If you work in an industry where you come in contact with patients or bodily fluids, it’s important to understand exactly what biohazardous waste is. However, it’s equally important to understand biohazardous waste regulations and the laws surrounding the handling, storage, transportation, and disposal of such material.
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Without correct protocols and education, the medical field can be a dangerous place. This is especially true when it comes to the handling and disposal of syringes, needles, or scalpels, otherwise known as “sharps.” In addition to mindful handling during use, one extremely important step for the safety of everyone involved is safe and compliant sharps disposal.
The sterilization and treatment of medical waste before it’s dumped as garbage is an extremely important part of the medical waste management industry. Without the proper treatment, waste that is still dangerous—either hazardous or infectious—can end up in landfills. Learn more about the Autoclave process of treatment as it pertains to biomedical waste
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.
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...