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Hazardous Waste VS. Bio Hazardous Waste

Yes. The two terms sound similar. But hazardous waste is very different from bio-hazardous waste. Though they  both can be produced in a health care environment, Bio- hazardous waste is what you would typically find in a health care setting. It includes used syringes, razors, lancets and other devices that come in contact with bodily fluids. Both human and animal fluids. Hazardous waste on the other hand, is used to specifically refer to waste that waste deemed hazardous by the RCRA ACT. A waste would be deemed hazardous based on its level of re-activity. Some are hazardous since they are flammable, others are corrosive. These substances need to be handled, stored and disposed of in a very specific way. While there are great requirements for the disposal of bio-hazardous waste, hazardous waste requirements and regulations are certainly more stringent. This is certainly due to the danger posed by the mistreatment of hazardous wastes.  The disposal for hazardous waste is monitored and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Toxic Substance Control and other Federal, state and local bodies.

 

There is a lot of information out there about the proper disposal and treatment of medical waste, hazardous waste and other wastes. Treating waste correctly is very important for our way of living and also reflective of our general social attitudes.

Remember, MedWaste Management provides great medical waste and hazardous waste disposal and information pertaining to regulation. Give us a call! We are always happy to speak!

Is Donald Trump Going To Affect Medical Waste Disposal Regulations?

How does Donald Trump feel about environmental safety regulations?

Is Donald Trump going to affect medical waste or other environmental safety regulations once he becomes President? Will he look to make them more or less stringent?

It can be said, that there are plenty of people who are fearful that Donald trump will not put forth or strengthen policies that have to d with environmental protection and the like. Maybe he seems cavalier about following the rules! Perhaps further regulating medical waste disposal would be considered adding “red tape”. The type of “red tape” that Donald has been repeatedly saying is bringing down small and medium sized businesses!

Others have been less critical of Donald’s contempt for “red tape” and “bogus legislation”.

“Donald may strongly believe in the obligation of government to step in and put forth policies that will protect our environment, even if it means regulating businesses”, writes an insider.
This type of regulation is great, and would not be called “red tape” or “bogus legislation by Donald Trump!

“It’s the unnecessary, ineffective and complicated regulation that bothers the President elect!”
In any case, medical waste is an area where the government has already put forth policies to ensure safety for medical staff and patients alike. The health care industry and various medical waste disposal companies have added their own policies to keep medical waste management even safer! It is important to maintain these standards, to stay safe, and to work with a medical waste disposal company that you feel comfortable with.
It’s common sense and we take it very seriously.
I wonder how the new administration will feel…

Happy New Year From MedWaste Management!

How often should I schedule pick up for my medical waste disposal?

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As a matter of fact, there aren’t any Federal infectious medical waste disposal regulations at this time. This issue was left for each State to decide what their regulations will be.

OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard does not address this issue either.

In California, the storage times are different for biohazardous waste disposal and sharps disposal.

A facility that generates less than 20 pounds of biohazardous waste per month may store it for 30 days.”

That means pickup for a small medical waste generator should be scheduled for about once a month.

The waste may be stored for up to 90 days if kept at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Good storage habits may allow a less frequent pickup schedule.

Good storage habits would mean storing the medical waste containers in a place that is easily cleaned, not permeable (in case of spills) and made of durable materials that would provide protection from water, rain and wind so the containers remain dependably intact. Good storage would keep the containers in a place with limited access, preferably in a place where only trained employees can enter, so that the chance of damage, leakage or spills is minimal.

Good storage would be a place where the floor is not carpeted, has no open seams, and if there are floor drains, they must discharge to a sanitary sewer disposal system. The area should be kept clean and well-maintained, be in good repair, and if there are biohazardous waste containers in there, the international biohazard symbol needs to be posted at the entry.

Once a medical waste disposal box is filled, it needs to be packaged. Then, it should be picked up within 30 days. The countdown begins once the box is packaged.

However, sharps disposal containers have a different time frame. They can remain in place until they are ready to be changed, which is just slightly before the level reaches the “full” line. So, if you are a generator of mainly sharps disposal, like a tattoo parlor, the frequency of the medical waste pick-up would depend on the frequency of your sharps disposal containers reaching the full lines.

Hospitals and Nursing Homes are under other State regulations that require biohazard and regular trash to be removed every day or sooner, if needed. This is to protect patients and visitors, who are also at risk of exposure, especially little children, who are curious and may try to check out any unfamiliar things in their environment. Other people at risk for contamination and infection are support service workers. Cleaning personnel and laundry workers are the first people exposed to medical waste that is improperly disposed of or left around.

(Again, the sharps disposal containers are not included in the daily removal requirement.)

If you’re a small medical waste disposal generator, and you’re still not sure how often to schedule pick-up for your medical waste, here are some indicators:

To determine how frequently your facility needs to schedule pickup by a medical waste disposal company, you should weigh the amount of biohazardous waste (sharps not included) that your business generates in a month, and call to consult with our OSHA-trained experts.

You’ll know if your medical waste has been lying around for too long. One indicator that it’s beyond time to schedule a pickup is odor. Odors can indicate improper storage of your medical waste disposal (like a hot, moist boiler room), or be indicative of the type of waste you’re disposing of, but it’s a pretty reliable yardstick for the frequency of your pickup.

Don’t wait until it becomes that clear, though. Contact us for help to determine how often you should be scheduling pickups before the situation gets smelly.