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Understanding Waste Management: What Are the 4 Types of Medical Waste?

Updated: Sep 20

When running a hospital or medical facility, the safety of your patients and staff is of utmost importance and takes high priority. One way to ensure this is by preventing exposure to potentially dangerous medical waste. At Choice MedWaste, we provide medical waste services in Montgomery County and the surrounding areas to reduce the risk associated with biohazardous waste. 

Not only can medical waste cause harm to humans who come in contact with it, but improper disposal can pollute lakes, rivers, and beaches. Review the infographic below to find out more about the human and environmental impact of improper waste management, and then continue reading to learn about the different types of medical waste:

General Waste

General medical waste is really no different than the waste generated from households. General waste is typically the bulk of the waste in a medical facility and includes paper, plastic, and other office waste. General waste does not require special handling and can be disposed of regularly and taken to landfills. 

Infectious Waste

Infectious waste refers to waste that could potentially be infectious to humans and can also be labeled as pathological waste. The most common infectious waste includes blood, sharps waste, surgical waste, swabs, cultures, and anything else contaminated by bodily fluids. This type of waste requires special storage, transport, and disposal.

Hazardous Waste

While hazardous waste is dangerous, it is not always infectious to humans. However, depending on its exposure to humans or animals prior to being discarded/stored correctly, hazardous waste can also be detrimental to the environment. The most common types of hazardous waste are chemicals, certain pharmaceuticals and aerosol containers.  

Radioactive Waste

This type of waste contains radioactive materials that have been generated from radioactive treatments, such as cancer therapies, nuclear medical treatments, and medical equipment. Most hospitals, doctors’ offices, and even some veterinary offices generate radioactive waste. 

Choice MedWaste can help your medical facility mitigate risk associated with improper waste disposal. Our team is highly trained and knowledgeable in waste management and follow strict OSHA regulations and guidelines. Give us a call at 302-262-8261 to learn more about our safe practices or sharps disposal services in Montgomery County

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