All Points Medical Waste Blog

Medical Waste Bins: When is it time for a replacement?

What to look for

You’re busy and so is your medical facility. And when it comes to the waste that’s produced on a daily basis, it adds up. While you and your team are always on top of disposing the right items into the right containers, it’s often not until something goes wrong that you look at the bin itself to address whether or not it’s time for a replacement. But the fact is, once a bin or container has been compromised, the hazardous waste inside of it becomes a danger to you, your staff and your patients. Here are some of the things to look for to ensure you secure a new one in time:

Faulty fasteners

If your facility has heavy duty red waste bins that are attached to the wall, it is important to regularly check the fasteners as they can decline over time. Once the fasteners become weak, it is possible for them to crack and break, which can in turn result in the bin coming loose and tipping over, ultimately spilling its contents all over the place. If you are concerned, your best bet is to call your medical waste provider and request a check on all your disposal equipment.

Squeaky wheels

Although it may seem innocuous, squeaky wheels on your waste bins can lead to big problems. Medical waste bins that have wheels are supposed to be easily moveable, your staff should not have to struggle to roll them around. If the wheels are not moving properly, the bin could cause injury or fall over and pose a contamination risk to people in your facility. Get in touch with your provider if you suspect that the wheels are damaged in any way.

Loose locks

Sharps containers and other hazardous waste bins have special locks that protect everyone from being accidentally pricked and from the spread of infectious diseases. If any of your sharps containers are not locking properly, it’s critical to get them replaced as soon as possible. It’s not unheard of for curious patients to peek into an unlocked container or for medical workers to bump into it and knock it over, exposing its contents.

Broken bags

Another possible issue is the bags you use to line your containers. It goes without saying that bags with holes or splits are not suitable to perform the task they’re designed to do. When you receive bags, always inspect the box for damage, it’s not uncommon for workers to use a utility knife to open boxes, resulting in unnoticed damage to the bags inside. Even a miniscule hole can cause contents to seep out, putting people at risk for exposure to pathogens and hazardous waste.

Separation at the seams

Containers can deteriorate over time causing a separation or sinking in at the seams. This usually occurs in bins that have been used for many years, but it’s always a good idea to inspect your bins, looking for bowing sides or collapsed seams because this can cause the container to break open. Even if the contents don’t appear to be leaking, any container that has this kind of damage should be immediately replaced.

The busier your medical facility is, the more likely it is that you’re generating a lot of waste and therefore, need to keep a watchful eye over your bins and containers. If you have any concerns about the integrity of your equipment, call your provider right away.

For all your medical waste needs, talk to us at All Points Medical Waste. Our knowledgeable team will be happy to create a customized plan for your organization.

Call 772.600.4885 or fill out our online request form to learn more about our waste disposal services.

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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