Doctor’s Offices and Retail Clinic Medical WasteMedical Waste Disposal Services
Doctor’s offices, Urgent Care and Walk-In Clinics usually
treat thousands of patients a year. The great majority of
patient visits produce some type of medical waste.
The great majority of patient visits produce some type of medical waste, ranging from syringes, blood specimens, throat cultures, and contaminated gloves. These items can’t simply thrown away in the regular trash, the medical office is required by federal and state regulations to establish a reliable and safe system to dispose of all the medical waste they produce.
Medical Waste of America (MWA) can help minimize the expense, ensure compliance, and assist you with the management of your medical waste. We can help create a customized solution to properly dispose of regulated medical waste, pharmaceutical waste, pathological waste and more.
What types of Regulated Medical Wastes are most commonly produced by a physician’s office?
- Contaminated Sharps waste (e.g., needles, syringes with needles attached, scalpels, blood-contaminated broken glass): Sharps are any objects made of any material that can puncture the skin.
- Pathological waste: These wastes are comprised of tissues, body parts, and organs removed during surgery or small amounts of tissue removed for study.
- Microbiological waste: Cultures, stocks of infectious agents, microorganisms, and biologicals. Any cultures or other items contaminated by this type of waste, like petri dishes, are also considered microbiological waste.
- Blood, blood products, and Other Potentially Infectious Material (OPIM): Human blood, serum, plasma, or any other bodily fluids as defined by OSHA.
- Isolation waste (Wastes from Highly Communicable Diseases): This type of waste is rarely found in a general physician’s office. Waste and discarded materials contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids that might contain highly contagious diseases such as Lassa fever virus, Marburg virus, monkey pox virus, Ebola virus and others (see list in Table 27- CDC).
How do you dispose of Regulated Medical Waste?
There are fundamentally two methods for proper medical waste disposal: autoclave sterilization and incineration. Most RMW (discussed further below) can be segregated for the autoclaving process, but trace chemotherapy waste and pathological waste must incinerated by a licensed medical incineration facility.
Proper segregation is key when separating medical waste. Segregating medical waste for processing protects our water system from dangerous chemicals and ensures complete destruction of chemicals and hazardous materials.
What is Considered Red Bag Waste?
Red bag waste is anything contaminated or potentially contaminated by blood, other bodily fluids, or potentially infectious material.
The most common items often referred to as Red Bag Waste include:
- Gloves, masks, or gowns.
- Used needles, syringes, scalpels, knives, or other Sharps.
- Bandages or gauze saturated with blood or other infectious materials.
Since this waste has been contaminated by potentially infectious materials, it needs to be processed using an autoclave. An autoclave is a special type of oven that is pressurized with steam and heated to a high temperature to kill pathogens. All regulated medical waste is placed inside an autoclave to destroy any harmful materials.
Any items that were contaminated and have been processed in an autoclave are considered sterilized and can be disposed in a landfill.
How can Medical Waste of America (MWA) help my medical office with disposal and compliance?
MWA offers licensed, inspected, and insured waste disposal services in your area. Whether it is red bag waste, pathological regulated medical waste, pharmaceutical, or trace chemo waste, MWA can transport and dispose of your waste properly and compliantly.