How to deal with Biomedical Waste as a homeowner

How to deal with Biomedical Waste as a homeowner

As home care and in-home medical self-care become more common, Georgia residents may find themselves dealing with biomedical waste. Properly managing this waste is crucial for protecting the health of patients, their families, and the environment. Georgia State law allows for the disposal of medical waste in household trash, but only if it’s generated through self-care or treatment of family members in their own home.

To comply with state laws and regulations, it’s important to follow specific guidelines for disposing of biomedical waste. Here are some steps to follow:

  • If you are disposing of full biomedical containers, such as colostomy or urostomy bags, you must dispose of all contents through a wastewater treatment system or a properly functioning septic tank system. In other words, you must empty the contents of the container into a toilet and flush. The empty container can then be placed into a sealable plastic bag and disposed of with your regular household trash.
  • “Sharps” such as medical syringes, hypodermic needles, and lancets must be placed in a sealed, puncture-proof container before disposing of that container with your household trash.

Follow these steps:

  1. Place used sharps in a puncture-proof plastic container, such as a bleach or detergent bottle with a screw-top lid or a sharps container (sold at local pharmacies).
  2. When full, screw the lid on tightly and tape it in place with duct tape.
  3. With permanent marker, clearly label the containers “Biohazard.”
  4. Place the container into your household trash cart for collection.

To learn more about Georgia State regulations on the disposal of biomedical wastes, go to

Download a copy of this post as a PDF: