The pecuniary penalties for mishandling biowaste, biohazard waste, or biomedical waste are substantial, not to mention a major distraction from your commitment to cure people and keep them healthy.
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The waste management industry is highly regulated, but it’s also subject to both state and federal laws. This can make pinning down how to legally and safely deal with your waste a complicated, confusing process. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable waste management company who can address some of these questions is one way to minimize that confusion. One such common source of uncertainty that these companies frequently get asked about is whether a business requires a generator’s EPA identification number.
If you work in the medical field or manufacturing industry, you likely generate waste that needs to be containerized, shipped, and transported according to strict regulations. Whether it’s biomedical waste (red bag waste) or hazardous materials, this waste can’t simply be dumped in the garbage or down the drain. If you do deal with this waste in your profession and you contact a waste management company to help handle its proper treatment, consider the benefits of working with a full-service outfit.
If your doctor’s office or hospital is a fully functioning clinic, it’s very likely you periodically need to dispose of expired medications and biohazardous waste. However, it’s obviously not as easy as simply throwing this material away. There are some very specific regulations and restrictions regarding what kinds of medications get disposed of in what fashion. One common practice used by doctors’ offices and hospitals alike is simply putting expired medication in red bag waste. This is not the protocol for properly disposing of hazardous waste, though, and could lead to fines being levied against the facility.
Generally speaking, the process for handling and disposing of medical waste involves decontamination, either with an autoclave or incinerator before being taken to a landfill. Once decontaminated, medical waste residual materials can be treated as nonhazardous waste and disposed of accordingly. Heat, chemicals, or a combination of the two represent the primary disposal methods of medical waste, though untreated waste can be processed by other means of decontamination are unavailable.
For many businesses, the collection and disposal of industrial waste presents a host of challenges. The byproduct of industrial activities, ranging from manufacturing to electronics and auto repair, industrial waste can include scrap metal, chemicals, universal waste, and a myriad of other potentially toxic compounds. When mishandled, industrial waste can cause irreparable damage to humans and the environment and expose organizations to legal liability. One way to mitigate risk and ensure proper collection and disposal involves partnering with a qualified waste management company.
Americans generate about 254 million tons of solid waste, or about 4.4 pounds per person according to the US EPA. By contrast, US hospitals generate approximately 6 million tons annually. While a majority of medical waste can be classified as...
Whether you run a small clinic or a comprehensive hospital in Georgia, there are some overarching medical waste regulations that you’ll need to abide by. Outside these state-specific regulations, there are also federal laws that apply to every state. Regardless, you need to be aware of (and working with people who are aware of) all these potential differences. This ensures compliance at all times and in all places.
If you currently work in a doctor’s office that generates medical waste and requires you use medical waste services to identify, handle, transport, and/or dispose of that waste, there are some extra costs, financial penalties, and surcharges to be aware of. While some of these fees are industry standard, others are actually avoidable—if you know what type of medical waste management companies to use.
If you work in an industry where you come in contact with patients or bodily fluids, it’s vitally important that you understand exactly what biohazardous waste is. However, it’s equally important to understand biohazardous waste regulations and the laws surrounding that material.