infectious waste

Are you wondering if it’s time to file your WI DNR Infectious Waste Report? Or even if you need to file this year?

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Infectious Waste Report applies to all Wisconsin infectious waste generators. It’s not just for medical facilities, such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. It verifies that both generators and treatment facilities throughout the state are in compliance with regulatory manifesting requirements.

If your Wisconsin location(s) shipped 50 pounds or more of medical waste to an infectious waste treatment facility in one or more months during the calendar year, you will need to complete the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Infectious Waste Report.

This Infectious Waste Off-Site Treatment report is the first of an annual two-part electronic document within the WI DNR annual Infectious Waste Report. Only hospitals, clinics and nursing homes should complete the second part of the annual filing, also known as the medical waste reduction progress report.

Are You Exempt?

Not sure if you have to file either one or both of documents in the annual WI DNR Infectious Waste Report?

Use this handy worksheet to determine if you are exempt from having to file the infectious waste report with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Even if you don’t file an infectious waste report, according to WI DNR Annual Reports Exemptions and Records  you should keep on file any of the following:

  • Your infectious waste manifests or records of waste sent off-site for treatment (hospitals, clinics and nursing homes must retain for five years, all others for three years).
  • Your certificates of destruction or treatment (hospitals, clinics and nursing homes must retain for five years, all others for three years).
  • Logs of the amounts sent off-site for treatment and the destination facility.
  • Logs of the amounts generated.
  • Records related to on-site treatment (see s. NR 526.12, Wis. Adm. Code).

Being Exempt In Past Doesn’t Reflect Your Future

Veterinarians, dentists, acupuncturists, tattoo artists, laboratory researchers, manufacturers and small businesses, take note: Just because you may have been exempt from filing the WI DNR Infectious Waste Off-Treatment Report in the past, it doesn’t mean you will be this year — especially if your facility expanded, or had an incident, and generated more medical waste.

Wisconsin funeral home directors also should be aware that they might need to file.  While the WI Regulation’s NR 526.04(5) states: Human tissue that is interred or cremated on site is exempt from reporting”, this doesn’t mean that you are exempt as you may have sharps or other infectious waste.

Just ask yourself: Did 50 pounds or more of infectious waste get removed from my premises during the calendar month? If you answered YES, then an infectious waste off-site treatment report must be filed.

Note that 50 pounds is not an average monthly total in any a calendar year. Whenever 50 pounds or more is removed from the premises for treatment elsewhere, during any month during the calendar year. This is according to manifests, shipping papers or other records.

The DNR has a great list of what is and isn’t infectious waste. You can find it this guide, Basic Infectious Waste Requirements for Generators of Small Amounts.

Medical Waste Reduction Plan

Funeral homes and smaller infectious waste generators are exempt from completing the second part of the Infectious Waste Off-Treatment Report, also known as the medical waste reduction plan.

However, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes will likely have to complete the medical waste reduction plan. This addressees not only previous waste management practices, but also strategies being put into place to reduce your future waste production. The plan needs to be reviewed annually and updated at least every five years.

WI DNR Infectious Waste Report Date

An electronic version of the DNR’s Infectious Waste Annual Report form, first launched in late 2015, asked all generators to submit their infectious waste numbers for 2014.

In 2017, the Wisconsin DNR hopes to catch up by asking for 2015 numbers. Then, shortly after that, 2016 numbers, in order to get everyone up to date, according to Barb Bickford, WI DNR’s Medical Waste Coordinator.

Bickford did not specify a date when the upcoming filing of 2015 numbers will take place.  Backend testing is currently taking place. However, once it goes live, the process should be quicker for repeat filers.

She noted that those who submitted in the past should automatically get an email notifying them when it’s time to file the report. You an also check the DNR’s reporting web page for updates at

If you’ve had changes in your staff, your facility has changed its name or has a new owner, or if you think that you might need to file for the first time, you should notify the DNR at: This will avoid delays of the correct person being notified. And, will save future typing. You won’t have to change pre-populated information.

Reports will be due six weeks from the DNR’s release date.

We’ll Keep You Informed

MERI will keep you informed once the WI DNR’s reporting feature is available.

Our handy customer portal keeps track of your infectious waste numbers and makes it easy to retrieve the information you need to file your reports quickly.

This software allows you to:

  • Retrieve manifests that include cradle-to-grave documentation of infectious waste.
  • Receive a report detailing the total weight of treated waste over a specific date range.
  • Update your contact information.

We’ve already sent every MERI customer a link to the portal along with the required password. If you’re having trouble accessing the portal, please contact us by phone or email and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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