Sharps waste is classed as medical waste, which means it must be disposed of correctly. You can’t throw a used hypodermic needle or scalpel into the general trash, as it will be contaminated and could cause a nasty injury. Not to mention infecting whoever picks it up with Hepatitis or even HIV. But what happens to sharps disposal containers after they have been collected by a sharps waste disposal service?
Read on to find out more about how a sharps disposal service deals with clinical waste.
What is Sharps Waste?
Sharps waste covers all items that can penetrate the skin. This includes needles, scalpels, dental wires, lancets, and syringes. They are typically collected in special waste containers with a sealed lid. This ensures nobody can accidentally remove the lid and suffer an injury. That way, workers and the general public are not harmed in any way. It also keeps pets safe if sharps are used in the home, which might be the case if you have a diabetic living there.
When a sharps container is full, it is collected by a sharps disposal service. In smaller clinics, medical facilities, and homes, a sharps container might only be collected when it’s actually full, but for hospitals and larger clinics, containers will be collected on a set schedule, perhaps even daily if there is a need.
Medical Waste Management Facility
All clinical waste, including sharps containers, are then transported to a medical waste management facility. Routine sharps waste is first cleaned in a high-temperature, high-pressure environment, to neutralize any infections material. The waste is then sent to a different disposal site, such as a landfill.
Some sharps waste must be incinerated due to the type of contamination. This is done by subjecting the sharps waste to extremely high temperatures. The material left over from the incineration is then sent to a landfill site.
Waste Disposal Protocols
Different states have different protocols that must be followed, in addition to Federal compliance regulations. Always check these regulations are being adhered to if you use a sharps waste disposal company to handle your clinical waste.