Medical Waste Disposal Violations: What They Could Mean to Your Company

By: BJ Neller   /   July 12, 2016

Medical Waste Disposal

This year the Department of Environmental Protection fined 12 UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) hospitals a total of $451,000 for violations of the Solid Waste Management Act.  In June of last year, the Washington Department of Ecology fined Stericycle $72,000 for its mishandling of pharmaceutical waste.  Whether they do so by accident or design, companies that run afoul of the government’s guidelines for the proper disposal of medical waste face major penalties.  Moreover, they often learn that the immediate savings in time and money by taking shortcuts can be quite costly to the environment and to their reputations.  This is why the government has a set of stringent regulations in place that are designed to handle violations of medical waste guidelines.  A strong medical waste management program consists of these components:
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Properly training employees in the area of waste management
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Proper transportation practices – Although regulations governing the transportation of medical waste vary somewhat from state to state, your company is still liable to be penalized if it violates any of those regulations.
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The proper labeling and management of waste materials
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The development of an emergency contingency plan
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The employment of experienced companies to aid in waste disposal
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Properly segregating waste, which includes properly separating regulated materials from non-infectious materials.
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Companies can be penalized through a number of tools designed to help the government uphold medical waste guidelines including the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA).  Companies and individuals that violate medical waste guidelines can face a number of penalties such as:  Civil and/or criminal litigation  Fines that can range up to 100k per day depending on the offense and whether it is a repeat violation.
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Prison sentences in criminal cases.According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 187 defendants were charged in 2014 with environmental crimes and were sentenced to a combined total of 155 years of jail time. 
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All this is why bio hazard waste disposal companies like Secure Waste Disposal, Inc. can be a tremendous asset to your company.  We are knowledgeable about the various regulations governing the proper packing, management and disposal of all kinds of waste from physical documents to electronic data to medical waste.  Our waste management company in Orlando complies with all relevant regulations and our people are trained professionals who can discretely handle your disposal needs. 

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