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Medical Waste Management Companies

Medical Waste Management Companies

Medical waste management involves in-depth knowledge of the various types of medical wastes, their dangers, and the specific local, state and federal laws that govern the pickup, transport, treatment and ultimate safe disposal of medical waste. This is incredibly important as each state may have different guidelines and a medical waste company must comply with the laws of all states that they do business in. In addition, they must be aware of and comply with state laws for the protection of employees via OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and federal laws from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and DOT (Department of Transportation).  The importance of transitioning medical waste from potentially hazardous to people, animals, the community and the environment to waste that is harmless involves many licensed, trained professionals in each step.

A generator is any company or organization that creates medical waste. Although a majority of generators are within the medical industry, and specifically hospitals, there are many generators that can create medical waste that include but are not limited to: veterinarians, dentists, research laboratories, coroner’s offices, funeral homes, body piercing companies, and tattoo parlors. A generator uses the services of a company or companies, however, under the cradle-to-grave concept, a generator is ultimately responsible for all aspects of transitioning medical waste so that it is harmless and the safe disposal. This means that they, like medical waste disposal companies, must monitor and maintain all licenses, fees, documents, treatment and transport information to prove that the medical waste has been properly disposed of.

Types of Medical Waste Companies

There are four major types of companies involved in the medical waste disposal industry. It’s a priority to identify and know what each company does and the services that they offer.

A Lead Generator: This is more like an independent salesperson that gathers your information and then sells it to the highest bidder. They are selling your organization as a “lead” to companies that will may or may not actually do the work and they collect a fee for sharing your information. 

A Broker is an independent company that will sign a contract with you, collects all of your information, receives your payment but hires a third and sometimes fourth party to do the work of waste collection, transport, treatment, and disposal.

Haulers include a majority of the medical waste companies. They are the companies that have your contract and service your account with their own W2 employees that are identified on the trucks and staff attire. 

Medical Waste Management company is responsible for all aspects of the pickup, transport, treatment rendering the waste harmless, and ultimate disposal in a safe manner. This type of organization holds the contract with the generator, receives the payment for services, and supplies the confirmation documents required by law. They own the process from start to finsih. 

Why it is important to determine what type of company you are speaking with

When you are researching companies to take care of medical waste you need to be educated on each company service and especially what they don’t include. Asking the right questions will avoid confusion and save money in the long run.

Lead generators may have a misleading company name that allows you to assume that they are the waste management company, however, you can tell if they are a lead generator if:

Brokers make their profit by charging you more and paying the third party less money than they received. Getting answers to these questions will alert you as to whether you are dealing with a broker:

Haulers only pickup and transport and then hand the medical waste off to another service for treatment and safe disposal. This opens the door for another party to be responsible for the medical waste and for errors to occur. The important question to ask is:

Medical waste management companies are responsible for every step of the pickup, transport, treatment, and safe disposal of medical waste. The important questions to ask to ensure that they are a full service medical waste management company include:

The benefits of working with one company that handles your waste from start to finish

A medical waste management company takes care of all levels of the waste management. They have the most financial investment in their company, built an infrastructure as their main base of service, are responsible for hiring, training, licensing of their drivers and staff, and for the care of their equipment. Most importantly, a medical waste management company has created a cost-effective method of service that involves owning their own processing plants. 

A constant reminder to a generator is the fact that they are ultimately responsible for the final safe disposal and the more organizations and companies that you have in the process, the higher the chance of error and lack of compliance. A full service waste management company ensures that they are the one stop shop that will accomplish compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. Cutting corners in this industry should never be an option because an error will always return to the generator to pay the price.

Three questions to ask when looking for a medical waste company

A full service healthcare waste management company takes care of every aspect of the medical waste disposal. Some companies may act like they are cheaper, but in this industry you indeed “get what you pay for.” The three main questions that you need to ask any medical waste disposal company that you are talking to and  ensuring that they have your best interests at heart and will be completely responsible as a medical waste company are:

  1. Do you own the trucks that will come to my location?
  2. Is it your direct employees that will be picking up my waste?
  3. Do you own the treatment plants that will destroy my waste?

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