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Top Reasons You Need Proper Medical Waste Management

proper medical waste management

Do you and your employees know what goes in the regular trash can and what goes into the red, specially marked biomedical waste containers? While most businesses and medical facilities know the importance of following the rules and staying compliant, there are still people tossing medical waste where they want. For most, it’s a lack of training and not having a medical waste management system in place.

Here are a few reasons to put together a medical waste management system and how Glycon Medical Waste Services can help.

Proper Medical Waste Management Is Important!

Medical waste is harmful to humans. It can include infectious body fluids, used needles, chemicals, pathological waste, and more. While not all medical waste contains agents that can spread harmful diseases or pose serious risks to humans, there are many different forms of medical waste that can pose a risk to humans if handled improperly. By not having a proper medical waste management system in place, you are putting your staff, patients/customers, and others who visit your facility at risk of contracting diseases such as:

• Hepatitis
• HIV
• Malaria

At Glycon Medical Waste Services, we understand just how dangerous infectious biomedical waste can be to humans. We provide the proper bags and containers for all of your medical waste needs. And in order to help you and your staff learn the difference between medical waste and regular trash and how to dispose of medical waste properly.

MEDICAL WASTE IS HARMFUL TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Not only is medical waste harmful to humans and animals, but it is also harmful to the environment. Even with hours of training, hefty fines, and the threat of shutting down, there are some businesses and facilities that still toss medical waste in with the regular trash headed for the landfill. While it may not seem like a big deal, biomedical waste adds up quickly when everyone continues tossing a few things here and there.

Not only does it create more waste in the local landfill, but contaminated waste also finds its way to our water supply. It gets into our streams, rivers, and lakes and eventually into our drinking water. While most things can be filtered out of our drinking water and decontaminated, most water treatment facilities have not figured out a way to filter out pathogens, expired medications, and other harmful medical waste.

At Glycon Medical Waste Services, we work hard to make sure that we are doing everything possible to keep our environment safe. When you partner with us, you are getting a company that produces no atmospheric pollution, operates under some of the highest standards in the industry, and has put in place clean, safe practices in order to create the most minimal carbon footprint and reduce the overall impact on the environment.

PROPER MEDICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT IS REQUIRED BY LAW

There are several federal and state laws governing the disposal of medical waste. From the time it is created, removed, transported and disposed of, it’s important to follow the rules and regulations concerning medical waste. Are there a lot of rules? Yes. Is it impossible to follow the rules? No. By partnering with a medical waste disposal company like Glycon Medical Waste Services, it’s easy than you think to manage your medical waste.

Let us work with you to create a custom pick-up schedule to get rid of the potentially harmful waste in your facility.

We are also licensed, insured, and covered to handle the various types of medical waste.

CONTACT GLYCON MEDICAL WASTE SERVICES TODAY

If you are ready to start managing your medical waste stream, then give Glycon Medical Waste Services a call today! Let us help create a custom schedule to help you stay 100% compliant. We can hamdle all of your Glendale medical waste disposal requirements as well all areas of Southern California ( Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Anaheim, Riverside, Irvine, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, San Diego …). Give us a call at (844) 494-8222 to get started.

Medical Waste Transportation

medical waste transportation

Bio-hazardous waste pickup & bio-hazardous waste disposal

Collecting your medical and bio-hazard waste in approved containers is only part of the job. To be fully compliant, you also need to safely transport your waste to a certified facility for disposal. Glycon’s all in one solutions make it easy for you to handle all your medical waste needs, from collection and storage to transportation and disposal.

Affordable, effective solutions for bio-hazardous waste transportation

We know that patient safety, compliance and improved outcomes are important to you, but that you have to be budget conscious as well. Our solutions are fully scalable, so you pay for only the services you need right now; your all-inclusive Glycon LLC services can grow as you do.

Medical Waste Transportation

When your business generates medical waste, including sharps, liquid waste, solid waste and even pathological waste, you need to sort, store and transport these items properly. Glycon’s service is unique, because we cover all steps of the process. Some medical waste companies leave you to collect and store on your own, or want you to transport your own waste. Our comprehensive solutions include everything you need to be fully compliant, including:

Collection Containers: Clearly labeled, secure containers make it easy for your team to safely sort and store waste items right away.

Employee training: When every member of your team knows what to do with medical waste and how it should be sorted and stored, your entire facility becomes more compliant and less at risk.

Regular Pickups: Regular visits from a dedicated Glycon LLC medical waste specialist ensures you are fully compliant with all regulations. Your technician will pick up your full containers and drop of fresh new ones, so you never go unprotected.

Transportation: Your waste and biohazardous material is transported in our state of the art vehicles to a Certified Waste Treatment Facility in full compliance with all OSHA and DOT regulations.

Disposal: Once on site, our expert technicians dispose of your medical waste and document the process so you can prove you are operating in full compliance with HIPAA, OSHA and other regulatory agencies.

Let Glycon help make your practice compliant

Other medical waste companies leave transportation up to you, which wastes your valuable time and makes it more difficult for you to deal with the logistics of disposal. At Glycon LLC, we handle all your medical waste disposal needs, from start to finish, so you never have to worry about your medical waste needs again. Contact us to learn how easy it is to get started and how affordable our plans are for your business.

Proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste is the law!

5 Questions to Ask About Legal Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

Do you have pharmaceutical waste? Here are 5 questions for you to ask to help determine if your facility is complying with the law.

1. Have you ever dropped tablets or spilled liquid medication on the floor?
Spilled or contaminated medications are pharmaceutical waste that must be disposed of in compliance with federal and state hazardous waste regulations.

2. Do you ever prepare medication, but not fully administer/dispense it?
Partial or full prepared injections or IV bags are pharmaceutical waste that must be disposed of in compliance with federal and state hazardous waste regulations.

3. Do you ever receive sample medications from pharmaceutical representatives that expire before you can dispense them to patients?
Expired sample medications are pharmaceutical wastes, and responsibility for the disposal of expired sample medications falls to the facility that has custody of them when they expire.

4. Have you ever had patients whose medications changed, or who were discharged from your facility and their personal medications remained behind?
Any prescribed medication that can’t be used for its intended purpose and that remains in the custody of a healthcare facility is a pharmaceutical waste and must be disposed of properly by the healthcare facility.

5. Do you dispense warfarin, nicotine, physostigmine or arsenic trioxide?
These four drugs fall into a special subset of EPA hazardous wastes and even their empty packaging requires special management.

Avoid Medical Waste Risks In The Workplace

How Does Your Facility Protect Workers From Medical Waste Risk?

Healthcare workers are exposed to medical waste risks every day. While their primary focus is on taking care of patients and keeping communities healthy, it’s important for these professionals to make sure that their own health and well-being are also a top priority.

How Can Healthcare Workers Avoid Medical Waste Risks?

Hand Washing

One of the most basic preventative measures to take in a healthcare setting is to wash hands regularly and often. The CDC recommends washing hands before procedures, after situations during which microbial contamination of hands is likely to occur, especially those involving contact with mucous membranes, blood or body fluids, and secretions or excretions, after handling specimens, such as urine collection cups, sharps, and blood vials, and after caring for an infected patient.

Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Avoid Medical Waste Risks

It’s important to perform a work area assessment to determine the potential hazards and select the appropriate PPE for adequate protection.

Gloves provide a barrier against infection. Gloves do not prevent sharps injuries, but the reduce the risk of contact contamination. They are single use items and are worn for procedures, blood draws, when cleaning up a contaminated space, to name a few.

Eyewear in the form of goggles or visors protects against splatter and foreign bodies during procedures and cleanup.

Masks provide barrier protection against splatter and airborne particles that can contaminate the face.

Using Proper Containers For Medical Waste

Common sense tells us that sharps do not belong in a regular trash receptacle, but you’d be surprised that there are still facilities whose staff improperly dispose of infectious waste. Sharps go in a sharps container, whereas red bag waste should contain anything that is infectious biological material, including blood and blood products, cultures, and culture stocks. This helps keep not only patients healthy, but healthcare workers, too.

Proper Training

While healthcare professionals are trained to do their jobs, education in medical waste disposal and safety is an ongoing process. The EPA and OSHA have resources for healthcare facilities to create a training program that will ensure the safety of workers. Failing to follow protocol and adequately train staff can result in the spread of infection, compromising not only customers and patients, but the environment as well. Protocols are constantly changing, so managers need to ensure that staff are always trained on the latest procedures and preventative measures.

Healthcare workers are not invincible and are more susceptible to medical waste risks given the nature of their jobs. With proper training and abiding by all regulations, those who work hard to take care of us can take care of themselves, too. Call Glycon for any info you need on medical waste disposal services. 

Medical, Hazardous and Pharmaceutical Waste

Not All Wastes Are Created Equal. Know The Differences Between Medical, Hazardous, And Pharmaceutical Wastes.

The U.S. is responsible for producing a hopping 220 million tons of waste a year.  Because of this, both the government and environmental associations have developed numerous methods of dealing with the problem through waste management.  Waste management is a rather complex issue that encompasses several industries, and the type of waste determines how and when it should be disposed of, and in what manner. Here are the key differences.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is a rather broad category, but is defined as any type of waste that poses either a substantial or potential threat to public health and the environment.  This includes explosive waste, flammable liquids and solids, waste that is poisonous and toxic, and of course, waste that is infectious.

Once a material is deemed no longer useful and is ready for disposal, it is necessary to consider whether it can be safely and legally put in a dumpster for land filling, poured down the drain, or set aside as a hazardous waste for special disposal.  You should always refer to local and federal laws to see how to dispose of hazardous waste.

Medical Waste

Technically speaking, medical waste is hazardous waste.  There are many terms used to identify medical waste, including infectious waste, biological waste, medical waste, hospital waste, medical hazardous waste, microbiological waste, pathological waste, and red bag waste.  Medical waste comes in several forms, including solid and liquid.  Solid waste includes culture media, personal protective equipment that has been contaminated, and other materials, like sharps, pipette tips, glassware and more.  Liquid waste includes blood, blood products, and bodily fluids.  The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate bio-hazardous waste management under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary authority for regulating workplace standards and employee health and safety.

Pharmaceutical Waste

Like medical waste, pharmaceutical waste can also be considered hazardous waste.  Unused pharmaceuticals are a hazard for abuse and are a threat to the environment if disposed of improperly.  Reliable and concrete statistics are hard to come by, but it’s a safe assumption that we, as consumers, are responsible for a hefty percentage of the pharmaceutical and personal care products that wind up in lakes, rivers, and streams.  In a typical U.S. household, the medicine cabinet is full of unused and expired drugs, only a fraction of which get disposed of appropriately.

While the FDA has and still recommends flushing certain medications, the best course of action is to research a take-back program. Law enforcement, public health, and environmental professionals feel that these programs are the safest and most responsible way to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines to protect your family and to protect our waters.

Knowing and understanding the different types of waste will help mitigate environmental risks as well as keep you in compliance.  Don’t takes guesses about the waste you produce. Know where to find the resources and technical assistance to help health care facilities comply with the law and protect the environment. Call Glycon for all information on your medical waste disposal in Glendale CA and surrounding Southern and Central CA regions.

Regulated Medical Waste Vs. Personal Waste: What’s The Difference?

Knowing The Difference Between Personal Waste And Regulated Medical Waste.

You may not think twice about what you throw in the trash at home, but personal solid waste is vastly different than regulated medical waste.  The key difference?  Regulated medical waste (RMW) is any waste that contains or has been exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials, whereas municipal solid waste, commonly known as trash or garbage, includes all everyday thrown away household items.

RWM is a pretty broad category that covers many different types of waste and there are specific methods to deal with each kind.  In the medical waste field, there is infectious waste, hazardous waste, and radioactive waste, just to name a few.

In terms of personal solid waste, the average American produces 4.40 pounds of solid garbage or recyclables per day, according to the EPA.  This includes items such as food wrappers, mail papers, store receipts, food scraps, and other paper goods.  Many municipalities offer recycling programs for materials such as plastics, metals, paper, and boxes, which can greatly reduce the amount of trash that ends up in our landfills.

Even some personal solid waste can fall under the regulated medical waste category just by its definition; RMW is waste that may be contaminated by blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials.  So why is that used bandage for a small cut not regulated in the same way as a blood-soaked bandage from the hospital?

Let’s look a little closer.

Infectious waste is probably the broadest category of RMW. This type of waste includes:

  • Waste cultures
  • Sharps
  • Discarded vaccines

Blood waste, including

  • Blood vials
  • Bandages, cloths, solid waste that contains blood
  • Sharps, tubing, and other items that are use to collect blood

Human bodily fluids, including

  • Blood
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Synovial fluid,
  • Pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, etc.

Infectious waste poses an environmental danger due to its biological risk.  It is imperative that large-scale RMW generators rely on a medical waste disposal company that is properly trained and certified to handle and dispose of said waste, not only for safety, but because it’s the law.

At home, while tossing that bandage seems innocuous, technically it’s supposed to be placed in a sealed packaging prior to throwing away in your household trash.  This is because it has the potential to cause infection.  The same goes for sharps waste at home, too.

While many states recommend that patients dispose of used syringes in sealed plastic containers, there is no mandate for them to do so at home, and the needles, sealed or not, will end up in the regular trash.  This is the biggest difference between personal waste and RMW.

There are, however, recommendations for at-home medical waste. The DEP recommends that people put the sharps in a puncture-resistant, hard plastic container.  This can come from many common household items, such as an empty laundry detergent bottle with a screw-on cap.  When the container is filled, it should be closed tightly and secured with heavy tape, placed in a paper bag and discarded with household trash.

The Medical Waste Tracking Act (MWTA) of 1988 established standards for segregation, packaging, labeling and marking, and storage of the medical waste, as well as record keeping requirements and the institution of penalties for non-compliance.  The MWTA called upon the EPA to examine various treatment technologies that we use today, such as incinerators and autoclaves, microwave units, and various chemical systems to reduce infectious and hazardous waste. Many laws vary on the state level, but the bottom line is that RMW is not the same as personal solid waste, and there are laws in place to properly dispose of it and treat it.

Regulated medical waste is a broad category of infectious waste and can be confusing, especially if you’re dealing with smaller-scale medical waste at home? Unsure of the regulations and laws for Los Angeles medical waste disposalContact us to to better understand personal versus regulated medical waste.