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Essential things to know about proper home disposal of medical waste

Photo Credit: Peshkova/iStock Photo

Often, when people think of medical waste disposal, they envision a hospital or doctor’s office properly getting rid of their biohazardous trash. That’s not the full picture. For many people with health conditions that require home-administered shots or individuals who have in-home care, there’s a need for home medical waste disposal. Of course, carefully disposing of needles, glass bottles, unused pharmaceuticals or medications, and potentially infectious waste, can be a little nerve-wracking for even a skilled in-home care worker or nurse. You may also be worried about the impact improper disposal will have on the environment, or what could happen if any medical waste ended up in the wrong hands. But then, the good news is you can safely and correctly dispose of medical trash at home—you just need to learn how. Therefore, let’s go over everything you need to know about at-home medical garbage disposal to do it right the first time.

At-Home Disposal 101

You need to keep in mind several things before you toss your medical waste into your everyday rubbish bin. For starters, you should never just dispose of infectious materials or sharp objects in your ordinary trash receptacle. This is the quickest way to cause harm to others and potentially yourself. Remember, these hazardous items will be carted off to your nearest landfill, which could injure both humans and animals. Moreover, any liquid waste could leech into the groundwater, which would lead to an even bigger problem. Before you cause all kinds of trouble, stop and take a second to decide which method of disposal is most appropriate for your medical trash. For example, if you’re disposing of sharps, then proceed with caution.

Immediate Disposal

When dealing with sharps in particular, it’s highly recommended to promptly place all sharp objects and needles in a biohazardous container after use. Doing so will reduce the chance of injury. With that being said, don’t overfill your disposal receptacle either. Once your biohazardous bin is at least three-quarters full, it needs to be empty. To safely empty the container then, it helps to be fully apprised of your local guidelines. If you’ve already gone over your local recommendations with a fine-tooth comb, but you still have questions, then remember it never hurts to speak with a professional.

Following Local Guidelines

Generally, local guidelines will vary, so if you’re helping a family member in another state, you need to make sure you double-check your current state’s regulations. Likewise, if your loved one is coming from another state to stay with you, be aware of the fact that how they have always disposed of their medical waste back home might not be the proper way now that they are here. Along those same lines, if you’re traveling and will need to dispose of biohazardous trash, you must be prepared. This might mean purchasing a travel-sized biohazardous disposal container if you don’t have one already.

Speaking with a Professional

Handling biomedical waste on your own doesn’t have to be overwhelming. All you have to do is ask for some assistance. A local medical waste disposal provider or contractor is always just a phone call away for your hard-to-answer questions. You can also visit if you prefer to get more information online. Regardless of your chosen method of contact, expert professionals can make the overall at-home disposal process much easier for you or your in-home caregiver.

Simple At-Home Process

If you’re all set to begin the at-home disposal process, then you should have no trouble after following these simple steps—collect waste, separate it, properly store, and then transport. That’s all you have to do. Note that after you’ve safely stored your medical waste, it’s time to choose your transportation method.

Mail-Back Programs

Once you’re ready to dispose of your waste and sharps, you actually have several transportation options to consider. For instance, many biomedical disposal providers offer mail-back programs, many of which are very straightforward. Plus, providers like MedPro Disposal offer easy-to-follow how-to guides for their mail-back programs. Thus, if you’re looking for an easy, safe, and cost-effective way to dispose of your medical waste from the comfort of your own home, these ship-back plans are for you.

Hazardous Trash Collection Areas and Sites

Besides user-friendly mail-back programs, many cities have dangerous or harmful waste collection areas and sites. What’s great about these public collection sites is they typically accept more than just your average biomedical waste. Therefore, if you’ve been making some home improvements and need to get rid of harmful cleaners/chemicals, in addition to the sharps, you can. Being able to drop off toxic substances or biohazardous materials in one place is great when you don’t feel like running all over town. Nevertheless, make sure you call your site ahead of time to confirm that you can drop off your biohazardous containers—not all hazardous trash collection areas accept them.

Residential Pick-Up Services

Some areas also offer residential pick-up services. If not having to lift a finger sounds good to you, you should absolutely determine if your community has this service. Though this is often the more costly option, it’s an extremely beneficial one, especially for people who can’t drive for whatever reason.

Final Note

Ultimately, at-home disposal of medical waste is possible. Furthermore, it can be done safely and without being a major inconvenience. There really is no reason for you to continue throwing harmful sharps or infectious materials in the trash—all while hoping for the best. Now that you have a better idea of what proper at-home removal entails, you can start correctly disposing of your medical trash ASAP. Nevertheless, if you’d still like to talk through your transportation options or know more about at-home disposal, contact a local medical waste removal company today.

augusta free press
augusta free press