All Points Medical Waste Blog

Dental Waste: Tips for Waste Disposal

Top Ways to Ensure Safety & Compliance

Just like other medical facilities, your dental practice generates medical waste that must be managed, stored and disposed of properly to ensure compliance with OSHA mandates and to keep your staff and patients safe. Here are a few top ways to safely dispose of your waste while remaining compliant:

Proper Usage of Red Bags

Because processing of medical waste is more costly than regular waste, it’s important to ensure that you are using your red bags only for medical waste. Red bags should be used for solid and liquid biohazardous waste items. According to OSHA, items that are blood soaked and could release blood or other bodily fluids should be placed in red bags. This includes:

  • Gauze
  • Gloves
  • Extracted Teeth
  • Cotton 

What Should Not Go In Red Bags

It is not uncommon for items that don’t belong to end up in red bags. Materials that are slightly tinged with blood or had little contact with blood, for example, can be disposed of in the regular trash. The key way to distinguish the difference is to refer to the OSHA standard that only items  that can release blood or bodily fluids (saliva, etc.) belong in the red bag. Additionally, things such as packaging, food, papers and similar items should always be disposed of in the regular trash. Following this tip will help reduce the cost of your medical waste disposal.

Safe & Appropriate Sharps Disposal

As a medical professional, you understand the risk of improper sharps disposal. Safe and proper handling and disposal is crucial to protect your staff, patients and visitors from accidental injury. State and federal regulations establish best practices and requirements for sharps, and although mandates may vary slightly from state to state, here are key guidelines your dental practice should follow:

  • Understand and follow state requirements for time limits on sharps storage in your facility
  • Ensure that sharps containers are located close to point of use throughout the building
  • Sharps containers must have a locking lid and remain closed at all times
  • Do not overfill sharps containers
  • Any sharps, even unused ones, can break and therefore should be disposed of in an adequate sharps container

Medical waste disposal is a highly regulated process that must be followed to avoid illness and injury as well as costly fines associated with non-compliance. All Points Medical Waste provides medical waste disposal for dental practices across South Florida. We are a full-service, family owned and operated medical waste company located in Stuart, Florida. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn how we can serve you.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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