Wisconsin's infectious waste annual report
This page is for facilities filing annual reports on the infectious waste they generate. It provides information on obtaining access to the online report and instructions for filing it. This page also describes exemptions from filing the report and explains how to prepare for filing the report, obtain a WAMS ID and update contacts and facility information.
Required reports and who must file them
State law requires businesses and institutions to separate and manage infectious waste safely. Hospitals, clinics and nursing homes are required to implement plans to reduce medical waste.
To verify compliance with these requirements, infectious waste generators must file a report regarding waste sent off-site for infectious waste treatment, called the "Off-site Treatment Report." In addition, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes must file the "Medical Waste Reduction Progress Report." The DNR's infectious waste annual report combines both reports into one online form. Facilities may be exempt from one or both reports.
For more background information, please refer to the following:
- Medical Waste Reduction and the Annual Report (WA-802)
- Infectious waste annual reporting requirements, s. NR 526.15, Wis. Adm. Code
2021 infectious waste annual report requirements
The requirements for the infectious waste annual report have not changed for the 2021 report year. The DNR recognizes that during 2021, operations and waste streams may have changed for facilities that generate infectious waste. We ask that you complete the annual report to the best of your ability, and we understand that reported data and information may look very different than in past years.
New for the 2021 report
- All contact change information must be submitted via the DNR Switchboard or at DNRWAFacilityContactRegistry@wisconsin.gov. See Update contact/facility info tab for more information.
- Information regarding exemptions specifically related to infectious waste generated in 2021 due to COVID-19 can be found in the Exemptions tab.
- It is no longer required to fax, email or mail a physical copy of the certification page. The report preparer can simply enter their name at the end of the report to certify the submission.
Find out whether your facility is exempt from filing the report
Use the following worksheet to find out whether your facility needs to file one or both parts of the annual report.
If the facility is not exempt and needs to file a report, go to the Prepare to File tab and follow the steps for filing.
Definitions of "facility" and "owner"
Each location that generates infectious waste is a separate facility under Wisconsin’s medical waste rules. The location is based on the street address. In some cases, contiguous properties with different addresses are considered to be one facility. When two or more facilities (also called generators) are at the same street address, location is based on the suite number.
Ownership of a facility is based on the Tax ID number of the entity that is the lowest level owner responsible for the facility's operations during a reporting period.
For detailed information about the terms "facility" and "owner," please review Infectious waste generators, owners and manifesting groups (WA-1819).
Additional exemption information for the 2021 report year
- For infectious waste generator facilities that were temporarily closed in 2021, a report is still required if the facility sent out more than 50 pounds of infectious waste during per any month of the year.
- If the facility is exempt from reporting for 2021, we would like you to report your exempt status in order to maintain accurate records.
- Sites only generating COVID-19 mass vaccination or testing waste, including sharps and other waste, are not required to submit the annual report at this time. For questions or assistance with this exemption, contact DNR medical waste staff.
Prepare to file
Gather information needed for your report
Make sure you have the following information before you log in to the online reporting system.
- Your personal WAMS ID and password. If you do not have one or can’t remember it or your password, visit the DNR Switchboard.
- The Tax ID form(s) for the lowest level owner(s) responsible for your facility’s operations during the reporting year. Your accounting department will have the form(s). For definitions of “facility” and “owner," see the Exemptions tab.
- The date(s) on which the (these) Tax ID Number(s) began being associated with your facility. That is, the date on which your facility began to generate infectious waste under that Tax ID number. NOTE: If two or more Tax IDs operated your facility during the reporting year, each owner will file a separate infectious waste annual report for the time they owned the facility.
- Documentation of the amounts of infectious waste your facility treated on-site and sent off-site for treatment and the total amount for the year, such as a weight log, shipping papers, manifests or certificates of destruction. (By law, the documentation should be in your facility. However, if you cannot locate yours, your infectious waste treatment facility may have copies.) For more information see the Exemptions tab.
- Estimated amounts (if any) of liquid infectious waste your facility sent down the drain to a wastewater treatment plant. To find out how and what to estimate, see Appendix 2 of the annual report instructions.
If your facility is a hospital, clinic (including veterinary, dental and dialysis clinics and surgery centers) or nursing home, you will also need the following:
- Information needed for calculating a medical waste generation rate, depending on the type of facility.
- If a nursing home, the number of patient days for the reporting year.
- If a hospital, the number of patient days for the reporting year, including inpatient census and outpatient surgical days. Exclude healthy newborns and emergency room visits. Include only outpatient surgical days. Do not include non-surgical outpatient visits such as lab visits.
- If a clinic, the number of treatment areas (that is, the number of rooms) where infectious waste was generated during the reporting year.
- If a dialysis clinic, the number of dialysis treatments for the reporting year.
- Your facility's medical waste reduction plan.
- The date and results of your last waste audit (if any).
- The date(s) of any revisions to your medical waste reduction plan.
- A list of things your facility did during the reporting year to reduce medical waste.
- A list of things your facility did during the reporting year to reduce other wastes or to reduce the use of water or energy.
- A list of things you intend to do in the next year to reduce waste or save resources.
To learn more about medical waste reduction planning activities, review our Reducing healthcare waste page.
Access the report
How to access and complete your online report
Use Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox when accessing the report. Internet Explorer is NOT compatible with the report.
If your facility is one of a group of generators, please review this publication to see whether or not you may file the annual report together as a group.
Create and register your WAMS ID
If you have not previously completed an online infectious waste form for the DNR, you will need to complete a one-time registration process to get access to the online report system using the DNR Switchboard. You will need your 9-digit DNR facility ID (FID) to complete this registration process. It can be found on old copies of the report and signature pages.
If you have problems with your WAMS ID or password, visit DNR Switchboard help.
Log in to your report
- Log in to the online reporting system through the DNR Switchboard
- Infectious waste annual report instructions
File your report
Complete the following steps to finish the annual report:
- Submit the online form. You must click the "submit" button in the report before the due date and time, to avoid being charged a $25 late fee.
- Pay the filing fee. An invoice is produced when the report is filed. It is the final page of the report and is also emailed to the facility’s billing contact. It is due within 30 days of submitting the report. There are two options for paying the fee:
- Via check: include your invoice with your check for proper processing. Send your check and invoice to Milwaukee, as directed on the invoice; or
- Via online payment: DNR E-Pay invoice payment options.
- Maintain records. Infectious waste records, including manifests, USDOT shipping papers, and annual reports, must be retained for a minimum of 3 years after disposal of the waste.
Follow these tips to avoid reporting problems
- Use a browser that allows you to see and submit the report. The report will work in Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox. The report will not work in the Windows Vista operating system or Internet Explorer.
- Always access your report from this DNR Switchboard. Bookmarks or other links you save will not work.
- Start at the top of the report. Answer the questions in order. This ensures the correct fields will appear in your facility’s report.
- Move up and down, not back. Use the browser scroll bar or the keyboard up/down arrows. Do NOT use the browser back arrow.
- Save your work often. Click the Save button on the report title bar and wait for it to finish saving. The report will time out if you are inactive for 20 minutes, and unsaved changes will be lost.
- Read the instructions. Click on the "i" icon for specific instructions throughout the form, or download the full instructions using the link above.
Update contact/facility info
The DNR will notify your facility about annual reports only by email, so maintaining accurate contact information ensures you receive timely reporting information. The DNR strongly encourages naming a secondary contact who can respond to DNR emails about the annual report if the primary contact leaves or is unavailable.
Definitions of contact roles
- Primary contact: Primary person to contact to complete the infectious waste annual report, and who will receive instructions on obtaining a WAMS ID for access to the annual report.
- Secondary contact: Back-up contact in case primary contact is unavailable. This is optional, but recommended.
- Billing contact: Person to receive invoice and submit payment once report is submitted. Primary contact will automatically receive the invoice as well.
All contacts must be a person and may not be a job title or a department within the company.
Update facility information
The DNR must be notified when ownership changes occur (based on a change in the facility's Tax ID number) or when your facility's name changes. This ensures that each owner can report before and after the ownership changes. New facilities that generate enough infectious waste to have to file annual reports should notify the DNR after the facility opens.
- Notify the DNR of facility information changes
- Infectious waste generators, owners and manifesting groups (WA-1819)
- Hospital or surgery center is defined in s. 50.33(2)(a)-(c), Wis. Stats. “Hospital” includes ambulatory surgery centers. This generator type does not include oral surgery centers.
- Nursing home is defined in s. 50.01(3), Wis. Stats. “Nursing home” includes any assisted-living situations, CBRFs and group homes that meet the statutory definition in s. 50.01(3).
- Clinic is defined in s. 287.07(7)(c)1.a., Wis. Stats. “Clinic” includes single doctor's offices, larger clinics and health services serving large corporations or public institutions (schools, colleges, prisons, etc.). Three special types of clinics are listed on the form: dental clinics (including oral surgery centers), veterinary clinics, and dialysis clinics. All other clinics are physician clinics.
- Clinical laboratory is any laboratory that generates microbiological laboratory waste, which is defined in s. NR 500.03(147), Wis. Adm. Code. “Clinical laboratory” includes both stand-alone laboratories and laboratories within medical facilities. However, stand-alone clinical laboratories are not subject to medical waste reduction planning requirements.
- Other is any non-household generator of infectious waste that is does not fit in the generator types listed above.
- “Other” includes but is not limited to public health agencies, blood collection centers, in-patient hospice programs, research institutions, funeral homes, morgues, coroner’s offices and home health care providers who remove and manage infectious waste from homes.
- “Other” also includes persons who file annual reports on behalf of manifesting groups, when no other generator type applies. For more information about manifesting groups, see the DNR publication Infectious waste generators, owners and manifesting groups (WA-1819) and Appendix 1 of the infectious waste annual report instructions
- “Other” does not include sharps collection stations because they are storage facilities, not generator facilities.