MPCA logo

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Search, View and Navigation

Beta - Dynamic

MPCA e-Services

tinyURL : nwqh859 | ID : 260Home   >   Waste   >   Waste and Cleanup   >   Waste management   >   Industry specific waste management

main content

Health care industry

Health care providers are subject to federal, state, and sometimes county hazardous waste regulations because they generate waste that, if mismanaged, can harm human health and the environment. The requirements of these regulations include, but are not limited to:

  • Evaluate all waste to determine whether it is hazardous; assume that all waste that has not been evaluated is hazardous,
  • Store hazardous waste in closed and labeled containers,
  • Transport hazardous waste using only licensed hazardous waste haulers, except for very small quantity generators transporting their own waste to approved collection programs,
  • Discharge appropriate hazardous waste to the sanitary sewer (not septic systems) only after prior notice to the local wastewater treatment authority.
    Note:the MPCA strongly discourages sewering pharmaceutical waste.

Health care spotlight

Regulatory consensus

Hazardous waste programs at the MPCA and the metropolitan counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington have reached a consensus on the interpretations, guidance, and allowances on health care-related wastes.

Pharmaceutical reverse distribution

In Minnesota, expired or unused pharmaceuticals is considered a waste and subject to Hazardous Waste Rules. However, the MPCA allows a conditional alternative to manage certain pharmaceuticals through the reverse distribution system.

Non-hospital health care facilities

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP), a non-regulatory pollution prevention program at the University of Minnesota, teams with the MPCA to provide compliance and waste reduction guidance specifically tailored toward:

Guidance documents

Hazardous waste guidance for health care providers

Hazardous waste guidance for environmental managers

General hazardous waste requirements

Partners and resources

Metro county hazardous waste offices

Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (SWMCB)

  • SWMCB is a joint powers board that coordinates regional initiatives of the solid and hazardous waste programs in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties.


  • Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) is responsible for collecting and treating wastewater from the the seven-county Twin Cities area. They work with industries to reduce the amount of pollution entering the wastewater collection system. 651-602-4703
  • Sewering - Greater Minnesota Delegated Programs
    • Albert Lea 507-373-9159
    • Mankato 507-387-8665
    • Owatonna 507-444-2452
    • Red Wing 651-385-3641
    • Rochester 507-281-6190 x 3006
    • St. Cloud 320-255-7225
    • WLSSD (Duluth area) 218-740-4815
    • Winona 507-457-8207

Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP)

Minnesota Department of Health

  • Radioactive waste 651-642-0492

Other resources

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

  • Toll free (all locations) 800-657-3864
  • Brainerd, 218-828-2492
  • Detroit Lakes, 218-847-1519
  • Duluth, 218-723-4660
  • Marshall, 507-537-7146
  • Rochester, 507-285-7343
  • St. Paul, 651-296-6300
  • Willmar, 320-214-3786
Last modified on June 17, 2014 11:55