Key Methods for Disposing of Medical Waste

By: BJ Neller   /   December 17, 2016

One of the main complaints made by clients of many large companies is lack of transparency. This is why we would like our customers and the public – both having a stake in maintaining public safety and a clean environment – to understand the methods that are used to dispose of medical waste. There are several methods that are used by biohazard waste disposal companies like ours to destroy medical waste and each is designed to adhere to EPA standards. Those methods are:

  • Incineration: As much as 90% of medical waste is disposed of in this manner. Such waste is control burned in special incinerators called (HMIWIs). (This stands for hospital/medical/infectious waste incinerators). This method is effective and the EPA ensures that emissions from such bio waste disposal facilities are compliant with all safety regulations.
  • Autoclaving: This method uses what is basically a high temperature “pressure cooker” to penetrate the surface of medical implements and kill microorganisms. After which, the sterilized remnants are often disposed of in a traditional landfill. Autoclaving has existed for centuries as a way to cleanse certain medical equipment such as sharps and others kinds of tools.
  • Microwave Treatment: This treatment is similar to autoclaving except that it uses microwave radiation to decontaminate medical waste that contains moisture. Dry waste can be shredded and water added to it to increase the effectiveness of the microwave treatment making this method comparable to autoclaving.
  • Chemical Disinfection: Through the use of chlorine compounds, microorganism that may be present in medical waste can be killed by chemical means. This is similar to the effect chlorine added to your pool, for example, achieves.
  • Irradiation: This method sterilizes medical waste by exposing it to gamma rays. These rays are fatal to bacteria. Irradiation is used less often than other methods due to its high cost.
  • Land Disposal: This method is used after medical waste has been treated by one of the above methods. In cases where decontamination is impossible specialized sanitary landfill sites exist in order to reduce the risk of soil and water contamination.

At Secure Waste Disposal, Inc we dispose of medical waste in a way that is compliant with OSHA and EPA regulations. We understand and appreciate the importance of having informed clients and of protecting public safety. We use the latest technologies to completely eliminate medical waste so that your company is safe from the legal consequences of improper disposal. Check out our site and ask us any questions you like about our experience and the technologies we use.