Proper disposal of sharps is crucial to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and protect public health. Superior Medical Waste Disposal specializes in the safe and compliant handling of sharps waste. Contact us for a sharps removal quote today.
What are Sharps?
“Sharps” include needles, as well as items such as scalpels, lancets, razor blade, scissors, metal wire, retractors, clamps, pins, staples, cutters, and glass items. Essentially, any object that is able to cut the skin can be considered a “sharp”. Used and unused sharps (syringes) are considered a Regulated Medical Waste (RMW). They are a solid waste that may be contaminated by blood or other potentially infectious materials. The best agencies to follow when considering safe sharps removal is OSHA, EPA, and the EGLE.
The red biohazard bags and containers seen throughout healthcare facilities are used to safely store Regulated Medical Waste. Sharps are stored into puncture-resistant containers prior to being placed inside the red biohazard bin for added protection. The RMW is removed on a scheduled basis and replaced with a clean container at every service.
Facilities producing used sharps often produce other medical wastes
- Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals, including laboratory waste, biological production wastes, discarded live and attenuated vaccines, culture dishes, and related devices.
- Liquid human and animal waste, including blood and blood products and body fluids, but not including urine or materials stained with blood or body fluids.
- Pathological waste.
- Contaminated wastes from animals that have been exposed to agents infectious to humans, these being primarily research animals.
Sharps Producer Best Practices
Improper management of discarded needles and other sharps can pose a health risk to the public and waste workers. For example, discarded needles may expose to healthcare workers to potential needle stick injuries and potential infection when containers break open or needles are mistakenly placed into the wrong container. Discarded sharps should always be placed in a rigid container prior to being placed in a medical waste bin.
Having a contract with a medical waste disposal service is a good way to protect yourself and staff. Sharps containers should be removed on a regular basis to help prevent unwanted needle stick injuries that can take place by over storing sharps/syringes.
Treatment & Disposal of Sharps Containers
Treating sharps waste typically involves an autoclave. Although it can also be incinerated, microwaved, and chemically treated. The autoclave steam heats sharps containers at extreme temperatures for a long enough time to completely disinfect all potential biological threats. After the sharps are disinfected, the, waste is shredded until unrecognizable. At this point the waste is no longer a health hazard and is disposed of in a sanitary landfill. Learn more about our process.
Superior Can Help With All Sharps Removal Concerns
We know more than anyone how complicated Sharps disposal can be. At Superior, we are professionals in Sharps disposal knowledge. We are up-to-date on all federal and local RMW laws. If your facility needs help classifying, storing, transporting, or staying compliant: contact us today for a free consultation.