How to Properly Package Bio Waste

By: BJ Neller   /   September 22, 2017

Here at Secure Waste Disposal Inc. we fully understand the importance of proper bio waste disposal. Anyone who was alive in the 80’s remembers a catastrophe called “syringe tide.” All along the shores of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey hypodermic needles washed up with the tide causing alarm and creating an environmental catastrophe.

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This illustrates only one example of many instances of medical waste coming back and causing a serious public safety threat. Just as recently as late last year, Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles saw the same kind of occurrence. Even though the government, hospitals, clinics and other facilities agree on the importance of bio waste disposal, the danger of mishaps like the ones cited still occur daily. According to the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988, medical waste is defined as “...any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals.” Medical waste includes things like human blood and blood products, human and animal waste, sharps, surgical waste...the list goes on to include a wide range of items disposed of by hospitals, clinics and other facilities. The problem is not in the government or institutions failing to recognize the need to dispose of such waste but in how to do so as to minimize any threat of harming humans, animals or the environment. For this reason, the following are tips on properly packaging medical waste, as it is the first step to solving this problem:

Make sure that all medical waste is properly segregated. Sharps - needles, lancets, syringes, broken glass, scalpels, culture slides, culture dishes, broken capillary tubes, and broken rigid plastic and exposed ends of dental wires - should be put in a separate puncture resistant container and not mixed in with other kinds of waste. Put the waste in a DOT approved red bag prior to sealing within a medical waste box or plastic tube.

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Properly label each container with the generator’s name and other contact information.
Red bags must be tightly knotted before disposal and labeled with the originator’s name and address.
All containers should be tightly and neatly sealed. None of the containers inner content should be showing. Boxes should be securely taped.
After completed, all containers should be ready for pick up by bio hazard waste disposal companies like Secure Waste Disposal Inc. who are prepared to handle these materials.
In 2011 Calin Georgescu, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxic waste, issued a report in which he addressed the problems caused by medical waste. He stated that as much as 25% of medical waste is disposed of improperly. This statistic is alarming but the problem can be properly addressed if some common sense procedures for disposing of medical waste are followed and government remains diligent in its enforcement of existing regulations.