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Hospital Waste Management

September 1, 2021

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Hospital Waste Management

Hospital Waste Management. Safe waste management protects hospital staff, the public, and the local environment. It is important to have a hospital waste management plan. Without a plan and proper training, your hospital could experience things like, poor waste segregation, transportation, storage, and disposal which could lead to environmental and occupational risks.

Every individual working in a healthcare setting could be impacted by healthcare waste management. Each employee should be provided with the proper training and education on how the handling of healthcare waste and the disposal processes directly impacts infection control (infection control prevents or stops the spread of infections in healthcare settings).

Infection Control Basics

Standard Precautions for All Patient Care

Transmission-Based Precautions

The signs will include things like clean hands when entering or leaving a room, put on gloves, gown, PPE, and use dedicated or disposable equipment, clean and disinfect after use.

Healthcare Waste Management

Hospital Waste Management is not only a local concern, but also a global concern. All healthcare activities generate waste, some of which is infectious, which, when poorly managed can affect human life, the environment, the community, and animals. It is an issue of growing concern as the number of healthcare facilities is increasing.

Healthcare waste is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), as all types of waste produced in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, health centers, and pharmaceutical facilities. Most of the waste produced is non-hazardous about 85% is compostable, biodegradable, and non-compostable, which does not require special disposal.

The remainder is some form of hazardous waste, 10% is infectious and highly infectious, and 5% is toxic chemicals, radioactive, and pharmaceuticals, all of which requires special training, handling, storage, and disposal.

Healthcare Waste Audit

The first step in Hospital Waste Management is a waste audit. A waste audit can help you understand the types of waste your facility generates, the amount of waste you generate, and the compliance regulations that go along with that waste.

Example Medical Waste Management Plan

The below is an example medical waste management plan, this is a general outline. It should be noted, your specific state or county may require additional information, and that this is not to be confused with an exposure control plan.

Name of Clinic or Hospital

Street Address

City, State, ZIP

Phone #


Note: You may want to add location of containers, how often the containers are picked up for off-site treatment and company responsible for pick up.


Healthcare Waste Segregation

Healthcare waste segregation is one of the most important steps to ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations. Often, the degree of difficulty in segregating the waste, makes the difference of a successful program or not. We have listed some efficient segregation steps below.

Reducing Waste, Risk & Cost

Reducing Waste

With our healthcare waste audit, we will identify ways to help reduce waste. The main opportunities in reducing waste are, waste prevention, waste reduction, and recycling. A City Department of Sanitation estimates that a l,000-bed hospital that switched from disposable to reusable sharps containers would save $175,000 per year and prevent 34,000 pounds of landfill waste per year.

Reducing Risk

Compliance Training. Having compliance training that is an effective learning solution, is an important part of making sure that all employees not only understand applicable laws but follow internal company policies and legal regulations. We offer an easy to use and follow online compliance portal.

Reducing Cost

Healthcare Waste Management is proud to bring a first-class medical waste disposal experience to our customers. We own the trucks that come to your facility, we employ the drivers that come into your facility, and we own the destruction plants that destroy your waste. By having one company handle your waste from ‘cradle-to-grave’ allows us to bring our customers, the best processes, products, and services with a significant savings compared to the industry standard pricing.

How to Cut Down on Medical Waste

In this next section we will discuss some specific ways to cut down on your medical waste generation in any facility.

Use reusable products

When possible, use reusable products in place of single use products. Sharps containers and some medical instruments can be disinfected and reused. When purchasing products, it is always a good idea to see if a reusable option exists.

Place Biohazard Waste Containers away from Solid Waste Collection Containers

If the medical waste or biohazard waste containers are near the solid waste containers, it is easier to mix waste types. We want to avoid this for many reasons, the most important being, non-compliance with laws and regulations, and paying for medical waste treatment of normal solid waste.

Use Small Medical Waste Containers in Patients Rooms

Using larger medical waste bins in patient rooms make it easier for patients and staff to use them as regular trash containers, when possible, only make medical waste containers available to staff.

Use Color Coded Containers

With color coded containers staff can easily segregate wastes. For example, use red containers for medical / biohazardous waste and gray containers for normal solid waste.

Post Signage

Place signs above the waste containers throughout the facility that describe the type of waste that can be put into each container. Visual reminders and pictograms help your staff and patients understand your waste better and do the right thing every time.

Pharmaceuticals and Chemotherapy Waste

Make sure the staff is aware of the importance of not putting pharmaceuticals, bulk, or trace chemo directly in the red medical waste containers. Those items need to be separated for proper treatment and if they end up in a landfill with your name on them, it could have devastating effects.

Conduct Waste Audits

A waste audit can be your best friend, whether done internally or externally. This will determine if additional training is needed, if your waste is being segregated properly, and if your waste plan is being followed. Often, the audit itself is a training opportunity for your staff, share your findings.

Hospital Recycling

There are many items in a hospital setting that can be recycled. Here is a short list. Corrugated cardboard (you could make money on this line item), steel cans, white paper, newspapers, aluminum cans, mixed paper, glass bottles, plastics, and more.

Training, Training, Training

Proper training is one of the most effective ways to protect your facility, staff, and patients. Front line workers are generally aware of the dangers they face and with the help of colored receptacles and signage, the process can be easily followed. The janitorial staff, and/or the porters should be just as aware of the dangers they encounter every day. From the patients to the vital supplies, including medical equipment, linen, blood, and samples they move on a regular basis. Proper training and PPE is a must to keep everyone safe.

How Healthcare Waste Management Can Help

We work directly with staff to improve your healthcare waste management plan. With our training, container placement and processes, we instill safety. Our tagline is, Reducing Waste, Risk, and Cost and we back it up with processes that provide you with the best service, at the most economical pricing.  

After a Waste Audit

After a waste audit is completed, there are a couple of steps to put that audit in action. This first step is creating an action plan based on the audit. It will include things like a written policy, effective signage, and proper container placement.

Why Healthcare Waste Management

There are not a one size fits all solution here. Companies should consider pricing, but a box pickup service, is not a healthcare waste management company. You should know the difference of a box pickup company and a true Healthcare Waste Management company. We believe in healthcare waste management so much, that is what we named our company. Here at Healthcare Waste Management, we have invested in our business, to best serve your business.

We are far from a box pickup company or hauler. In most cases you would be hard pressed to find a box pickup company offering medical waste disposal services and training to hospitals. It is too far removed from the business they started.

At Healthcare Waste Management we strive to offer the best service, at the best prices, to large and small quantity generators alike. We have built our organization with you in mind, we own the medical waste disposal process from start to finish.

Aside from the many other benefits discussed above, we own the processes behind the medical waste disposal service. Meaning, we own the trucks that will come to your facility, we directly employ and train the drivers that will come into your facility, we own the processing plants that will treat your medical waste to make it non-infectious.

A box pickup service is simply a hauler that drives your medical waste from your generating facility to a treatment plant to have it treated. They simply drive from point A to point B; you can see how they would be limited in the resources to manage your waste stream.

Here at Healthcare Waste Management, we are your partner in managing your healthcare waste, from the point of generation to the location of the containers and the containers themselves, our trucks, our drivers, our treatment plants. We are a true Healthcare Waste Management company; we own the process from start to finish.

Contact Healthcare Waste Management today to see how we can help your facility, we love talking to customers and potential customers, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have.

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