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One of the most challenging industries for handling waste is the medical community. Dealing with various potentially unsafe materials can drive up the price, making it prohibitively expensive for many small practices. Fortunately, facilities of every size can take measures that will help their patients and their bottom line at the same time. Here are some tips for keeping medical waste costs down.
Develop a Plan
You need a plan for dealing with waste, and this is especially true in the medical industry, thanks to the amount of hazardous materials. Communicate this plan to the staff, giving them a reason to care about its success. Perform regular audits and reviews to ensure your team operates at peak waste management efficiency.
You can often reuse certain types of medical equipment. You can disinfect and sterilize some medical instruments for later use. Just be cautious when doing this, as some states and cities have laws on what you can and cannot reuse.
Follow All Regulations
Speaking of laws, you must comply with all of them. This includes the safe handling and disposal of all hazardous materials, such as sticks from needles and medical-grade radioactive agents used in chemotherapy. Know the items your facility produces that require special handling. Getting caught breaking regulations, even if unaware, has grave financial consequences for the future of your practice.
You may find it challenging to keep track of the different types of medical waste without some form of aid. By adding additional trash bins and labeling them, you can make separating the waste a breeze. But even with this in place, you must continue performing audits for any trace of medical-grade debris in your regular trash cans.
Eliminate Plastic Bags Where Possible
One of the stranger tips for keeping medical waste costs down is eliminating plastic bags whenever possible. Try not to buy as many trash bags; this significantly reduces or eliminates the impact of the item on your budget. Aside from the financial aspect, eliminating plastic bags from landfills is great for the environment.