Hospitals dispose of waste in a variety of ways. There are also several hospital waste disposal methods used on their behalf by reliable medical waste disposal companies. While a large hospital could have a disposal facility of their own, this isn’t all that common. However, some disposals (or part of them) may still be performed in-house. Here are three hospital waste disposal methods.
Waste segregation is an important step when it comes to hospital waste. They need to separate different types of medical waste at the source. Effective segregation ensures that each type of medical waste is processed appropriately.
Hospitals also must be aware of what the Environmental Protection Agency requires when it comes to air pollutants and possible emissions from a disposal facility. There are emissions standards to meet for any type of potentially hazardous waste and hospitals must stay apprised of and adhere to these to avoid major breaches and potentially hefty fines too.
Microorganisms are considered the main danger with certain types of contaminated waste. They can be addressed using a process known as autoclaving using autoclave equipment on-site. A closed system allows for medical waste to be treated by steam or heat that rids it of any remaining microorganisms and sterilizes it. The process of autoclaving is quite common in hospitals, but not every healthcare facility has this system. Autoclaves vary in capacity. Some systems are as small as 150-litres in volume whereas others reach into the thousands of liters of medical waste that can be treated in a single activation.
The most commonly understood method with medical waste is incineration. Both medical supplies and sometimes equipment too can be destroyed by heating it at extreme temperatures to break it down. While this won’t usually destroy it completely, it will make it a much smaller volume. Therefore, when it’s disposed of in a landfill, it will not take up as much space.
Not every hospital operates an incineration facility. Those that don’t will need to rely on a waste company to collect their waste and incinerate it on their behalf.
Not every method is used in all situations, but many times medical waste will run through multiple steps to ready it for final disposal.
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