Best Practices in the Medical Waste Disposal Industry

If your healthcare practice has medical waste, the law says it’s up to you to figure out how to best dispose of it.  Making sure to exercise proper disposal is a choice that reflects positively on the environment as well as the integrity of your company.  Follow these best practices to safely and efficiently dispose of your medical waste.

  1. Determine what type of waste your facility is producing.

Is the waste at your facility infectious or non-infectious?  Infectious waste is often classified as waste contaminated by things like blood, body fluids, or other potentially harmful materials that can infect and harm humans or the environment. Unlike infectious waste, non-infectious waste can be disposed of with solid waste.  Do you have pathological or pharmaceutical waste?  Pathological waste includes things like carcasses, tissues, and body parts.  Pharmaceutical waste includes unused medications and contaminated packaging.  Knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step to proper disposal.

  1. Separate different types of waste. Know which kinds can be disposed of together, and which need isolated treatment.

Not all waste can be disposed of the same way.  For example, sharps require placement in special containers that will inhibit needle sticks.  Also, some types of waste, like trace chemotherapy and pathological, require special permitting.  In dealing with these biohazardous wastes, other factors such as labeling and time-frame of required disposal also come into play.

  1. Know the Laws: EPA, DOT, DEA, OSHA.

There are many regulatory bodies that have a say in the medical waste disposal process—the EPA, DOT, DEA, OSHA.  It is important to be familiar with all of them.  From time of pick-up, to transportation, to storage and ultimate disposal, these agencies each have strict guidelines to keep the process as safe and eco-friendly as possible.

  1. Choose a qualified provider.

Choosing the right provider will make your facility’s entire medical waste disposal process smooth and easy and Healthcare Waste Management provides all the right options.  From our compliance and safety training, to our reusable sharps containers, to our EPA, IDEM and DOT pickup, transport, and disposal licensing, we can make your medical waste disposal as simple and hassle-free as possible.

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