Do you ever find yourself wondering whether your Atlanta-based medical facility is doing everything by the book with regard to your sharps container disposal? If you're not 100 percent certain you're following every law, make sure to keep reading! It could just help your Atlanta doctor's office avoid fines or other penalties.

What Your Atlanta, Georgia, Doctor's Office Needs to Know about Proper Sharps Container Disposal

Federal versus State Laws: How the Proper Disposal of Sharps Can Vary

By and large, the laws that dictate how to dispose of sharps are federal, meaning they apply to every state. Your doctor's office in Georgia must adhere to any federal law.

However, if there are state-specific laws, these would obviously only apply to the state in which the legislation passed. Therefore, if South Carolina passed a law requiring something more stringent than the federal law, your Georgia clinic would not be held to those South Carolina standards.

In Georgia, you only need to worry about federal laws and Georgia laws—unless you're transporting medical waste across state lines. If you bring waste into another state, you can be held to the standards of that state, so having a working knowledge of surrounding states' laws (or working with a waste management company that does) is always a smart idea!

Best Waste Management Tips for the Proper Disposal of Sharps in Georgia Doctors' Offices

  1. Don't Ship the Sharps Bins from Your Atlanta Doctor's Office Alone

The sharp container is merely what you put the medical sharps in to ensure nobody is accidentally stuck by a sharp (used or otherwise). It is not a shippable container on its own.

Always place the sharp containers in a medical waste box, secure that box top with tape, place all necessary placards and labeling on the box, and then hand it off to your medical waste management company for proper disposal.

  1. Know What Goes in the Medical Waste Boxes

First and foremost, make sure everyone in your Atlanta clinic realizes that proper sharps disposal means putting your sharp bins in the medical waste boxes every time. (In most cases, the bulk of a clinic's medical waste are these containers.)

Second, it doesn't matter what kind of sharps bin you use (wall-mounted or not, any size, and so on). It still needs to go in that medical waste box.

  1. Use the Sharps Containers in Your Georgia Doctor's Office—Every Time

While there's some gray area when it comes to how much blood contamination is required before the items is considered red bag waste, the issue of sharps is very much black and white. Every time, you absolutely must put every sharp in the sharp bin. Even if the sharp was not used in a medical way, if you're disposing of it, it still needs to go in that puncture-resistant container.

Why? Because sharps disposal isn't exclusively about avoiding people getting stuck by contaminated needles, syringes, and other medical sharps. It's also about general safety concerns and ensuring nobody gets cut by any sharp, used or not.

  1. Avoid Mail Back Sharps Disposal—In Certain Cases

If your doctor's office is considering participation in a sharps mail back program, make sure you do your research to ensure it's going to be cost effective for your medical facility.

For example, if you're a small clinic located in a very remote area where medical waste management companies are going to charge extra for your medical waste pickup, these sharps mail back programs might make financial sense for you.

However, if you're in a metropolitan area, such as Atlanta, it's very unlikely a mail back sharps program is best of you.

Regardless, any established, reputable waste management company should be willing to talk through these options with you to help you determine what's best—in terms of finances, convenience, and all other factors. If you speak with the right company, you should be able to work out a schedule that works around your needs.

For more information about sharps disposal and how it affects your Atlanta doctor's office, please feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, a waste management Atlanta company.