Trying to determine the best and most cost-effective way to handle your medical waste management can be confusing, and when you have medical sharps to contend with, the question becomes even more complicated. If you're looking into how to ensure your medical facility complies with the proper disposal of sharps, you might very well be wondering what mail back sharps disposal entails. But is this right for you, your staff, and your medical facility? What makes these mail-back programs either advantageous or disadvantageous?

Sharps Mail Back Programs: Everything You Need to Know about Whether They're Right for Your Facility

Cost of Waste Management and the Mail Back Sharps Program

When all other factors are equals, a sharps mail back program does tend to be more expensive. This added expense appears in two primary ways. One, the price (per box) tends to be higher, and two, the time required to prepare that sharps bin and medical waste box is greater. When time is money, this can end up hurting your bottom line.

Why Is the Sharps Disposal Program More Time Consuming?

In one of these programs, the medical facility is sent a box, and then the facility is responsible for preparing that shipment. That includes all levels of packaging, taping, and finalizing the shipment. There's also the added time and hassle of ensuring the package complies with all relevant postal regulations. If something is done incorrectly, it must be done again, which quickly adds up in headache and man-hours.

Time-Sensitive Issues and Sharps Disposal Programs

Another potential issue with mail-back programs is simply the time involved for these packages to make their way through the postal system.

Because of the time required to be distributed through the system, there are also more opportunities for that package to go astray. When you work with a company, it's simply put on the truck and then unloaded at its destination.

When Does a Sharps Mail Back Program Make Sense?

That being said, if your medical facility is in a very rural section of your state, these sharps mail back programs might be your only option. If typical medical waste management companies can't reach (or can't easily reach) you, you'll have to turn to such alternative methods to ensure you're still complying with all federal and state laws regarding proper sharps disposal.

Most waste management companies can get to many areas, however, so make sure to confirm with your local waste management company whether your location is covered on its route or not. You might be surprised how far-reaching the routes of many full-service companies can be.

Who Else Might Benefit from Mail Back Sharps Disposal?

Outside of medical facilities, there are some subsets of people who can greatly benefit from these programs. Individuals with diabetes or people within individual residences with similar medical needs produce such small quantities of waste that these programs often make the most sense.

Key Takeaways

  • Sharps mail back programs tend to be more expensive.
  • Check with your local waste management company. Even if you're very rural, you might be on its route.
  • Mail back programs do make sense for some people—very small quantity generators, individual residences, or people too far out to be serviced by typical medical waste managers.

For more information about how to figure your medical waste disposal cost or determine whether a mail-back program is a good fit for you or your company, please feel free to reach out to MCF Environmental Services, a medical waste management Atlanta company.