Medical Waste Disposal – The Definitive Guide 2020

Dr. Intan Airlina

By Dr. Intan Airlina
Updated: Jun 2020

Medical Waste Disposal Definitive Guide Infographic

Before you hire a medical waste disposal company read this and avoid the mistakes of locking into a multi-year contract with the wrong company, which could cost you years of paying up to 83.6% more, unreliable and inconsistent pick-ups, and OSHA or HIPPA trouble from an amateur hauler.

As a Medical Doctor (MD) and expert in medical waste disposal, I created this “Definitive Guide” to answer all your questions about: drop-off (near you), top companies, containers, costs, treatment methods, regulation, facility, and problems.

What Is Medical Waste?

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the definition of medical waste is fairly broad “all waste materials generated at health care facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, dental practices, blood banks, and veterinary hospitals/clinics, as well as medical research facilities and laboratories.”

It fails to include any organization that produces medical waste such as syringes or needles from their employees or customers, or the home producer for that matter. Medical Waste

How Much Medical Waste Is Produced?

In 2012, the United States spent up to $2.5 billion for the proper disposal of medical waste. Moreover, with annual growth of 4.8%, by 2017 the annual market is expected to $3.2 billion. For instance, consider these medical waste statistics:

In short, almost all healthcare activities related to humans produce medical waste. So, can you imagine the dangers of what would happen if it was disposed of improperly?

The Epidemiology

(How Often Diseases Occur in Different Groups of People and Why) The Epidemiology WHO (World Health Organization) even mentioned that in 2000, there were 32% new Hepatitis B infections due to improper way of contaminated syringe disposal. In 2002, WHO conducted a research to review 22 countries about their way of medical waste disposal management and resulting various ranges from 18% up to 64% that used improper methods of biomedical waste management.

Dangerous, huh?

Who Are At Risk For Biomedical Waste Exposure?

People who have the highest risk of being the biomedical waste, for instance, healthcare workers, patients, waste collection and disposal staff, and even our environment. The biomedical waste may pose an occupational hazard when managed incorrectly. Therefore, we need special precautions and the well-trained personnel to manage those biomedical wastes and keep the risk low.

Why We Need To Manage The Biomedical Waste In The Right Way?

There are several reasons to manage the biomedical waste in an appropriate way:

  • Health – Nobody wants to see blood drops on the floor when they walk into hospital visiting a sick friend because the risk of being infected by any number of diseases
  • Infection risk – the risk of infection obtained from sharp injuries can lead to infection
  • Environment pollution – The risk of air, water and soil pollution directly from waste due to defective incineration or autoclaving can be harmful.

The biomedical waste treatment and disposal need to be in a complete management to ensure the safety of the workplace and maintain our health. If you maintain the safety process correctly, it will:

  • Effectively reduce your legal liability
  • Reducing the danger to the community, personnel and patients
  • Keep your reputation high

The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has an established procedure for dealing with biomedical waste hazards that can minimize our risk with contaminated articles. Thus, we at BioMedical Waste Solutions, LLC, use OHSA standards as our guidance to dispose the medical waste properly.

Regulated VS Unregulated

Regulated VS Unregulated Medical Waste

Of all the health care waste (HCW) there is essentially two types: Regulated medical waste (RMW) and unregulated medical waste (UMW). Approximately 75% to 90% of HCW is UMW (unregulated) or known as healthcare general waste (HCGW). This waste is similar to typical household waste consisting of papers and plastics that are not been in contact with patients and is categorized as non-infectious. This type of waste is simply disposed in accordance with municipal regulations. Approximately only 10% to 25% of HCW is infectious/regulated medical waste (RMW).

Naturally this RMW has to be handled with special care as we’ll describe below because it could pose a threat to the health of others, either by contaminating the environment or through direct contact with an individual. Easier way to differentiate the two types is to ask yourself “could this waste kill someone or make them sick?” If yes, then this waste is regulated and must be handled with special care.

NOTE: The use of “medical waste”will be regarded as “regulated medical waste” (RMW), unless otherwise stated.

Eight Categories of Medical Waste

It’s important to know what kind of medical waste your facility produces then you can determine the proper disposal. The WHO classified the medical waste into eight (8) categories of medical waste:

  1. Infectious waste – Waste that may transmit infection from virus, bacterial, parasites to human, i.e.: lab cultures, tissues, swabs, equipment and excreta
  2. Sharps – Sharp waste, such as needle, scalpels, knives, blades, etc.
  3. Pathological – Human tissue or fluids i.e. body parts, blood, other body fluids
  4. Radioactive – Unused liquid in radiotherapy or lab research, contaminated glassware, etc.
  5. Chemical – Expired lab reagents, film developer, disinfectant
  6. Pharmaceuticals – Expired and contaminated medicines
  7. Pressurized containers – Gas cylinders and gas cartridges
  8. General waste (UMW) – No risk to human health because no blood or any related bodily fluid, i.e.: office paper, wrapper, kitchen waste, general sweeping, etc.

Because the management for every waste categories are different.

Medical Waste Disposal Drop-Offs (Near You!)

Is the disposal for a residence or an organization?

For Residences

Depending on where you live, it may be possible to take your sharps and medical waste disposal for drop-off at specific collection sites or medical waste facilities. A few of these services are free but most have a nominal fee.

It’s important to check for information specific to your state, as almost every state and local government has its own regulations and guidelines to provide the best way to dispose of it.

In general, there are two important steps to prepare your medical waste disposal for drop-off:

Ensure your sharps containers disposal containers are labeled correctly
Secure the lid of the disposal container in the appropriate manner per local guidelines

For the reasons mentioned above, it is almost always recommended to use an external pick up service for your medical waste disposal. Medical waste disposal drop-off can be time-consuming, confusing, and even more expensive than using an external company for easy, stress-free pick up disposal service.

For Organizations

Considering the numerous federal and Statewide regulations for medical waste disposal, it’s incredibly important for an organization to select a professional medical waste disposal company to deal with their medical waste disposal.

What are the medical waste disposal top companies? Check out our suggestions below.

Medical Waste Disposal Top Companies

Are you looking for the medical waste disposal top companies? Look no further. We’re it. We’re affordable, reliable, and 100% compliant. We know that medical waste disposal can be tedious and complicated.

Our job is to provide you with the highest quality medical waste disposal so you remain completely in regulation with medical waste—on both the federal and local levels.

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Compliance with State and Federal laws governing the proper disposal of medical waste is not a choice. It is the law. We have you 100% covered.

Our Medical Waste Disposal Services Serve Top States & Cities:

Texas Medical Waste Disposal (TX)
California Medical Waste Disposal (CA)
Florida Medical Waste Disposal (FL)
Louisiana Medical Waste Disposal (LA)
New York Medical Waste Disposal (NY)
Illinois Medical Waste Disposal (IL)
Connecticut Medical Waste Disposal (CT)
New Jersey Medical Waste Disposal (NJ)
Pennsylvania Medical Waste Disposal (PA)
Ohio Medical Waste Disposal (OH)
Georgia Medical Waste Disposal (GA)
North Carolina Medical Waste Disposal (NC)
Michigan Medical Waste Disposal (MI)
Virginia Medical Waste Disposal (VA)

Washington Medical Waste Disposal (WA)
Arizona Medical Waste Disposal (AZ)
Massachusetts Medical Waste Disposal (MA)
Tennessee Medical Waste Disposal (TN)
Indiana Medical Waste Disposal (IN)
Missouri Medical Waste Disposal (MO)
Maryland Medical Waste Disposal (MD)
Houston Medical Waste Disposal
San Antonio Medical Waste Disposal
Dallas Medical Waste Disposal
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Fort Worth Medical Waste Disposal
Los Angeles Medical Waste Disposal
Chicago Medical Waste Disposal

New York Medical Waste Disposal
Philadelphia Medical Waste Disposal
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Jacksonville Medical Waste Disposal
Phoenix Medical Waste Disposal
Columbus Medical Waste Disposal
Charlotte Medical Waste Disposal
San Francisco Medical Waste Disposal
Indianapolis Medical Waste Disposal
Seattle Medical Waste Disposal
Denver Medical Waste Disposal
Miami Medical Waste Disposal
Boston Medical Waste Disposal

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Medical Waste Disposal Containers: Cataloging, Colors, Size, & Types


Organizations that generate medical waste must ensure they take care of all disposals using the appropriate medical waste disposal containers. The role of these containers is to safely store materials until they are removed from the site location. To be secure, containers must be tough against holes and leaks, sturdy, and fire-resistant. It is crucial that staff members are properly trained so that medical waste disposal containers are used correctly and adhere to workplace health & safety laws.

Container Cataloging

The United States requires that waste containers be color-coded (colored images below). OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard states that workers should recognize that medical waste disposal containers need to be compliant with “Universal Precautions”. Even if your state doesn’t adhere to color requirements, it is our recommendation that your organization does so to ensure OSHA and federal compliance.

Codes for Colors

These are the most commonly used color codes in the United States:

Blue Yellow Red/Bright Orange Black
Used for non-RCRA pharmaceutical wastes such as antibiotics. Normally used for containers that hold chemotherapy waste. Federally regulated color used in medical waste disposal containers holding biohazardous waste. This is also used for sharps containers. Used for RCRA regulated hazardous materials such as Warfarin, Nicotine patches, or gum.
Used for non-RCRA pharmaceutical wastes such as antibiotics.
Normally used for containers that hold chemotherapy waste.
Red/Bright Orange
Federally regulated color used in medical waste disposal containers holding biohazardous waste. This is also used for sharps containers.
Used for RCRA regulated hazardous materials such as Warfarin, Nicotine patches, or gum.

Container Sizes and Types

Medical waste disposal containers most typically are stand-alone baskets, but wheeled carts and mounted receptacles are also easy to find. Sizes range anywhere from 1 quart to 20 gallons of capacity, but most commonly are 8, 12, and 18 gallons.

Medical waste disposal costs

How does an organization decide whether to manage medical waste disposal in-house (by purchasing machinery) or have an external company take care of disposal?

Purchasing machinery, such as incinerators and autoclaves, can often appear to cost less per lb of waste disposal. However, the medical waste disposal costs of these capital expenditures are usually far out of reach for medium-sized clinics and medical centers.

It is important to consider the additional costs of operating this machinery, which include:

  • Maintenance costs (scheduled maintenance work by an authorized technician)
  • Replacement parts costs
  • Utility costs
  • Training costs for employee use

As an example, steam sterilizers utilize water, steam, and electricity to operate. These costs can add up fast over the course of 20 years. Just the water costs to operate the autoclave can amount to over $100,000!

One of our customers, a hospital, previously had a large on-site autoclave machine onsite which they poured thousands of dollars into for maintenance and replacement parts. They called us when it became obvious that these operating costs far exceeded the cost of using an external disposal company.

Medical waste disposal costs for pick-up vary greatly from state to state and also based on your volume and frequency.

Our cost is up to 83.6% more affordable than Stericycle (America’s largest medical waste management company).


Medical waste disposal treatment methods

Incineration is the most commonly used medical waste disposal treatment. Recently, alternative treatment methods are becoming increasingly popular. Choosing a treatment system should be done carefully, on the basis of various factors, many of which depend on local conditions.

Here is a summary of the 5 most common medical waste disposal treatment methods:

Incineration. A high-temperature dry oxidation process that reduces waste to inorganic, incombustible matter, and results in a very significant reduction of waste volume and weight. This process is usually selected to treat wastes that cannot be recycled, reused, or disposed of in a landfill site.

Wet and dry thermal treatment. A treatment procedure based on the exposure of shredded infectious waste to high-temperature, high-pressure steam, and is similar to the autoclave sterilization process. With sufficient temperature and contact time are sufficient, it inactivates most types of microorganisms.

Irradiative (microwave irradiation). A treatment method where waste is shredded, then humidified and transferred to an irradiation chamber equipped with a series of microwave generators. After irradiation, the waste is compacted inside a container and enters the municipal waste stream

Chemical disinfection. Used routinely in health care to kill microorganisms on medical equipment and on floors and walls, is now being extended to the treatment of health-care waste. Chemicals are added to waste to kill or inactivate the pathogens it contains, usually resulting in disinfection rather than sterilization.

Land disposal. If a municipality lacks the means to treat wastes before disposal, the use of a municipal land disposal site has to be regarded as an acceptable disposal route.


Brief History of Regulated Biohazardous Waste Disposal in America:

In 1988, a famous act namely Medical Waste Tracking Act (MWTA) was addressed to handle the disposal of medical waste in coastal areas due to numerous medical and household waste throughout several coastal areas, therefore a two-year program was implemented in the affected areas (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico). This act was expired in June 21, 1991.

During that time, EPA gathered all information and performed medical waste related studies and together with MWTA, they managed to look at several treatment technologies that was available at that time involving incinerators, microwave units, and several varieties of mechanical and chemical systems that can be used for reducing the waste. Thus, resulting a different local regulation of medical waste management that was implemented to each state, such as Medical Waste Management 2015, as one of the recent medical waste regulation for California State.

Sorry to disappoint our Walking Dead fans, but improper disposal of medical won’t be the cause of the Zombie Apocalypse in America because stringent regulations, laws, and guidelines. Walking Dead Fans

Medical waste disposal regulations

Federal agencies that regulate medical waste include the EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance, but not regulation.

Currently, Federal law doesn’t provide a clear definition of medical waste. Usually, individual state health departments create medical waste disposal regulations to identify which wastes require special management and disposal processes.

Medical waste disposal regulations by State
Most of the 50 states have some form of medical waste disposal regulations in place. Unlike hazardous waste regulations, which are all based on the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) standards, the medical waste disposal regulations by state vary a great deal.

Generally, the state EPA holds the prime responsibility for developing and regulating medical waste disposal practices. However, in some states (e.g. Missouri and Oklahoma) the department of health plays a leading role or serves as a primary regulatory agency (e.g. Colorado). Often the department of health is responsible for onsite management and an environmental agency takes care of transportation and disposal.

The majority of states have regulations for packaging, storage, and transportation of medical waste. Others require health care facilities to register and obtain a permit for waste.

Stages of Medical Waste Disposal

Where does medical waste go? How is medical waste disposed of? For purposes of this guide, we are going to focus on disposal in the US. Let’s share with you the cautious and special care process in which medical waste is collected, stored, transported and treated with.

Stage 1 – Collecting & Segregating The biomedical waste has to be collected in containers that are resilient and strong from breakage during the handling process. Do not place sharps, used needles, syringes, or other contaminated tools in common waste disposal or recycle bin because the entire waste will be infectious by doing so. The segregation also needs to be performed between the liquid and solid biomedical waste products. Categorizing the medical waste with correct segregation to isolate and manage each waste in the proper way. For this purpose, the segregations come in colored waste containers, label coding and plastic bags.

Stage 2 – Storing & Transporting Specific requirements for storage facilities, such as a secure area that is inaccessible to the general public, as well as separated it from areas for food consumption. The storage facilities also have to be accompanied with refrigerator or freezer unit that can be used with medical waste if necessary. Some facilities even provided special vehicles and protective devices to dispose, handling or transport the biomedical waste products. Remember to observe and keep maintaining the protective devices periodically so it won’t be a source of transmitting the infections.

Stage 3 – Treatment The needs of professional handling that work according the by-law regulation such as the OSHA are needed to ensure that the regulated medical waste (RMW) is handled properly. The treatment process will use several medical waste equipment that ranged from handling, carts, shredding, conveying, size reducing, compactors, to sterilization or recycling. The following equipment is needed to properly process the waste in order to reduce the hazards, and maintain the environment:

  • Carts and containers – commonly used to collect the medical waste i.e. dumpers, containers, compactors can be used to collect the medical waste
  • Conveyors – this equipment help to segregate the waste
  • Sterilizers – such as: autoclave, shredder, and size redactor
  • Handling the waste – such as: compactors, containers, pre-crushers, and deliquefying system
  • Recycling system – i.e. balers and size reduction equipment

Incineration – Type 1 of Medical Waste Treatment The incineration technology used a high temperature thermal process that can convert inert material and gases with the combustion process. It will process the waste to convert into ash, gas, and heat. There are three types of incinerators that are commonly used for biomedical waste:

  1. The Multiple Hearth Type– it has a circular steel furnace that contains solid refractory hearths with a central rotating shaft to convert the waste into ash
  2. Rotary Kiln – it is an incinerator, shape like a drum, commonly for medical and hazardous waste
  3. Controlled Air – there are two process chambers that will handle the waste. The complete combustion and oxidizing it, leading to a stream of gas with carbon dioxide and water vapor composition. It is commonly used for waste that has organic materials.

In addition, for some cases, performing a shredding for biomedical waste needed as an aid for incineration process.

Non-Incineration System (Autoclaving, Irradiation, Chemical Methods) – Type 2 of Medical Waste Treatment

Aside from the incineration technology, the non-incineration method also provided to dispose the biomedical waste, it contains four basic processes such as thermal, irradiative, chemical, and biological.

The autoclaving system (a photo of our autoclave machine is below) is commonly used for the human body fluid waste, sharps, and microbiology laboratory waste. This system requires high temperature (thermal) that produces steam to decontaminate the biomedical waste. The steam plays a critical role in the medical waste autoclaving process therefore a good waste holding container is required. Autoclaving Irradiation Chemical-Methods While most of human body fluid waste can use this method, but the cytotoxic agents that used for chemotherapy cannot use this method due to those types of waste are not degraded with autoclave steams. Beside autoclaving, irradiation is the other thermal method which uses a high frequency microwave for disposal. The wave will generate heat to the waste materials and kill all the bacteria, or any other contamination in the tools.

Another way of performing treatments for biomedical waste is chemical decontamination, this method can be used for microbiology laboratory waste, human blood, sharps and body fluid waste, but cannot be used for treating anatomical waste. Aside from that, biological processes is a method that employ enzymes to destroy the organic matter of the waste, however there are very few non-incineration technologies have been based on this biological method.

On-Site and Off-Site Treatment of Medical Waste
To differentiate which biomedical waste that can be performed on-site and off-site is important. Because in majority of the cases, the biomedical waste is a mixture and can be very difficult to manage it properly or even to segregate it, which is why an accurate simplified management of medical waste in segregating it according to the regulations will reduce the erroneous element. The on-site treatment usually requires expensive equipment. Not all facilities have this due to major infrastructure expenditure, but it is generally cost effective for very large hospitals and laboratories.

Thus most medical waste producers choose off-site treatment known as regulated medical waste disposal companies because these companies have:

  • The proper medical waste equipment
  • Been state certified operating permits
  • OSHA-trained personnel to collect, transport or store the medical waste

Once treated, the medical waste can be disposed of.

Stage 4 – Disposal
In the US, for solid waste, once medical waste producers have adhered to regulations for collecting, storing, transporting, and treating their waste, they may then use their municipal landfill and sanitary sewer system as their final disposal method.

That’s right, your local municipal landfill is commonly used as the final place of your treated decontaminated biomedical waste.
For fluids such as blood, suctioned fluids, excretions and secretions, almost every state and local government has its own regulations and guidelines to provide the best way to dispose it. In general, there are two recommended ways to handle medical waste fluids:

  1. Collect fluids in a leak proof container, and solidified for autoclave treatment
  2. Thermally (autoclave) fluids then they be disposed into the sanitary sewer system

An extra precaution should be performed before pouring treated fluids in sewer because they may clog and leak.

Medical waste disposal facilities

Hazardous and medical waste disposal facilities receive waste for treatment, storage or disposal. These locations are usually referred to as TSDFs (treatment, storage, and disposal facilities).

Treatment Facilities use several different processes, such as incineration or oxidation, to alter the composition of medical wastes. Some treatment processes allow waste to be recovered and reused for manufacturing, while other treatment methods dramatically reduce the amount of hazardous waste.

Storage Facilities temporarily hold hazardous and medical wastes until they are treated or disposed of. Medical waste is often stored prior to treatment or disposal, and needs to be stored in containers, containment buildings, tanks, drip pads, surface impoundments, or waste piles that comply with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations.

Disposal Facilities are permanent locations where hazardous and medical wastes are stores. The most common types of disposal facilities are landfills, where waste is disposed of in constructed units designed to protect groundwater and surface water resources.

Biohazard Disposal Container

Medical waste disposal problems

The most common medical waste disposal problems arise when proper disposal procedures are not followed. Improper disposal can lead to serious consequences, putting facility staff, patients, and communities in danger. Not to mention fines, lawsuits, and the loss of reputation that could ruin your business. That is why it’s crucial to pick the right company to help with your medical waste removal. Here are some of the biggest problems with the disposal of medical waste.

Lack of Training for Staff

Many facilities fail to fully train all staff on procedures and best practices for medical waste disposal. This leads to medical waste disposal problems such as waste being placed in the wrong containers, or hazardous materials being flushed down a drain, or thrown in the regular trash.

Every facility with medical waste should be inspected at regular intervals to ensure proper procedures and training are in place.

Improper or Illegal Dumping of Medical Waste

Some facilities can generate up a tonne of medical waste each and every day. Illegal dumping of waste could potentially expose many people to infections and diseases. Disposing of medical waste via burning is also a dangerous solution, as toxins from waste can circulate in the air. Simply throwing medical waste into the regular trash can also be dangerous for any janitors and the general public. Illegal dumping of medical waste can result in huge fines.

The best way to avoid most medical waste disposal problems is to hire a reputable medical waste disposal company, like us, to handle your medical waste and ensure you remain compliant.

Contact us now for a quote.



As you can see from this article, great care goes into disposing of medical waste, and the way it is disposed is dependent on what category of medical waste it is and government regulations. We hope you find it easier to proper dispose of your medical waste.

Dr. Intan Airlina is consulting Director of OSHA Compliance for BioMedical Waste Solutions, LLC ( She is an Internist that holds an Internal Medicine Degree from University of Indonesia, learned tropical diseases and infection, also certified in patient safety from a Joint Commission International (JCI) and ISO certified hospital.


The Definitive Guide to Medical Waste Disposal

Read this and avoid the mistakes of locking into a multi-year contract that could cost you up to 83.6% MORE EVERY Year.


Legal Disclaimer. This guide and medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for purposes or substitute for proper OSHA training. Please consult your OSHA trained provider, or contact BioMedical Waste Solutions for a consultation, before making any biohazardous waste disposal decisions. BioMedical Waste Solutions , LLC expressly disclaims responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site. If you do not agree to the foregoing terms and conditions, you should not enter this site.

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Showing 60 comments
  • Dr. John Kempfer

    Many thanks for creating the pdf, i’ve shared internally with staff and it’s been very helpful. It’s definitely true about the costs of in-house disposal! The hospital I worked at previously spent a FORTUNE on incineration. Bills were massive. So much more economical to outsource to a medial waste disposal company.


    Aerosol cans may be classified as non-hazardous if they are empty and provided the general healthcare waste is not being sent for incineration.

  • George Ellis

    I really liked the way you explained everything about this serious topic with info graphics. Thanks for writing on this. Will share it with my friends.


    For Sputum container ;which bin is perfect… Red or yellow

  • virendra verma

    I am looking some guidelines which said Hospital required Biomedical wast treatment plant .

  • Joanne

    One of the most comprehensive articles I have found on the subject of Biomedical Waste! Thank you for sharing.

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    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

  • priyanka.r

    pleace biomedical waste management content and practical requirement

  • cathy musiimenta

    How can hospital wastes be recycled and becomes useful

  • Laurentius Suhud

    Hi there,

    My name is Laurentius S. I came across your website and intrigued to learn more about becoming a parner for international scale in biomedical waste solutions and management. We are based in Indonesia. Our company is currently undertaking a project of clearing up a daily biomedical waste in the scale of roughly 50 tons/day combined. Looking forward to get in touch further. I will be in the US until the end of this month, so hopefully we can arrange some time to talk this through in person or over the phone.

    Thank you

  • Abhay thite

    Pls describe the hospital waste material dispose system.

  • Anyway thite

    Pls describe the hospital waste material dispose system.

  • Laurie Stevens

    Please send me a sample of each of your products:

    Laurie Stevens
    Letica Corporation
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  • Sanmati Naik

    Its a good article ,i would like to know d plastic wrapers of syringes n needles,also needles cap which is plastics to be put in dry garbage! Asits not mentioned anywhere i need to know so it would be aproper seggregation.
    Thank u

  • Brian

    How do I find out though what can and can’t go through the autoclave? Like it says sharps but what kind? Are the there only special containers that can go through or just any style of needle container is ok in that? I work with one now an be really nice to know about it.

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  • Hemavathi

    It’s really very meaning full.l hope all will follow this.


    Thank for your knowledge in this article is very good but i would like to ask if that history you have give as in regulated biohazadous waste disposal in america is true?

  • Frank Boateng


    This is quite an eye opening. From what I have learned here, I have developed an interest in owning a business that can collect regulated wastes and dispose them off appropriately. What training do I need to qualify to own such a small company?

  • Vaishali Gupta

    It gives me a knowledge about disposal of biomedical waste which is a better form of notes in my opinion.

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    Good work, Sir

  • sara shyr

    Dear Dr. Airlina,
    Thank you for your article. I work in an ambulatory surgery centre. I a confused as to what exactly is RCRA Hazards? And what container does a used Sevoflurane go in or an inhaler?

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  • Larry Verde

    Every medical professional should be taught how to adequately segregate waste to make biohazard waste disposal more eco-friendly, as well as how to adhere to the codes of practice in every hospital.

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  • Cindy achims

    Goodmorning,please do you have a certified course on safety handling ? because am interested and would like to enrol in the course .thanks for your article it educated me

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    Good article. I’m experiencing some of these issues as well..

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  • Yvana Delacour

    Congratulations for this article. I am on my way to create heelthcare waste center in my country Cameroon located in central africa. This business need a lot of money and much experience. where can i find financial help and training to create this business very gainfull. I held a master degree in environmental management and it is been 3 years ago that i became interested of healthcare management. Can you give me you help me with that please?

    • Ajay Pal

      Hey Yvana This is me Ajay pal From India and I am also working with some
      Health care facilities as a consultant Biomedical waste Manager where I
      am trying to improve its management standard; as per norms of WHO and
      CPCB (Center pollution control Board India). at ground level still i am
      trying to work as a company/Firm. where I can get some good results. we
      have much opportunities in India’s Health care systems.There is much
      activities to do, but due to poor management and lack of facilities
      Health care system running with the low quality of care due to improper
      waste management there is heavy infection rates. I am also looking to
      crate a quality of care in waste management or infection control. you
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  • Acorn Haven

    Waste is slowly but surely filling up our planet. Unless something is done this planet will truly be a waste land. After reading this article about medical waste disposal and how medical waste disposal companies are dealing with this huge problem I was encouraged. It is good to know that OSHA has training for medical offices in how to use medical waste. It was also interesting that medical waste disposal companies have 5 options to treat waste so that it is not a health hazard. That I did not know.

    So it is good to see that at least in the medical field there are competent waste companies to handle the problem and not add to the problem. That is encouraging. Now if other businesses and industries would do the same we might have a chance to cut down on some of the waste we generate.

    • intan

      Yes you are right Acorn, it is relieving to know that OSHA and the healthcare personnel are very serious in taking care of these problems. Not only they are serious, they making it sure that we are living in the world that medical wastes are their problem to take care of, so we can easily walking in the street without having any fear from the medical waste disposal lying on the street. Thank you for the comment. 🙂

  • Farjana Shoma

    There is a lot that I didn’t know in this article. For instance that there are five ways to decontaminate medical waste that medical waste disposal companies use. I assumed that it would be burned or land filled but did not think about the other ways. I have noticed the red sharps containers in doctors offices but after I read this I started looking around and realized that some of the other six containers were also in my local doctor office. Lot of good information in the article.

    • intan

      Hi Farjana, thank you for your comment, It was really nice. Glad you observe all the containers in your local doctor office, we are very happy that people become aware about the usage of those containers and its advantages. the containers are helpful for the doctor and for you too in order to maintain your safety. 🙂 Keep reading.

  • Morgan Johnson

    I had no idea of the amount of medical waste that medical waste disposal companies have to deal with on a daily basis. 33 lbs of waste per day per occupied bed in a hospital. That is staggering. My idea of medical waste were the red sharps containers on the walls of doctor’s offices used to dispose of needles. I had not thought about all the other stuff or about medical waste disposal cost and that there has to be a medical waste company involved to dispose of it along OSHA’a guidelines. Eyeopening article to say the least.

    • intan

      Yes, Morgan. It is staggering, like you said. The amount of waste that was produced every day is enormous. That is why, can you even imagine if the hospitals don’t have any biomedical waste disposal company to working together with? We might as well work until late night in the office and still not finished to manage the waste. 🙂

  • Bo Tipton

    After reading this it adds to my list of the staggering amount of things we are doing to pollute Mother Earth. At least from what I read here medical waste disposal companies are doing their best and should be examples for other fields of what can be done to control the impact of waste. It seems with the staggering cost of medical waste disposal that medical offices and medical waste disposal companies would be working together to reduce the waste. Maybe they are because if not the amount of waste will continue to escalate.
    One of the things that was good to hear is that OSHA has training for medical offices to make sure that they are keeping up with regulations.

    • intan

      Yes Bo. It is exactly like you say, luckily the pollution become less because of the OSHA regulations and it is a big achievement for the healthcare system regarding the medical waste. It is hardly imagine if we don’t have the biomedical waste disposal companies and OSHA, especially like the old days before anything has been found. We are so lucky to live in this world with the help of the biomedical waste companies and OSHA regulations.

  • Bill Freeman

    Waste of any kind is a problem all over the world. Most waste disposal is unregulated and uncontrolled. This article was good for me to read. I found that I knew practically nothing about medical waste disposal. I had seen the Sharps containers disposal units hanging on the walls in medical offices but did not give any thought to what they did with them.
    After reading this I now understand the important role that medical waste disposal companies play in disposing of medical waste properly. At least items that are contaminated are not being put in to landfills without being sure that they no longer pose a danger.
    This is a larger problem then I ever imagined but at least steps are being made to keep it as safe as possible.

    • intan

      Thanks Bill. Happy to hear that the article is informative for you. True, that in some places, the medical waste still not properly regulated, which is why it is very important to know about the right way to dispose the waste. And yes, it is relieving that at least with OSHA and the medical waste disposal companies, those wastes are properly handle to avoid any danger for us.

  • Naham Bikap

    Having worked in the medical field I have had experience with medical waste and medical waste disposal. I can personally say that the OSHA’s training for the medical offices is good training. Our medical waste disposal company also offered additional training on how to handle medical waste that was as good or if not better the the OSHA training. Most people do not realize it but because of the expense of properly handling medical waste disposal the cost can be one of the big expenses that a medical office has. It depends on the type of practice they have.
    Great article with useful information for people who have no idea of what is actually involved in medical waste disposal and that is it much more than a Sharps container that hangs on the wall in doctor’s offices.

    • intan

      Yes, it is true, thank you Naham for make a comment about the expenses. With your background in the medical field, then you know for sure that a proper management cost a lot, but it is worth the amount, because our health is a gift that no one can ever buy. Therefore, we are very grateful that we live in the world where people surrounds us are keeping us healthy, like OSHA and the biomedical waste disposal companies.

  • The Ornery Ol Tipton

    Wonderful article. I learned a lot by reading it. I know that medical waste disposal is a growing problem and I for one after reading this understand the role that medical waste disposal companies in all of this. It is good to know that medical waste companies and OSHA trough training for medical offices is helping keep this problem under control.
    Waste disposal is a growing problem that new solutions need to be thought about. We cannot continue the same old methods. After reading this article I am reassured that at least medical waste disposal companies are working to keep from further damaging the environment.

    • intan

      Hi Tipton. happy that you learned a lot by reading the article, it is very nice to know that the world we living is simply regulated with properly waste management to keep us healthy. The OSHA and medical waste companies are highly trained personnel that have qualifications for this problem. So,hopefully we will keep on improving and seek the best for managing the waste properly. Thank you for commenting.

  • Rakip Bikap

    If other places would do as good a job as medical waste disposal companies do at processing waste things would be much better. I have seen the Sharps Container Disposals hanging on the wall of medical offices for years but had not put much thought to it. After reading this article I understand the role that medical waste companies play in disposal of medical waste. I also have a new appreciation for medical waste disposal cost that the medical offices have to pay. Again, I had not thought about it.
    I also was pleased to learn that there is OSHA training for medical offices to insure that what needs to be done to keep the public safe is done. Very good article. Thanks

    • intan

      Hello Rakip, thank you very much for your comment. Yes, we know that sometimes the containers and everything that are located in our clinic is look simple, but that is why OSHA and the Biomedical Waste Disposal Companies are great! They simplified everything surrounds us to keep us safe. Glad that you appreciate the article.

  • Jim Thompson

    We run a parrot rescue and have a lot of contact with people all over the world. It is amazing how many birds are affected in many different ways by waste. If waste from other industries was regulated as well as Medical Waste Disposal is, there would be less of a problem. Also having Medical Waste Disposal Companies makes a tremendous difference. If only other industries would use what happens in this field then we would not have near the problem we do.
    Great article with a ton of good information. Thank you for making this information available.

    • intan

      Hi Jim! Thanks for the enthusiasm. I also agree with you. Surely your opinion about wastes from other industries are correct. That is why we also very grateful about the OSHA regulations that properly handle the waste and make the waste become less harmful for us; aside from the Medical Waste Companies that simply make it happen.

  • Jerry Notpit

    This is one of the better articles that I have read about disposing of Medical Waste. It is not something we think about but as this article says Medical Waste Disposal is a huge problem. After reading I better understand the problem and now know there is a safe way to handle it.

    • intan

      Hi Jerry! Glad you love the article. As a medical doctor, the biomedical waste is one of the biggest problems that has to be solved in the hospital. You will be very happy to know that the proper medical waste regulation by OSHA is highly recommended. And yes, it is quite amazing that almost all hospital around the world are working with biomedical waste company to resolved this problems. Aside that, you are right! it is very important for you, as an individual, who is not a healthcare personnel to also know about the proper management of handling the waste, in order to prevent you from any potential infection that might occur surrounds you.

  • Cynthia Close

    Interesting article – who knew medical waste removal was so complex. I guess I’ve never thought about what happens to syringes and suture needles etc. after they’re used. I’ve seen the sharps container boxes in Doctor’s offices, but didn’t know what they were for until reading this article. I for one am glad I live in the U.S. where we have OSHA guidelines and good waste disposal training, since the image of all this stuff washing up on a pristine beach somewhere is not a pleasant one.

    I was shocked at the statistic which stated hospitals produce 33 lbs of waste per day per occupied bed. Clearly there’s a great need for medical waste disposal companies, but perhaps hospitals should also address why they create so much trash. The cost of disposing of so much medical waste must be astronomical. Anyway, this was a well written and informative article. This is why I love the internet; you never know what you’ll learn next.

    • intan

      Hi Cynthia, Thank you very much for the interest in the article. Yes, most people doesn’t know about the complexity of biomedical waste that has been produced these years. It still a big concern for OSHA and therefore, a proper knowledge about the biomedical waste will make you more concern about how big the problem is if not properly manage. You are very lucky to live in the place that the biomedical waste are properly regulated by OSHA. 🙂

  • Mohd Javed

    Its nice

    • tt

      thank you

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