Medical waste is all infectious or potentially infectious material produced in a medical facility. Everyone has various types of medical waste that are produced, which you can’t just throw away in the regular trash. There’s a process for proper disposal, which includes segregating the waste into their assigned containers, bags, and bins. At MedPro Disposal, we created a quick guide to help you distinguish the different types of medical waste containers.
Red Bag Waste
Red bag waste includes any waste that is considered biohazardous. This includes discarded items with blood or bodily fluids, plastic surgical tools, and cytotoxic material. Contain any sharps in a closed and locked sharps container before placing them in a red bag. Make sure to seal the red bag and wear personal protective equipment (gloves, apron, face mask, and eye protection) when handling, changing or transporting red bags.
Needles, syringes, and any other tools that can puncture skin are categorized as sharps. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities use needles to administer drugs or draw blood from patients. We have containers designed and vary based on the size and shape of your sharps. All your sharps need to be placed in these containers. Otherwise, OSHA will be contacting you on how you are safely disposing of your sharps.
Yellow and black bins are used for chemotherapy waste. Yellow bins are for waste that is considered “RCRA empty,” where the waste is less than 3% of its original volume. This includes syringes, vials, and IV bags.
Black bins are for waste that is not considered “RCRA empty.” Partially used chemotherapy equipment, PPE, and cleaning materials should be placed in this bin. It’s important you separate your chemotherapy waste into the appropriate bins to avoid improper disposal and penalties.
Hazardous pharmaceutical waste is collected in blue bins. Unused or expired medications, powder, and nicotine may be considered hazardous and need to be separated. Other drugs that are dangerous to humans if used incorrectly are also disposed of in the blue bin.
It’s important you properly separate your medical waste into their appropriate containers. Each type requires different treatment methods. Speak with your medical waste provider to make sure you’re handing your waste in the right ways to reduce the risks of mishandling and penalties.