North Carolina Waste Management
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Monday, February 23 2015
North Carolina and Biohazard Medical Waste Solutions
Due to the nature of their work in North Carolina, hospitals produce a variety of waste substances, including biological wastes, needles, and discarded drugs. Because these substances can be hazardous if not disposed of properly in North Carolina, hospitals must create a stringent waste management program to ensure the safe and efficient disposal of dangerous wastes
Typical Waste Classifications in North Carolina:
The World Health Organization (WHO) categorizes waste substances produced by hospitals according to their density and constitution. Wastes are divided into the following groups: infectious, sharps, pathological, pharmaceuticals, radioactive, and others. Infectious waste substances are those containing pathogens that have the potential to spread infectious diseases to the hospital patients and staff as well as to the general public if they are left unattended. Surgical waste is an example of infectious waste. Needles, syringes, and other operation theater substances that could cause cuts and eventually, infection, are called sharps. Pathological wastes are body parts, tissues, organs, fetuses, body fluids, and other types of human waste. Pharmaceutical wastes are substances such as medicines and chemicals. Radioactive wastes are substances that contain radioactive materials, such as X-rays, radiotherapy, and so on. Finally, apart from these substances, other types of miscellaneous waste are sometimes present, including items such as bedding and laundry/kitchen wastes.
Typical North Carolina Biological Waste:
Biological wastes are substances that are contaminated by biohazard material. Examples include syringes, needles, surgical swabs, cultural tubes, absorbent pads, and blood vials. Their potential to cause infections is greater, because they could potentially cause diseases such as AIDS.
Biological wastes in hospitals are classified as Category 1 and Category 2. The first category includes those substances that are harmful if released into the environment. The second contains non-infectious substances such as body parts and animal tissue.
Importance of Waste Management Objectives:
Hospitals produce a vast amount of potentially dangerous wastes. Because there are so many people working in hospitals, serving all different types of functions, everyone from the doctor to the janitor needs to know the proper protocols for disposing of dangerous wastes. Otherwise, the wastes could pose problems for the hospital staff and/or public by making them vulnerable to infectious diseases such as AIDS, typhoid, boils, and Hepatitis A or B. For example, dioxin, a product of burnt plastics, can also cause cancer, birth defects, and related problems. Therefore, plastics must be disposed of differently then other waste products.
Objectives For Biohazard Solutions In North Carolina:
Objectives for managing waste in hospitals deal with the problem of waste disposal at several levels. The objectives are based on the premise that not all wastes should be treated equally. A practical and useful waste management systems is one that takes all of the related factors, such as differences in wastes and dangers of waste, into consideration. In most hospitals, the overall goals or objectives include: 1) reducing risks and liabilities; 2) controlling costs; 3) planning for the future; and 4) coordinating with the respective government department or institution for better waste management practices.
Implementing waste management strategies in hospitals is grounded in a process chain that includes many steps, including generation, segregation (removing hazardous wastes for treatment), collection, storage, processing transport, treatment, and disposal. Many hospitals also focus on educating management and staff, emphasizing concepts such as reuse, recycling, and segregation
Sunday, February 08 2015
10 Ways You Could be Overpaying For Medical Waste Disposal In North Carolina
The disposal of your medical waste shouldn’t be overly expensive in North Carolina.
As long as you’re doing so correctly and cost efficiently. If it feels like you’re being charged through the nose for your medical waste disposal, you could be making one of the following eleven common mistakes. The good news is that many money-saving techniques are simple to habitualize. It might take a little extra planning and effort, but reversing your expensive disposal mistakes can save you a huge chunk of change in the long run. The 10 Medical Waste Disposal Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
1. You don’t follow DOT guidelines – From correctly packaging waste for transporting to manifesting the entire medical waste disposal process, there are many rules you must follow to comply with the Department of Transportation guidelines. Penalties for failing to comply with DOT guidelines can cost you up to $15,000 per violation per day. You can read the top five mistakes people make when transporting medical waste here.
2. You don’t follow DNR Guidelines – In addition to DOT guidelines, the Department of Natural Resources has a set of strict rules for proper medical waste disposal. Often, the DNR checks your compliance during an audit. If you are audited and found to be non-compliant with the state or federal DNR’s guidelines, penalties can be drastic – sometimes as much as $10,000 to $25,000 per violation per day. For a list of the top 12 questions the DNR asks when conducting an audit, read this post.
3. You don’t use an MWRS Sharps program – If you dispose of a small amount of sharps at home or at your business, MWRS kits are a great way to cut your disposal costs nearly in half. MWRS kits are certified sharps and infectious medical waste collection containers that meet DOT and USPS shipping requirements. Once you fill a container, you ship it to a waste disposal company, who will alert you when they receive it (for manifestation purposes). This post details exactly how the program works and how it can slash your disposal costs.
4. You don’t use a sharps return program – While not every city or county runs a sharps return program, they can save you even more money on sharps disposal than an MWRS kit. Sharps return programs let you drop off sharps containers at designated sites that store your waste and arrange pickup with a medical waste disposal company. Unlike the MWRS kits, you don’t even need to pay shipping fees. You simply have to drop your container off. Typical drop-off sites vary, but often include clinics, hospitals or pharmacies. In Madison, you can drop off your waste at the following designated pharmacies.
5. You don’t segregate waste – Mixing your infectious medical waste with non-medical waste is a common mistake that increases your disposal costs. Because disposal cost is often determined by weight, adding unnecessary pounds to your medical waste leads to unnecessary expenses.
6. You don’t consolidate waste – If your business includes multiple clinics, consolidate the waste into one disposal proposal instead of calling a service to remove waste from each site individually. By gathering your waste at a central location for pick up, you’ll save your medical waste disposal company transportation time, which means a better rate for you.
7. You dispose of waste too frequently – The more often a service picks up waste from your facility, the more money you pay for transportation. Larger waste containers increase the amount of waste you can store, lengthening storage time and decreasing costly pickups.
8. You don’t bid out work – Instead of using the same waste disposal company every time, call a new company and give them a price to beat. Describe the services you need and tell them what you’ve paid other companies in the past.
9. You’re paying monthly fees – Don’t solicit any medical waste disposal companies that charge a monthly flat rate or minimum service fee. These companies will charge you for a full month of service even if you don’t use them that month.
10. You’re not using a call-only service – On the flip side, companies that charge monthly fees are those that charge you only when you need them. These companies allow a customer to go “on call,” giving you flexibility and control over how much you pay and when. 11. You’re getting nailed by hidden fees – Any time you solicit a medical waste disposal company, be sure to ask them about any additional fees on top of the quoted price. Some companies charge additional energy, fuel or government fees without being upfront. It’s not difficult to cut down on unnecessarily high medical waste disposal costs. By avoiding these