In 2020, the world was hit by a widespread viral infection that devastated the medical community. Hospital beds were scarce, PPE was hard to come by, and medical professionals were working around the clock to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. The result was exhausted staff and an innumerable amount of medical waste that wouldn’t have existed if not for the virus.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the effect that COVID has on medical waste continues even a year after the world slowly started to return to normal. As individuals continue to use test kits, the development of COVID-related medical waste continues. The WHO estimated that by February 2022, COVID test kits account for 731,000 liters of chemical waste and 2,600 tones of general medical waste. That’s not even considering the millions of units of medical masks, gowns, and gloves produced by healthcare workers. Every month in 2020, healthcare workers needed approximately 89 masks per month. That number has likely dropped, but consumption is still likely higher than it was pre-2020.
While it’s difficult to mitigate the PPE that gets thrown on the ground by the general public, medical facilities have a duty to uphold a high standard of care. This includes properly disposing of all potentially infected sharps waste, paper waste, and more. Unfortunately, WHO notes that 30% of healthcare facilities are ill-equipped to handle the added COVID-19 waste load.
The responsibility then falls on affordable waste management companies like Secure Waste. Secure Waste has developed COVID-specific practices to adhere to The Department of Transportation (DOT), CDC, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations on handling and transporting such waste.
COVID-19 Medical Waste Solutions
Secure Waste serves Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., providing the medical waste solutions needed to help stop the accidental spread of COVID-19. Needle and sharps waste, PPE, and biohazards represent a significant portion of the waste generated in practices associated with COVID-19 treatment and testing. Even vaccination centers produce a considerable amount of needle and biohazard waste requiring proper management and disposal.
Following DOT, OSHA, CDC, and local guidelines, Secure Waste works closely with medical facilities to ensure all COVID-related waste is being properly disposed of. The company will provide the necessary tools and containers required for the removal of COVID-specific waste to help control and maintain potential infections from contaminated materials.
If there’s any confusion on handling medical waste and sharps, Secure Waste is available to answer all questions and provide a comprehensive review of proper disposal practices. In the event of changes to CDC, OSHA, or DOT regulations regarding the handling and transportation of COVID-19 medical waste, Secure Waste representatives will update the facility with all necessary information and required containers and bags.
Preventing the Spread
Though the number of COVID cases has been trending downward, the potential for a spike is still high, especially during flu season. It’s crucial that medical facilities remain diligent in handling medical, needles, and biohazard waste. Secure Waste plays a critical role in advising on proper waste management and creating affordable plans for individual facilities.
Want to know more about how Secure Waste can help dispose of COVID-19 waste? Contact them today to learn more about the no-contract, flexible waste disposal schedule that strictly adheres to all regulatory guidelines.