If you run a doctor's office, hospital, or any other medical facility, it's likely you are already working with or are in need of a medical waste management company. However, you have lots of options within that industry, so how do you know you're getting the best deal possible? What factors contribute to your medical waste disposal costs, and how can you go about securing a reputable, knowledgeable, and fair medical waste disposal company?

What Are the Different Factors for Medical Waste Disposal Cost Pricing

1. Rural versus Metropolitan

One large contributing factor to your waste management cost is location. If you're in a city or easily accessible place, you're simply going to get better rates for your regulated medical waste disposal than those in more rural parts. Someone in Atlanta, for example, will pay less than a facility in rural Georgia or Mississippi, which will pay a more premium price per box of red bag waste.

Why does the cost of waste management fluctuate with location? It has everything to do with transportation. The extra cost of getting to a location outside the city (in terms of fuel, wear and tear on company trucks, cost of manpower, etc.) gets passed on to the customer.

2. Volume of Generated Regulated Medical Waste

Another contributing factor that determines what medical waste disposal companies charge is the volume. How much of that waste are you generating? Waste management pricing is often based in part on volume. If you're producing one box every quarter compared to three boxes a week, it's going to be more difficult to give you a rate as favorable as for the person who generates more.

Also be aware of special deals or discounts that affect your medical waste disposal cost. If you need more than ten boxes picked up, for example, you might be eligible for special pricing on that medical waste pickup.

3. Frequency of Disposing Medical Waste

How often you need pickups also plays into your waste management price. The person who needs more frequent pickups is going to get the better rate than one who infrequently requires this service.

Again, this goes back to those transportation costs. If the company is picking up ten boxes versus one, it helps offset the costs associated with every pickup.

If you generate very little biohazardous waste at your medical facility and are far off standard routes, don't be surprised if your rates are significantly higher than others. To avoid losing time and money, a company will likely have to charge you premium rates.

4. Type of Waste Generated

5. Type of waste can play into the cost of waste disposal.

  • Pharmaceutical waste generated in a medical facility can be hazardous or non-hazardous waste. Many companies will often ship it all as hazardous waste to err on the side of caution. Regardless, it needs to go out on a hazardous waste manifest. This can slightly increase the waste disposal cost.
  • Trace chemotherapy and pathological waste both must go through medical waste incineration. (Note, this process is distinct from the medical waste autoclave used for most biohazardous waste disposal.) This incineration is more expensive than standard red bag waste disposal, so take that into consideration if your facility produces this kind of waste.

General Notes about Waste Management Costs

  • Seriously consider whether you want to be in a waste management contract or if you'd rather sign up with a company that offers a waste management service agreement. What's the difference? Waste management contracts charge you a set free per month; service agreements only charge you per box for each pickup.
  • If you're looking to switch waste management companies, it's likely because of pricing issues. However, don't necessarily jump at the lowest waste disposal price offered. You're ultimately responsible for the proper treatment and disposal of your medical waste (from generation to landfill). Therefore, it's very much in your best interest to only work with the most honest, reputable, and experienced people in the industry.
  • When examining factors outside of waste management costs, look into their employee and driver trainings, safety measures, permits, insurance, and licensing.

For more information about the factors that can affect your waste disposal costs, please feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, a waste management Atlanta company with over twenty-five years of experience