Biologic and Infectious Waste

Image red plastic bags full of biological waste.

Controlling waste is an important part of public health, whether it’s hospital infectious waste or household garbage. Improperly managed waste can create conditions that may have severe adverse effects on public health, safety, and the environment. Proper storage, collection, transportation, and disposal are key elements to controlling biologic and infectious waste.

Environmental health practitioners help ensure that waste controls are in place and are maintained. The potential for a disease outbreak and the threat of terrorism increases when proper controls are not in place.

This section contains general information on waste issues as well as new and emerging issues in biologic and infectious waste.

Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) – 10 modules that focus on key environmental health issues and challenges for emergency response

Guidance on Microbial Contamination in Previously Flooded Outdoor Areas (CDC) – guidance on how to assess the public health risks for using outdoor areas after a flood event

Links to information from outside CDC

Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs)external icon (U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Services) – helps AFO owners and operators develop and implement comprehensive nutrient management plans to achieve production and natural resource conservation goals

Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Use of Information Technologies and Decision Support Systemsexternal icon (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) – archival information on developing scientific information for other agencies and organizations on which to base clinical guidelines, performance measures, and other quality improvement tools

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)external icon

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System: Animal Feeding Operationsexternal icon – information about animal feeding operations and biosolids

Terrorism and Other Public Health Emergencies: A Reference Guide for Mediaexternal icon (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) – information for the media on how to quickly and clearly communicate terrorism and public health emergency messages to the public

World Health Organization (WHO)external icon

Page last reviewed: June 22, 2017