Correctly disposing of medical waste is a huge task for many medical facilities, regardless of the medical field in which they exist. In addition to having to consider regulations at both a state and federal level, transport and disposal also rely on the categorization of said waste for the purpose of public and environmental protection.
There are many companies across the US that specialize in waste disposal, but identifying the best companies depends on your priorities. For example, if you are concerned about the environment and sustainability, then it is important to look into state-local disposal companies that pride themselves on utilizing methods that are safe and sustainable.
Who is Responsible for the Disposal of Medical Waste?
Since the early 90s, it has been established that each state is generally responsible for creating its own regulations regarding the disposal of medical waste. The one aspect that remains cohesive regardless of the state, is the categorization of medical waste under four distinct headings: general, radioactive, infectious, and hazardous.
Whilst individuals within healthcare, medical, and scientific facilities each have a responsibility regarding the safe and correct disposal of medical waste, it is medical waste disposal companies themselves who handle the overall disposal of each type. Working alongside healthcare facilities, safe and efficient methods of disposal have been established that take into account the requirements relating to each category of waste, in addition to identifying the simplest and easiest measures for healthcare workers and waste managers to utilize in their day-to-day work.
Narrowing Down the Search
As established, of utmost importance when locating a medical disposal company is establishing what is necessary and required, and what additional aspects are desired – such as sustainability and caring for the environment. As only approximately 15% of medical waste produced is infectious, hazardous, or radioactive, one of the key concerns for many healthcare facilities is ensuring that disposal is environmentally safe.
Overall, incineration of waste material is the most preferred option of many medical waste disposal companies, as it breaks down all types of material and is fairly efficient. The downfall of this method is, however, the production of toxic emissions and particulate matter, as well as chemical and micro-organisms being released.
The most successful medical waste disposal companies work alongside healthcare facilities to identify methods that fit into the day-to-day requirements of medical staff and waste managers, whilst also prioritizing sustainable and non-harmful methods – and, if this is your aim, then it is well worth putting in the time to research those companies with the environment and sustainability at the heart of their process.
How to Know Which Medical Waste Disposal Companies to Choose?
Many companies are likely to have noticed the global fixation on caring for the environment and the desire to cause less damage and may seek to alter the wording of their website to make it appear that they are focused on these aspects, whilst continuing to employ waste management solutions that are, in fact, harmful.
The key here is to look beyond their initial statements and analyze the vocabulary used in other parts of their website. If they don’t elucidate upon the ways in which they prioritize sustainability and the environment on any other page beyond the home page, then it is unlikely they are actually committed to either. A quick look over their processes and the description of these will also highlight their commitment to these aspects.
Identifying the best medical waste disposal companies – as opposed to the cheapest or nearest – takes a lot of research and comparison. Each company has its own commitments and aims, so it is important to establish that they align with your own facility. A handy tip is, if they look too good to be true and offer cheap disposal, it’s unlikely they are working in an ethical manner.