to a Hazardous Materials Inspector for assistance.