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What Happens to Medical Waste When it Leaves My Facility?

What Happens to Medical Waste When it Leaves My Facility?

The medical waste disposal process is not common knowledge. Read more here to discover what happens to common medical products after their use.

Do you run a facility that generates medical waste? According to Enviromerica, anything that contains bodily fluids or tissues is classified as medical waste. It's important to ensure that this kind of waste is disposed of properly. There are steps taken during the disposal process to eliminate risk towards humans and the environment. This blog will describe the medical waste disposal process so you know why it's important to get rid of it properly.

Methods Used to Disinfect Medical Waste

The first thing that is done before disposing of medical waste is treating or disinfecting it. Here are some methods used to disinfect and treat medical waste:

  • Irradiation - This is another common way of medical waste disposal used by various plants. Irradiation is quite effective when it comes to sterilizing objects. This method uses radiation to disinfect medical waste. However, it's rarely used for “everyday” waste disposal.
  • Autoclaving - This process is used to deal with infectious and biological medical waste. An autoclave is a type of precious chamber that uses high-pressure saturated steam. It also releases chemical vapors at 121 degrees Celsius at intervals of 15 or 20 minutes. These conditions depend on how large the load of the medical waste is. Plants that dispose of medical waste this way use autoclave tape to indicate when the correct temperature has been reached.

Does Treated Medical Waste Go To Regular Landfills?

The short answer is no. Even after being treated and disinfected, medical waste is put into what's called a “sanitary landfill.” These are landfills that receive waste that is sealed off from the rest of the environment. The waste will only be considered safe when it has been completely degraded biologically, physically, and chemically.

There are four requirements that govern landfills for medical waste disposal. First, there must be no water leakage to avoid contamination of public water. Second, local environmental engineers must be part of the planning and building of the sanitary landfill. Apart from that, there must be full-time staff working and supervising the landfill. Finally, the waste that goes to these sites should be compacted and fully covered at all times. This will ensure that the waste doesn't end up being taken by animals or blown away when there are heavy winds.

These are some of the processes used to dispose of medical waste. Are you looking for a medical waste disposal partner? Get in touch with our team today and we will assist with medical waste treatment and disposal.


Please contact us to discuss your healthcare waste needs.We can customize our services to insure you will get the services you need, at the price that is fair. With an ever-changing healthcare environment, you shouldn’t have to worry about your service providers working hand in hand with you to meet your needs.