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Kentucky Medical Waste Disposal

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Overview of Medical Waste in Kentucky

Kentucky Medical Waste Disposal. Medical waste in simple terms is any waste that may be contaminated by blood, bodily fluids, or potentially infectious materials. Although the EPA provides some oversight of medical waste storage and disposal, most of the medical waste is regulated on a state or local level.

In Kentucky, there are no specific regulations pertaining to medical waste and there is no one agency with jurisdiction over medical waste. There are, however, regulations that reference the characterization, treatment, handling, labeling, storage, transport and disposal of this type of waste. These state regulations overlap between environmental, public health, labor and transportation agencies. They are intended to protect personnel, the public and the environment from exposure, injury or contamination of potentially infectious wastes.

Aspects of Medical Waste Management

Characterization: ​Medical waste in Kentucky is characterized as municipal solid waste and is subject to the same disposal requirements; therefore, it can legally be disposed of in a permitted contained landfill according to approved practices. It is important to note, however, that some medical waste may contain toxic chemicals, chemotherapy agents or radioactive materials and may be subject to state and federal regulations specific to hazardous wastes and radioactive wastes.

Generators: Generators of medical waste range from hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and laboratories to households and even illicit drug users.  Depending on the waste generator, treatment may or may not be required to render the waste non-infectious prior to disposal.

Households: Medical waste generated in households may be legally disposed of with regular household garbage. Nevertheless, waste collectors and disposal companies serving this sector should be aware of the potential for medical waste hazards.

Needles and Sharps: Safe disposal methods for needles and sharps generated as household medical waste include the following:

Treatment:  Treatment is any method, technique or process designed to eliminate pathogens from potentially infectious waste. Under the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services regulations, hospitals, nursing homes and certain other public health facilities in Kentucky are required to treat medical waste on or off-site. Basically, this means that items contaminated with a potentially infectious material must be rendered nonhazardous prior to disposal or managed through a medical waste disposal contractor. Infectious waste autoclaves that use steam (moist heat), followed by landfilling, is the most common treatment and disposal method.  Some medical waste is still incinerated; however, the requirements for lower emissions from air pollutants have resulted in less expensive waste disposal alternatives, such as autoclaving.

Handling, labeling and storing medical waste in the workplace: The risks associated with medical waste are especially important to those exposed to it in their jobs. Such occupations include healthcare, janitorial work, waste collection and landfill workers. The Kentucky Safety and Health (OSH) Program, under the Kentucky Labor Cabinet, regulates several aspects of medical waste including management of sharps, requirements for containers that hold or store medical waste, labeling of medical waste bags and containers, and employee training.

Transportation of medical waste: In Kentucky, anyone who transports solid waste to a landfill is required to register with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (excepting from a private residence or a vehicle 10,000 pounds or less).  In addition to vehicle registration, collectors of municipal solid waste, including medical waste haulers, must register with and report annually to any county in which they do business. The registration and reporting form, DEP 5033, may be obtained from county solid waste coordinators or downloaded.

Disposal of medical waste: In Kentucky, medical waste is disposed of in the same manner as household waste, meaning that it can legally be disposed of in a permitted, contained landfill. Treatment and sterilization prior to disposal, however, depends on the type of facility that generates the waste. Hospitals, nursing homes and certain other public health facilities are required to segregate sharps and infectious waste from other waste and then incinerate or render nonhazardous before permanent disposal. Most sanitary landfills in Kentucky will not accept medical waste unless it has been treated at a medical waste transfer station prior to being transported.  Medical waste transfer stations and contained landfills are required to obtain a permit from the Kentucky Division of Waste Management. Permit requirements include the types of waste that may be accepted at contained landfills.

Benefits of Using Healthcare Waste Management’s Kentucky Medical Waste Disposal Services

As the name suggest we are a complete management team of your healthcare medical, biohazard, sharps and other wastes that is regulated. From pickup to destruction, we are the only company that handles your waste

  • We own the waste from pickup to destruction, no middleman, means no hidden cost.
  • Our state-of-the-art processing plants ensure the waste is disposed of as quickly and effectively as possible, with minimum impact to the environment.
  • With us it is our drivers, our trucks, our processing plants and our insurance. You can imagine the insurance one must have when they own their own processing plants.

Kentucky About

Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the Southern United States. Although styled as the “State of Kentucky” in the law creating it, Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth (the others being Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts). Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky split from it and became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.

Kentucky is known as the “Bluegrass State”, a nickname based on the bluegrass, a species of grass found in many of its pastures. One of the major regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky, which houses its two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington. It is a land with diverse environments and abundant resources, including the world’s longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park, one of the greatest lengths of navigable waterways and streams in the contiguous United States, and the two largest man-made lakes east of the Mississippi River.

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Helpful Kentucky Resources

Kentucky Department of Natural Resources

300 Sower Blvd. 2nd Floor
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
(502) 564-6940
Kentucky Department for Public Health

275 E. Main St.
Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
(502) 564-3970
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

200 Mero St
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
(502) 564-4890

Kentucky Information

In 1776, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County, named for the Kentucky River. The precise etymology of the name is uncertain, but likely based on an Iroquoian name meaning “(on) the meadow” or “(on) the prairie”, “at the field”).

Others have put forth the possibility of Kenta Aki, which would absolutely have come from the Algonquian language and therefore probably derived from Shawnee. Folk etymology states that this translates as “Land of Our Fathers”. The closest approximation in another Algonquian language, Ojibwe (N. Michigan) translates it more-so to “Land of Our In-Laws”, thus making a fairer English translation “The Land of Those Who Became Our Fathers”. In any case, the word aki comes out as land in practically all Algonquian languages.

Kentucky Medical Waste Disposal Service Area

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