How to Save on Medical Waste Disposal
By law, you must dispose of medical waste properly. However, despite it being required, medical waste disposal can also be expensive. To save on medical waste disposal, follow the tips below.
1. Classify your waste properly
Research shows that approximately 50 to 85 percent of medical waste is improperly classified as biohazard waste, which costs eight times more to process than regular waste. If your organization has been classifying too much waste as biohazardous, you are paying more than you need to for medical waste disposal services.
Make sure all of your medical waste is classified accurately before disposal in order to minimize costs. Proper classifications for medical waste include:
- Solid waste – Solid waste includes unused IV bags, unbroken glass, plastic and non-confidential paper.
- Sharps waste – Sharps waste includes disposable sharp instruments and tools, razor blades, scalpel blades, glass slides, broken glass, needles, syringes and any other item that can puncture skin.
- Trace chemotherapy waste – This includes any materials used to prepare or administer chemotherapy drugs. Examples include IV bags, syringes, gowns, empty chemotherapy vials, tubing, pads and gloves.
- Pharmaceutical waste – This includes damaged or unwanted medications, such as over-the-counter medications, partially used tubes of ointment, eye drops or antibiotics.
- Biohazardous waste – Biohazardous waste includes any waste contaminated with infectious bodily fluids or blood in any form. Examples of items in this category include biohazardous bags, used dressings and pads, containers of bodily fluids, and blood in tubing or syringes.
2. Look for red flags that you are paying too much
Sometimes, you pay too much for medical waste disposal services because your disposal company is padding your bill with extra fees you shouldn’t owe. Certain extra charges on your bill may indicate that you are paying too much for your medical waste disposal include:
- Stop fees
- State waste disposal taxes
- Overweight charges
- Energy surcharge
- Environmental surcharge
- Fuel surcharge
- Manifest fees
If you see any of these expenses listed on your bill, consider looking for another medical waste disposal provider.
3. Make sure your waste disposal company has insurance
Insurance coverage protects both your waste disposal company and your organization from loss. Before accepting services from any medical waste disposal company, always verify that the company has appropriate insurance coverage. Otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with financial losses that could have been avoided.
4. Bundle your services
One of the best ways to save money on waste disposal services is to bundle them together, as bundled services often qualify you for discounts. Some of the services you may be able to bundle include medical waste disposal, pharmaceutical waste disposal, and OSHA compliance and safety training. Talk to your chosen provider about the bundles that may be available to your organization.
5. Choose the right pickup frequency
Consider whether your current medical waste disposal pickup schedule is appropriate for your needs. For example, you may be able to reduce your expenses by scheduling one large pickup per month instead of scheduling multiple smaller pickups.
Keep in mind that medical waste disposal companies often change their pricing structures and services over time. For this reason, it is important to review your services on a regular basis to ensure your organization is always getting the best deal.