What do you do with all of those ink toner cartridges that your office uses each day? How about all of the paper that is tossed out after being looked at for just a few seconds? Now, what do you do with all of the dead batteries from different gadgets around the office? I created this blog to help other businesses find methods of recycling the many recyclable materials that come in and out of the office in a day. It is my hope that knowing what can be done with these things will help keep them out of the landfill.
Medical waste safety is regulated through OSHA (The Occupational Health and Safety Administration). Local health and environmental agencies may mandate disposal methods that will result in sorting, sterilizing and recycling many of the waste components.
Disposal Methods Of The Past
Several decades ago, biohazard waste wasn't regulated in the manner it is today. Waste items would often be deposited into landfills. On occasion, medical waste would be dumped into waterways. As a result of these practices, the public and waste handlers were at risk of being injured from a sharp syringe or needle or coming into contact with a bodily fluid that could result in the transmission of a disease.
Biohazard Storage And Used Medical Materials
Plastic bags are used to store used medical materials that are soft. Plastic cases or cardboard boxes are used to store sharp and weighty medical instruments. Products that must remain sterile prior to use may each be stored inside of a plastic package that is sealed.
Packaging materials, used syringes and needles, lancets, gauze, and empty intravenous fluid bags are collected by a medical waste disposal business and brought to a facility where the items are sorted and sterilized. An autoclave sterilization process is used to disinfect used materials. Pressurized steam delivers heat to the inside of a sealed container. This process kills bacteria and other harmful pathogens that could spread disease.
Recycling And Disposal Methods
Some plastic materials, including polyethylenes and polyvinyls, can be melted down and repurposed. Other materials that were previously used to store bulk waste may be renewable. Each piece that is brought to a sterilization facility will be visually inspected.
If products are not reusable, they will be brought to a landfill. Sharps will be disassembled and secured prior to the medical instruments being banded together. Any materials that wind up in a landfill will not pose a threat to people or the environment due to them being sterilized.
Hospital medical workers or private practice employees can increase their conservation efforts to reduce the amount of biohazard waste that needs to be collected by a disposal company. Medical instruments that will be used to treat injuries should only be handled by trained service providers. Creating a formal plan and enforcing it will ensure that each caregiver uses and disposes of medical instruments in the manner that has been outlined. Multi-use products should be used in place of single use products, when possible.
Contact a company that offers biohazard waste solutions to learn more.