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Medical Waste Treatment Methods

Updated: May 16

Medical Waste Autoclave Treatment Method

As a leading provider of medical waste disposal including sharps container disposal in Wilmington, DE, and surrounding areas, our team has over 25 years of hauling experience. There are several ways that medical waste is treated across the medical waste industry, each with its advantages and disadvantages. We’ve explained some of the most common medical waste treatment methods below for old and new clients to use as a point of reference.

A Little Background Information:

Wherever medical waste ends up being processed, it’s generally treated using methods such as incineration, autoclaving, microwaving, chemical, or biological treatment. Although incineration used to be the most popular method of disposal, its use has decreased since the 1990s, with regulation forcing other methods to dominate the industry.


Before 1997, over 90% of all infectious medical waste was disposed of using the method of incineration. EPA regulation changes meant that all medical providers had to seek other means of disposal. However, this is still the most common method that is used in the medical industry to dispose of pathological waste such as small organs and tissues. As emission regulations and costs slowly increase, the amounts of incinerators are decreasing. This is a unique opportunity for new treatment systems and technology in our industry.


Autoclaving uses steam to sterilize medical waste. This industrial process is much more cost efficient, more environmentally friendly and the most common form to treat infectious waste. After undergoing sterilization, the waste can be moved on to a landfill, or it can be incinerated under less strict regulations (for example, a solid waste incinerator instead of a medical waste incinerator).


Certain types of chemical waste can be neutralized by using reactive chemicals that render it inert. This process is generally reserved exclusively for waste that is chemical in nature. However, it’s a popular way to create less harmful waste as it is disposed of forever.


This method of treating specific biomedical waste uses enzymes to neutralize certain infectious organisms. Although this process is rarely used, it’s under constant development and may be more commonly deployed as science advances.

Any medical facilities or practitioners that are looking to dispose of their medical waste with a cost-effective, efficient company, or anyone seeking sharps container disposal in Dover, DE and surrounding areas are encouraged to call 302-766-7575 or click here today. Here at Choice Medwaste we are proud to carry our reputation as a leading provider of medical waste solutions.

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