How to dispose of medical waste properly
When renting a dumpster, one must take note that medical waste is prohibited in the dumpster by law. Proper disposal of medical waste is important for public safety and the environment. For example, discarded needles can expose a risk to waste management workers for potential needle injuries and infections such as HIV and hepatitis.
The Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988 defines medical waste as “any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals,in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals.” Medical waste can be identified by one of four different categories: infectious, hazardous, radioactive, and general.
Source – wastemed.com/types.htm
The wastes of primary interest are:
Medicines which can be prescription or non-prescription (over-the-counter), for people or pets. Buy the amount that you think you will be able to use before it expires.
In the case that you have to dispose of unused medications follow these simple steps:
a. Pour medicines into a plastic sealable bag then crush tablets or capsules, You can also add a small amount of water to dissolve it and add an absorbent material such as cotton, sawdust, used coffee grounds. Seal the plastic bag and put it in your household trash.
b. Remove prescription label and personal information on the container. You can recycle or discard the container accordingly
Sharps – such Blades (scalpels, razors) Pasteur Pipets
Hypodermic needles with attahced syringes (barrel and plungers) tubings
Used and unused sharps discarded by the individual home owner should be disposed in an appropriate sharps container that is puncture resistant, leak proof and able to be tightly sealed to prevent the sharps from spilling. No sharps should be discarded directly into household trash. Never remove needles from syringes
Other infectious wastes such as human blood, animal blood, body elements, body fluids, liquid & semi-liquid materials animal carcass and body parts. or other potentially
infectious materials. from homes such as human and animal bodily fluids (blood, excrement) or other potentially infectious materials should be double bagged
and tied securely before being discarded with household trash.
More details can be found in SWS’s Medical Waste Disposal Policy at www.muni.org/sws
More on Biohazardous and Medical Waste Guidelines from Standford University
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