An amazing city with loads of personality, Chattanooga was recently on the New York Times’ list “52 Places to Go in 2018.” Chattanooga is Tennessee’s fourth-largest city and found in Hamilton County between the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau. Officially, Chattanooga has been nicknamed the “Scenic City” thanks to its views of mountains and ridges and abundance of outdoor recreation. If the outdoors isn’t really your thing, there is plenty else to do such as visit the Tennessee Aquarium or the Chattanooga Zoo. You could catch a show at the historic Tivoli Theatre or attend one or all four days of the popular Riverbend Festival. If you’re a history buff, you might try the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. One of Chattanooga’s options for higher education is the second-largest campus of The University of Tennessee System, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. If you’re ready to see why the name “Scenic City” stuck, go have some fun biking, hiking, running, climbing, paddling, camping, or just taking in the sights. Outside Magazine has voted Chattanooga “Best Town Ever” twice.
MWA is the leading provider of medical waste disposal services in the Chatanooga, Tennessee area.
Chattanooga is home to three different hospital systems: Erlanger Health System, the seventh-largest public health system in the US; Parkridge Health System, a five-hospital network; and CHI Memorial Hospital System, an integrated health system with over 650 medical staff members and more than 3,500 associates. With Chattanooga’s enormous projected job growth, there will of course be an increase of waste production, and given Chattanooga’s large medical presence, this includes biomedical waste, a type of solid or liquid regulated medical waste that has been contaminated by a biohazardous agent.
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Treatment of biomedical waste can occur on-site at the generator’s facility or off-site at a licensed treatment facility. However, onsite treatment of biomedical waste in large quantities typically requires expensive equipment. Off-site treatment is the preferred method these days. Medical waste contains material that is either infectious or potentially infectious. This includes waste generated by medical and healthcare facilities such as physician’s offices, urgent care clinics, hospitals, retail health practices, dental offices, nursing homes, home healthcare agencies, medical research facilities, laboratories, funeral homes, mortuary and autopsy centers, blood collection services, blood banks, veterinary clinics, and other health facilities – even tattoo shops.
The federal government passed the Medical Waste Tracking Act in 1988, allowing the EPA to create regulations on how medical waste was managed. Since then, the EPA has joined with other federal agencies in establishing additional medical waste regulations. These agencies include the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Department of Transportation (DOT), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In Chattanooga, the Tennessee Department of Environmental and Conservation (TDEC) Division of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) gives regulations and rules regarding medical waste disposal in the state of Tennessee. OSHA published the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard in 1991, creating the term “regulated waste,” often called “regulated medical waste” (RMW), and included rules regarding regulated medical waste containers, sharps management, labeling, and employee training. At the state level, the Tennessee OSHA administration, or TOSHA, has refined those standards to be more specific to the needs of the state. The EPA’s federal requirements for Universal Waste and Hazardous Waste management are closely mirrored by Tennessee’s state-level regulations.
There are many types of waste streams produced by healthcare facilities: generally speaking, non-hazardous, and hazardous. Non-hazardous waste can be further segregated into
- Regulated Medical Waste
- Pathological Waste
- Trace Chemo Chemical Waste
- Pharmaceutical Waste
Hazardous waste has been defined by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and is broken down into four more categories: F, K, P, and U list wastes, categorization depending on whether the waste is source-specific and the substance’s level of toxicity.
It can be time-consuming and sometimes confusing to make sure every regulation is followed and that every type of medical waste is disposed of in the appropriate way. Medical Waste of America (MWA) offers complaint and cost-efficient waste disposal services to all of Tennessee and its surrounding areas. MWA either meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements of all federal and state rules related to waste transport, collection, transfer, and disposal. MWA is fully insured, licensed, and permitted properly so you can feel assured in our ability to compliantly dispose of all regulated medical waste. In addition to a commitment of safety and compliance, Medical Waste of America offers training courses, an SDS online librate, and access to TOSHA private consulting for your facility.
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