Medical Waste Disposal Texas
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sets the regulations for the handling, treatment and proper disposal of sharps, samples and other wastes of concern from clinics and similar settings. The state’s classification of medical waste includes treated and untreated special waste from health care-related facilities that is comprised of animal waste, bulk blood, bulk human blood, bulk human body fluids, microbiological waste, pathological waste, and sharps, as well as “regulated medical waste”. Types of waste are:
- Animal waste from animals intentionally exposed to pathogens
- Bulk human blood and blood products
- Pathological waste
- Microbiological waste
The storage of medical waste shall be in a secure manner and location that affords protection from theft, vandalism, inadvertent human or animal exposure, rain, water, and wind. The waste shall be managed so as not to provide a breeding place or food for insects or rodents, and not generate noxious odors. Generators of medical waste are not required to refrigerate the waste, but must store it in a secure manner and not create a nuisance. More from the TCEQ about medical waste can be found on their Managing and Disposing of Medical Waste page, with links to rules, guidance and forms.
By definition, sharps waste is any biohazardous material that can puncture skin and is contaminated with bodily fluids. According to OSHA estimates, 5.6 million healthcare workers handling medical equipment such as needles, syringes, and scalpels are at risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens from sharps-related injuries. Therefore, it is crucial for medical clinics, practices, surgery centers, and other businesses that generate contaminated needles and syringes to dispose of medical sharps waste correctly. Incorrect management of discarded needles and other sharps can pose a health risk to the public and waste workers. Discarded needles may expose waste workers to needle stick injuries and infection, if containers break inside garbage trucks, or needles are mistakenly sent to recycling facilities. Janitors and housekeepers also risk injury, if uncontained sharps poke through plastic garbage bags. Proper sharps waste management requires:
- Proper puncture-proof container
- Care from the medical community
- Proper training for dealing with sharps
- A licensed medical waste disposal company for container removal
To reduce the risk of injury, the FDA recommends healthcare facilities and other waste generators follow a two-step process for proper medical sharps disposal:
- Place all needles and sharps in a verified sharps disposal container immediately after use.
- Overfilling containers increase risk of injury, so when 3/4 full, follow community guidelines on getting rid of the sharps container.
- Storage requirements and community guidelines vary by location.
By following medical sharps disposal regulations, you can keep your business compliant and avoid unnecessary fees, reduce pollution to the environment, prevent injury, and prevent the spread of disease.
For Texan healthcare facilities looking for a simple, compliant and cost-effective sharps removal service, contact MedPro Disposal. We’ll create a customized and flexible service schedule and provide you with puncture-proof containers to simply seal and schedule for pick-up when full. For a smaller generators of waste, MedPro Disposal also offers a sharps mail-back service.
Healthcare practices in Texas save an average of $8,866 a year by working with MedPro Disposal. We are a provider for full service management, removal, transportation and disposal of regulated medical waste. Our commitment to customer service, safety and regulatory compliance leaves our clients protected and confident that their waste is being disposed of in the proper manner. At your convenience, a sales representative will be happy to provide a quote on your medical waste removal and disposal needs. We look forward to the opportunity to service all your medical waste removal, transportation and disposal needs and to provide you with outstanding service.