Healthcare Waste Management disposes of medical waste for many different types of facilities. From hospitals, to dentists, to funeral homes, we deal with different types of waste from a variety of sources. But just how much medical waste is there? And where is it coming from?
- As of 2013, there were approximately one million hospital beds in the United States.
- According to the EPA, one hospital bed generates thirteen pounds of medical waste per day. Other estimates put this number even higher at as much as twenty-three pounds per bed, per day.
- These hospitals account for less than 2% of the total number of facilities with the potential to generate infectious waste.
- The remaining 98% of infectious waste producing facilities include business like funeral homes, nursing homes, veterinarian’s offices, laboratories, surgery centers, clinics, dentists’ offices, and research facilities.
- In addition to hospitals and the larger amount of various other generators, medical waste is produced from sources such as home health care and illegal drug users, much of it unregulated.
- There are an estimated 2,000,000 diabetics and 1,200,000 intravenous drug abusers in the United States.
- These two groups contribute to over one billion insulin-type syringes used annually, the disposal of which is not regulated.
- The truth is. Due to varying laws and regulations, it is very difficult to find accurate, consistent information on medical waste and the exact amount produced in the United States.