What Is Medical Waste? And Other Common Questions About Sharps & Medical Waste Disposal

Medical waste is generated by healthcare facilities (human and animal), research institutions, and even at home. Each time you have blood drawn, surgery, get a filling at the dentist, or visit a pharmacy for a flu shot, you create medical waste. Improper waste disposal has serious health and environmental consequences. Health professionals and consumers need to understand how to protect themselves and their communities.
Continue reading “What Is Medical Waste? And Other Common Questions About Sharps & Medical Waste Disposal”


Types of Regulated Medical Waste

Every medical waste generator must have a solid understanding of the different types of regulated medical waste. Approximately 15% of the waste generated in healthcare is deemed regulated medical waste, and proper handling is critical. Improper disposal can spread disease and leave your facility open to fines and lawsuits. Make sure your staff understands what constitutes regulated medical waste and is appropriately trained on its handling, containment, packaging, labeling, storage, transport, and disposal.
Continue reading “Types of Regulated Medical Waste”


Part One: What’s Going into that Red Biohazard Bag?

This is an update of the article originally published on September 5, 2013.

Reducing Your Medical Waste Through RightClassificationSM – A Three Part Series

Decades after the Medical Waste Tracking Act prompted the passing of state medical waste regulations, red biohazard bags are still being filled with trash. Granted, we seldom see pizza boxes or drink cans in red bags anymore, but we still see trash, such as dressings, gauze, gloves, test strips, urine cups, empty medication vials, table and tray covers, device packaging, tubing, pads, and adults diapers. Proper waste segregation (RightClassification℠) is crucial to assure proper containment and disposal of trash, regulated medical waste (RMW), and hazardous waste. Many reasons are given as to why these items end up in red biohazard bags, including:

Continue reading “Part One: What’s Going into that Red Biohazard Bag?”


What Happens to Regulated Medical Waste After It Leaves Your Facility?

Healthcare workers are often surprised to learn that 85% of the waste generated at their facility is classified as solid waste and can be disposed of as regular trash. The remaining 15% is classified as either biohazardous, hazardous, or other regulated waste and must be handled, contained, and disposed of per state and federal regulations.
Continue reading “What Happens to Regulated Medical Waste After It Leaves Your Facility?”


Safely Dispose of Pet Needles, Syringes, and Medications

Americans love their pets! So, in honor of National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and World Spay Day (February 27), we’re spending the month highlighting a specific segment of medical waste generators – veterinary hospitals and pet owners. Our pets are living longer, so pet owners need to be knowledgeable about safety issues around home medical care for diseases related to obesity and aging – specifically safe disposal of syringes and unused medications.

The American Pet Products Association’s 2017/2018 annual survey of pet ownership found that approximately 47 million households in the U.S. have at least one cat and 60 million households have at least one dog. As the United States population ages, our pets are aging right along with us and are subject to many of the same diseases of aging – and often the same treatments. Many pet owners now give regular in-home injections to their pets and must deal with how to safely dispose of the syringes.
Continue reading “Safely Dispose of Pet Needles, Syringes, and Medications”