All Points Medical Waste Blog

Why is Recycling Medical Waste Materials Dangerous?

What Hospitals, Surgery Centers & Other Facilities Need to Know

Hospitals, surgery centers, diagnostic and treatment facilities and numerous other medical organizations generate approximately 2 million tons of medical waste each year. Disposing of this waste properly and according to state and federal mandates is crucial to ensuring that this waste doesn’t pose a risk to humans, animals or the environment once it’s discarded. When medical waste and materials used to administer medications and treatments end up in a recycling center, it becomes a dangerous situation. Take a look:

What Happened When Medical Waste Ended Up in a Kentucky Recycling Center?

According to officials, medical waste, including needles, IV and dialysis tubing, vials and other items, recently ended up in a recycling center in Lexington, Kentucky. The waste posed a serious danger to those working at the center, especially employees who work the line sorting waste to be recycled. The report made by the center and local officials stated that staff members were stuck by needles and some of the tubing got caught and wrapped around moving parts in the machinery. The issues with this situation are numerous including:

  • Staff members who were stuck by sharps were exposed to any number of infectious pathogens and hazards
  • The tubing that got caught had to be cut out by employees climbing into the machine
  • All waste that was being sorted at the time the medical waste was discovered was exposed and could no longer be recycled

Proper Waste Disposal Prevents Dangerous Situations

It’s obvious that once medical waste materials end up in a recycling center, it’s often too late to prevent accidental pricks and sticks by sharps and exposure to pathogens, bacteria, viruses and other infectious organisms. And while the Kentucky Center acted immediately to remedy the situation, proper disposal of medical waste could have prevented this event. It’s the responsibility of every hospital, treatment center, physician’s office and any other medical facility to ensure they are following state and federal regulations when disposing of all medical waste.

All Points Medical Waste provides medical waste disposal to medical industry organizations throughout South Florida. We serve hospitals, veterinarians, dental offices, treatment and surgery centers, assisted living facilities and many more. To find out how we can assist you,
give us a call or fill out this form.

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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