Q:

How do you dispose of medical waste?

A:

Quick Answer

To dispose off medical waste, separate it from other trash, process it to make it unrecognizable, and send it to an appropriate landfill. Process the medical waste in-house or through an external company. Also, send medical waste such as needles to a collection site or exchange them for new ones.

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Full Answer

To make the medical waste unrecognizable, incinerate it using an in-house unit. Such units burn or grind the waste and expose it to certain chemicals such as bleach or subject it to pressure using steam. After incinerating, send the remnants to a landfill.

If an in-house unit for incineration is not available, contract with an external company to have the waste properly processed and disposed.

To dispose of used syringes, needles and other medical sharps, place them in special containers, and send them to various collection sites such as the offices of doctors, hospitals, fire stations, health departments and pharmacies via mail or in person. Choose leak-proof containers, and seal and label them properly. To exchange old sharps for new ones, get in touch with the North American Syringe Exchange Network via phone or online.

If the state rules permit, dispose of blood via the sewer system or seal the medical waste and bury it in landfills designated for the purpose.

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