Top 5 Medical Waste Management Methods

Top 5 Medical Waste Management Methods


Medical waste otherwise referred to as health-care wastes are basically wastes generated by medical activities. These activities are conducted in places such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. Other places include facilities like pharmaceutical manufacturing plants and research laboratories. Wastes generated from these places must be well taken care of as some are considered bio-hazardous to humans. Thus, organizations generating these wastes must employ licensed medical waste disposal services Providence RI.

What Are Medical Waste Disposal Services?

Medical waste disposal services are a way of ensuring that all medical wastes are properly destroyed or decontaminated before it is recycled. 

These services are rendered by licensed medical waste management companies who employ various methods in disposing of medical waste. The certain method employed is dependent on the type of waste and if it is to be recycled or not.

Types of Medical Waste

If it were to be listed individually, medical wastes are of many different types. However, they are generally categorized under four groups; general, hazardous, infectious, and radioactive.

Medical wastes usually comprise about 85% general waste while the other three categories make up the remaining 15%.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) groups medical waste into the following eight categories

  1. General waste
  2. Infectious waste
  3. Pharmaceutical waste
  4. Chemical waste
  5. Sharps
  6. Pathological waste
  7. Genotoxic waste
  8. Radioactive waste

Different Methods of Medical Waste Management

As mentioned earlier medical waste management companies employ different methods in handling medical wastes and here are some of them

  • Incineration

This is the process of burning medical waste at a high temperature. This temperature when set at an optimal level will kill all harmful pathogens therein. This process however produces certain toxic gases and substances. It is, however, done in a controlled environment.

  • Chemical Disinfection

This method is best suitable for handling liquid medical waste. It entails adding chemicals to wastes to either kill the pathogens or neutralize them.

  • Autoclaving

Autoclaving is often used to handle pathogens on items that will be reused. It is a wet thermal disinfection process that is carried out in pressurized conditions. It is mostly used for certain medical equipment, laboratory instruments, pharmaceutical item, and other items that are deemed recyclable. 

  • Inertization

Inertization is a rather expensive disposal method that is not suitable for a number of medical wastes. It entails mixing waste with cement, lime, and water.

  • Land Disposal

This deals more with disposing waste rather than treating them. It is of two types; open dumps and sanitary landfills. The former is an unsafe way of disposing medical waste as there is a high risk that infections and diseases can be transmitted via the water supply or by air. Sanitary landfill on the other hand is safer as the waste is treated before it is disposed of and is also kept in check.

Professional medical waste disposal services Providence RI must be employed to dispose of medical waste as a less than efficient disposal of these waste puts both the waste handlers and the general public at risk of infections.

David Lockhart