Medical Waste Generation

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 sharpsday.
  • 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.