Picture of sharps waste and biohazard waste container - medical waste management

5 Effective Ways to Reduce Medical Waste and Clinical Waste

It is inevitable for hospitals, doctor’s clinics and other medical facilities to produce a substantial amount of waste. With the numerous amounts of procedures and the way that medical facilities operate, taking care of medical waste is important to ensure a hygienic and clean facility.

Reducing medical waste relies on better on-site disposal practices. This ensures more effective waste management solutions, reduces costs, and reduces your carbon footprint, as there is no need for excessive collection frequencies.

1. Sanitise, don’t trash

Often, staffs confuse medical waste with items that can be reused. Addressing this can considerably reduce medical waste problems and the amount that your facility produces.

There are certain items that do not need to be disposed of straight away. Instead, they can be cleaned and used a few more times until there is a need for them to be thrown away. This includes soiled linen and towels, as well as other items that are not directly medically-related.

Not only does reusing materials help protect the environment, it also reduces expenses. This includes both waste management expenses, and the costs involved in replacing the items.

If there is an absolute need to dispose of these items, they should be disposed of in general rubbish bins. That’s because medical waste removal is often more costly than general waste.

2. Waste segregation

medical waste segregation

One of the most important ways to reduce medical waste problems is to segregate your waste. This ensures that all rubbish is placed in its correct bins, which makes waste management easier in its process beyond the medical facility.

Improper medical waste management can cause harm to both the environment and human health. Effective waste segregation generally allows for less waste to go to landfill.

3. Train your staff

Waste segregation is only as effective as the staff who practice it. Medical waste problems can often occur when your staffs are not properly trained on how to dispose of certain types of rubbish. This includes knowing what waste goes in which bin.

This should be included in the initial training stages, as well as ongoing refreshment courses.

4. Use signs

Placing signs above medical waste bins is also effective to reducing medical waste problems. Although staff should be fully trained, it helps to give reminders about what types of rubbish should be disposed of in which bins.

It is the medical facility’s responsibility to ensure enough signage to help their staff manage their waste effectively.

5. Limit access to red bags

medical waste disposal

It is often more expensive to manage medical waste than it is to manage general waste. To reduce expenses, it’s important to ensure that all rubbish is placed in the correct bins.

Only biohazards waste should be disposed of in red bags. While your staff is aware of this, your patients are not.

An emphasis on waste segregation and training and refreshment courses is important for your staff. However, reducing medical waste problems does not only depend on your staff. It also depends on each person visiting your facility.

Red bags should be kept out of patient’s and visitor’s reach. This is to avoid them placing food wrappers or other general rubbish into medical waste containers and to ensure that authorised staff use the red bags for medical waste only.

Nationwide Waste Solutions is your trusted waste removal specialists. We provide cost-effective and sustainable services including general and medical waste management for hospitals, doctor’s clinics and other medical facilities. To enquire about our services, call us on 1300 729 922 or contact us here.

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