“On-Site” vs. “Off-Site”: Guidelines for Treating Medical Waste

The following information is based on requirement guidelines from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ). For more information, please visit their permit information on Managing and Disposing of Medical Waste.

Meaning of the Terms “On-Site” and “Off-Site”

The terms “on-site” and “off-site” are often used in reference to the location where medical waste was generated. Before jumping into the actual treatment of medical waste, we wanted to briefly outline the difference between the two as governed under the Title 30 Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC).


According to the rule in 30 TAC §330.1205 explains that “medical waste managed on property that is owned or effectively controlled by one entity and that is within 75 miles of the point of generation or at an affiliated facility shall be considered to be managed on-site.” An affiliated facility refers to a health care-related facility generating medical waste that is routinely stored, processed, and/or disposed of on a shared basis in an integrated medical waste management unit owned or operated by a hospital, and located within a contiguous health care complex.


Medical waste management practices that do not meet the above criteria are simply regarded as off-site management.

Treating Medical Waste

Medical waste may be treated on-site, or off-site at an authorized treatment facility, following the requirements of 30 TAC §330.1219 and 25 TAC §1.136.

On-Site Treatment

On-site treatment may be conducted by a waste generator, provided the generator notifies the TCEQ as required under 30 TAC §330.11(f). Additionally, on-site treatment can be conducted via mobile, on-site services officially registered under §330.9(m) and operating in accordance with the requirements of §330.1221.

A generator intending to treat medical waste on-site must indicate in their TCEQ notification that an approved method will be utilized, as required by 25 TAC §1.136. In addition, the generator should maintain records of the treatment process, as required by 30 TAC §330.1219(a).

Furthermore, on-site treatment should follow the disposal guidelines in accordance with §330.1219(b) through (e).

Off-Site Treatment

Off-site treatment, which again is anything not defined above, must be conducted at a treatment facility authorized to accept “untreated” medical waste.

Owners or operators of medical waste treatment facilities must obtain an MSW Type V registration as specified in 30 TAC §330.9(n).

Owners or operators of Type V processing facilities that accept delivery of untreated medical waste, for which a shipping document is required under §330.1211, must ensure that a shipping document accompanies each shipment and that it is properly completed as required by §330.219(h).

Medical waste that has been treated according to the requirements of 30 TAC 330.1219(a) may be managed and disposed of as routine municipal solid waste, provided labeling and other requirements of §330.1219(b), (c), and (e), §330.171(c)(2), and 25 TAC §1.136 are met.

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Redaway™ is a Texas-based medical waste solutions company, formed to meet the medical waste needs of the local healthcare community.

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