Whether you’re dealing with a broken beaker, discarded slides, or a used syringe barrel, hazardous glass and plastic waste should be categorized and disposed of according to its type and use. Though such items often appear harmless, the truth can be alarming, especially in healthcare or pharmaceutical industries. The process for safe hazardous glass and plastic disposal starts with proper identification.
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The differences between regulated medical waste and potentially hazardous medical wastes are not always easy to define. That’s why it is imperative that not only health professionals, but also housekeeping and janitorial staff, are aware of the difference between wastes that belong in the regulated or ‘non-regulated’ categories when it comes to disposal.
Do your staff and employees know how to identify hazardous solid waste? Do they know the difference between hazardous waste characteristics? Are they aware that hazardous solid waste that is corrosive, flammable, or potentially toxic poses a serious threat to the health and safety of humans, animals, and the environment?
Not all waste is created equal, so how can you tell when your waste falls under regulations of federal and state laws for handling, shipping, and disposal processes?
Dealing with medical waste and transportation requires awareness, implementation of best practices, and compliance with federal, state, and local laws. With so many different types of potential medical waste streams (such as sharps, biological, infectious, pathological, pharmaceutical, etc.) and with different rules and regulations stipulating how each of those types of waste needs to be handled, it can quickly become confusing.
If you’re a dentist—or the manager of a dental clinic—it’s understandable if you’ve never heard of something called a “conditionally exempt small quantity generator” (CESQG). But in the eyes of the EPA, that’s very likely you—and what you’re generating is nothing less than hazardous waste.
One of the biggest benefits hazardous waste management companies can offer pharmacies is their expertise on expired medication disposal. Because it is so common for various medications to expire in a pharmacy and require proper disposal, every pharmacy should be fully up to date on the protocol for proper medication disposal (and the consequences for failing to follow that protocol).
Every state has differing disposal laws for medical waste, and South Carolina waste management is no exception. There are overarching federal laws that apply to any manufacturer, medical facility, or producer of various waste streams, but those are not the only laws that need to be acknowledged and followed. The state-specific laws are just as important and relevant, and your medical facility is as liable to face fines or other consequences if you fail to follow the letter of state laws as if you fail to follow federal laws.
Substances that are considered regulated medical waste (RMW) don’t always come from “obvious” sources like hospitals and clinics. Instead, there are many RMW generators that are less obvious, such as drug stores, dental offices, and funeral homes. So does your facility generate a regulated medical waste? This article well give you the answers to help decide.
The company that manages your sharps-disposal program fulfills a crucial role in maintaining the continuity of your patient services; controlling infection; and keeping your hospital, clinic, or pharmacy in legal compliance with federal and state laws.
In most states, the EPA is responsible for developing and enforcing regulations for medical waste management. But in some, the Department of Health is involved (e.g., Missouri and Oklahoma) or might even be the primary enforcer (e.g., Colorado)