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Wisconsin's infectious waste annual report

This page is for people filing annual reports on the infectious waste they generate. It provides access to the online report and instructions for filing it. This page also describes who is exempt from filing the report and explains how to prepare for filing the report, how to obtain WAMS ID, and how to 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, and also requires hospitals, clinics and nursing homes 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 in the same online form. Your facility may be exempt from one or both reports.

For more background information, read the following:

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.

Example 1: A hospital owns three outlying clinics and all are on separate properties.  Therefore, the hospital and clinics count as four separate facilities (generators). They must file 4 annual reports unless any are exempt from reporting.

Example 2: A hospital rents Suite A to an independent group of doctors. The hospital is one facility (generator), and the group of doctors is one facility (generator) collectively. They must file two annual reports unless the group of doctors is exempt from reporting.

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) [PDF].

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 [PDF].

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

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. For the definition of an FID, go to the Update facility info tab.

If you have problems with your WAMS ID or password, visit DNR Switchboard help.

Log in to your report

File (finish) your report

Finishing your report involves three steps.

  1. Submit the online form. You must click the "submit" button in the report before the due date and time, or the DNR will charge a $25 late fee.
  2. Send in the signed signature page. The director must print, sign and send the signature page to the DNR office in Madison. This is the person in the highest-ranking position who actually works in the medical facility. Designees (such as environmental services directors) and corporate officials (such as employees who oversee waste management at several facilities but work elsewhere) cannot sign the reports. This may be done via mail (address on signature page), fax (608-267-2768) or email to
  3. Pay the filing fee. An invoice is produced when the report is filed. It is the final page of the report and 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:
    1. Via check: include your invoice with your check for proper processing. Send your check and invoice to Milwaukee, as directed on the invoice.
    2. Via online payment: DNR E-Pay invoice payment options.

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 and Internet Explorer (IE) version 10 or higher. The report will not work in the Windows Vista operating system or in IE version 9 and lower.
  • Always access your report from this page. 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 facility info

Update your contacts and facility information

You must notify the DNR when ownership changes (based on a change in the facility's Tax ID number) and 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.

Make sure you receive timely reporting information, including invoices and documents you are required to sign and return to the DNR. The DNR will notify your facility about annual reports only by email, so it is very important that you keep primary contact information up to date. The DNR strongly encourages you to name a secondary contact who can respond to DNR emails about the annual report if the primary contact leaves or is unavailable.

Definition of FID

A Facility Identification (FID) is a nine-digit number DNR uses to identify facilities based on location (not ownership). If a generator moves to another address, the DNR will give the generator a new FID for the new location. This enables the DNR to keep track of what has happened on a particular property through time (such as spills and cleanups), regardless of who has owned or occupied the property.

The FID is not the same as a FEIN number, tax ID, or an EPA ID number (a 12-digit number assigned by the DNR for dealing with chemically hazardous waste).