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Medical Waste Disposal: The Best, Most Affordable Options for Your Needs



October 20, 2021



Home » Medical Waste Disposal » Medical Waste Disposal: The Best, Most Affordable Options for Your Needs

Medical Waste Disposal: The Best, Most Affordable Options for Your Needs

Medical Waste Disposal: The Best, Most Affordable Options for Your Needs. How to Figure out Which Medical Waste Disposal Firm Is the Best Fit: How to find the best medical waste disposal business for your unique business needs.

Medical waste disposal is a rising concern among COVID. Everyone from healthcare professionals to patients to regulators. In the U.S., it’s estimated that more than 6 billion pounds of medical waste are generated every year. This includes everything from pharmaceuticals to blood-soaked bandages to needles and other sharps. But not all medical waste disposal companies are created equal. Some charge exorbitant fees for services, while others offer a minimal service. To find out which medical waste disposal company is best for you, here’s a list of the most popular options.

Understand Your Options

Medical Waste Disposal: The Best, Most Affordable Options for Your Needs. When looking for a medical waste disposal company you will likely encounter one of four types of medical waste disposal companies. 

Lead Generator

Most lead generators do not care about your needs or service, all they are doing is selling your contact information to one or multiple companies. A lead generator will pass you off to another company for the quote and will not service your medical waste.

Broker

A broker will not directly service your account, they will sign you up on their paperwork (contract) and pay a third-party medical waste disposal company to service your account. The broker makes money from the skinny between what they charge you and what they pay the real medical waste disposal company that services your account. 

Hauler

A hauler is simply a company that transports your medical waste from your facility to a destruction facility. They haul your waste from point A to Point B. They are more like a traditional semi-truck driver, they do not own a facility on either end of the trip, they do not own the product they haul, they simply transport it.

Medical Waste Management Company

A true medical waste management company owns the medical waste disposal process from start to finish. They have the most invested in their company, to service your company. They will directly employ the drivers on their company’s payroll as a W2 employee, they will own and maintain a fleet of trucks to service your accounts, and they will own the destruction plants that will treat your medical waste.

Final Thoughts on Company Types

Lead Generators – I don’t like dealing with lead generators, it is like when you are trying to get an online quote for car insurance and after hitting submit, you realize you made a big mistake. Your phone and email start blowing up with aggressive agents, everyone is all over the place, and to me it is just a mess I wish I never started.

Brokers – With a broker they are making money from your facility by charging you more than they are paying the medical waste company that is servicing your account. To me, if the servicing company is doing it for less, why not just contract with them?

It is the same service, the same company. Why pay some other company more money? You can obviously get the exact same service, from the same company, with the same people for less money. 

Haulers – Most medical waste companies will fall under the hauler category. They own the trucks and employ the drivers, but they simply transport the medical waste from point A to Point B. With a hauler they must pay another company to treat the medical waste and that cost gets passed on to you.

Medical Waste Management Company – For me this is the type of company I would want to work with, the directly employ the drivers, own, and maintain a fleet of trucks to service your accounts, and they will own the treatment plants that destroy your waste. By not having to use a third-party company along the way, they often provide the most complete service, at the most economical pricing. This type of company also must stay abreast of the latest laws and regulations because the processing plants are regulated.

Questions To Ask 

Medical Waste Disposal: The Best, Most Affordable Options for Your Needs

Do you directly own the trucks that will come to my location? If the answer is No, then the company you are speaking with could be a lead generator or broker. If the answer is Yes, then the company you are speaking with is a hauler or medical waste management company.

Is it your direct w2 employees that will be picking up my waste? If the answer is No, then the company you are speaking with could be a lead generator or broker. If the answer is Yes, then the company you are speaking with is a hauler or medical waste management company.

Do you own the treatment plants that will destroy my waste? If the answer is No, then the company you are speaking with could be a lead generator, broker, or hauler. If the answer is Yes, then the company you are speaking with is a medical waste management company.

Make a List of Your Waste Types

Before you start contacting medical waste disposal companies, make a list of the types of waste you would like to have properly disposed of. Your facility may have an OSHA medical waste management plan that list the types of waste generated at your facility. Or in a smaller facility setting you will typically know the types of waste, but it is a good idea to ask at each generation point, what goes in what container. Specific waste may have a different treatment requirement by law.

Know How Often and How Much Waste is Being Pick up

Along with the waste types you will need to know the frequency and volume of service. If you have a current service, you can look at some old invoices and see the waste types, volume, and frequency. You will need to know Waste Types, Volume, and Frequency when requesting a quote for service. Remember that there are specific laws and regulations surrounding how certain medical waste can be disposed of.

If you are a new facility that has not generated any medical waste yet, ask the potential medical waste company if you can change frequency or volume plans without any additional charges (other than the volume of waste charges).

How To Find the Right Medical Waste Disposal Company

There is not one patented answer to this question because it really comes down to finding a good fit for your current and future needs. Can the company you chose offer other services as you may need them, can they change volume or frequency on the fly? As with most services it starts with an internet search. I usually search for the product or service followed by the city, state. Like this “Medical Waste Disposal Gary, Indiana “.  The top four results or so could be ads you will know by the little Ad sign next to it.

Once you have found some companies to start contacting take a few minutes to explore their website and see what services they offer and then contact them. Keep in mind the types of companies you may encounter and ask a few questions to determine what type of company you are speaking with. By now you should have an idea of the type of company you want to do business with. Once you have found a medical waste disposal company you are comfortable with, ask them if they’ll provide a free estimate. And ask about their fees, price increase policies, missed pickup policy, stop charges, a stop charge is if the company comes to your facility and there is no waste or the office was closed but they stopped anyhow. You will want to understand any fees that you could encounter during your contract outside of the medical waste bill itself, late charges, stop charges, etc.

Choose Wisely: Do Your Research

Before you hire a medical waste disposal company, do your research, and look for a company that offers all the services you use, medical waste disposal, document and hard drive shredding, compliance training programs, great customer service, experience, and a solid reputation.

The customer service level is extremely important. Working with a company that owns the entire process of your medical waste disposal from employees to trucks, to destroying your medical waste means they directly control each touch point.

For me it is an easy conclusion that a company that owns the process can provide better customer service because they control each touch point, they don’t have to call another company and ask what happened, wait for that company to respond, and then relay that information to you.

If the company does not own the entire process of your service, how much control do they have over things like missed pickups? Missing Manifest? Unfriendly or rude drivers?  How long does it take to get issues like that resolved?

Look for a Green Company

By working with a company that practices the three R’s it can help the environment and often reduce cost. The three Rs are.

  1. Refuse, Reduce – Refusing. Plastics and cardboard are prominent in the medical industry, by refusing single use medical waste containers it helps keep items out of our landfills. Reducing. Ensuring proper segregation is taking place reduces the amount of waste being generated.
  2. Reuse – By using, reusable medical waste containers and sharps containers it helps keep plastics out of our landfills.
  3. Recycle – By recycling, when possible, it helps reduce the amount of energy and resources it cost to make a new product.

Understand Every Step of Service

Once a medical waste disposal company is found, it is crucial to know every step of its services. Speaking specifically to medical waste disposal services, it is important to know who will be providing each step of your service.

The first interaction will most likely be a phone call, once you have decided on a company the next interaction will be supplies, then the pickup and hauling service, and finally treatment of your medical waste.

Steps

  1. Phone Call – Find out the type of company you are speaking with as per above.
  2. Find out how you will get supplies, are they shipped to your facility, or are they dropped off in person.
  3. Find out if the company that you are speaking with is the same company that will be picking up your waste, or do they use a third-party company to pick up your waste.
  4. Ask if they own the treatment plants that will destroy your waste or if they use a third-party treatment plant.

Know The Time Frames Offered for Pickups

Find out what days of the week and even weekends your medical waste disposal firm is open. Some might offer a wide variety of pickup options, and others may only be in your area once a month or even quarter.

Compare Disposal Companies by Services

Choosing the right medical waste disposal company is an important business decision. When looking for a medical waste disposal company make sure to inquire about all the services they offer, shredding, compliance training, bulk cardboard recycling and more. Then you can make an apples-to-apples comparison and often you can get a discount by bundling all of your services.

Compare Prices

Pricing is a factor when choosing the right medical waste disposal company but make sure you do not sacrifice service or quality for price. Consider which firm is the best fit for your company’s needs and offers the most convenient options.

Final Thoughts

Medical Waste Disposal: The Best, Most Affordable Options for Your Needs. Choosing the right medical waste disposal business for your business means you must find the one that best fits your needs. In addition to the question of how much waste you have, you should also consider how often you are generating waste, and how it is going to be destroyed.

As your business grows, you’ll have even more need for medical waste disposal services and additional services. You will want to make sure the company you have chosen has decades of experience and can handle medical waste volumes from small clinics to large multi-chain hospitals.

Control and Quality of service should be a top priority. If you are having issues as a small quantity generator with your medical waste provider, can you imagine what those issues look like when you grow or add other locations. With a quality provider like Healthcare Waste Management, we manage your medical waste so you can focus on your facility or business. We own your medical waste process from cradle-to-grave.


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