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Environmental Health

Hazardous Materials & Waste Program: Medical Waste Generation

Medical waste may contain infectious pathogenic organisms and disease causing agents. The Hazardous Materials and Waste Program regulates businesses that generate medical waste, treat medical waste on site, transport less than 20 pounds per week of medical waste to another facilitiy for disposal or provide a common storage area for the medical waste generated at several facilities. The program provides oversight for the implementation of the Medical Waste Management Act by inspecting permitted businesses at least once annually.

For more detailed information on medical wastes, see the Medical Waste Frequently Asked Questions (pdf).

How do I determine if my business is regulated under the Hazardous Materials and Waste Program?

There are several different medical waste grants of authorization issued to facilities by the Hazardous Materials and Waste Program. These include:

  • A Small Quantity Generator (SQG) registration is required if you generate less than 200 pounds of medical waste per month.
  • A Large Quantity Generator (LQG) permit is required if you generate more than 200 pounds of medical waste per month in any month of a 12-month period.
  • A treatment permit is required for businesses that treats (sterilize) medical waste on-site.
  • A Common Storage Facility (CSF) permit is required for businesses that provide medical waste management services which includes a designated accumulation storage site for the collection of medical waste generated by a list of small quantity generators (building tenants) otherwise operated independently and the daily collection and proper disposal by a registered medical waste hauler.
  • A Limited Quantity Hauling Exemption (LQHE) permit is required for any small quantity generator who wishes to transport their own medical waste to a permitted transfer station or common storage facility. The generator must generate no more than 20 pounds of waste per week and may not transport more than 20 pounds of waste at any one time.

Business Responsibilities

  1. Obtain the appropriate grant of authorization.
  2. Manage medical waste in accordance with state and local laws.
  3. Pay fees annually or as required.

Obtaining a Medical Waste Permit or Registration

  1. Call the Hazardous Materials and Waste Program to conduct a screening interview to determine your facility type and obtain a facility ID number. We may conduct an on-site field screening inspection as well to determine your facility type.
  2. Once we determine your appropriate facility type, complete the Medical Waste Application that you receive in the mail. The application should be completed and sent to the Hazardous Materials and Waste Program within 45 days.  Please make sure to send the applicationon time since we are required to assess late fees and penalties if we do not receive a compete application packet, including fees, by the due date.
  3. Follow the guidance provided in the application to determine which sections of the application form you need to complete.
  4. Retain copies of the forms for your records.


Making a Complaint

If you would like to make a complaint you may call 311.

311 City Customer Service Agency - Service 24x7

San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch