Hospitals generate a lot of trash. According to the most recent data available from eco-friendly health care network Greenhealth, hospitals generate about 33.8 pounds of waste per day, per staff.
According to the American Hospital Association, there are over 951,000 staffed hospital beds in the nation, which means that about 5.9 million tons in hospital wastes (11.8 billion pounds in hospitals wastes) annually produced.
The good news is that of the total amount of hospital wastes generated by healthcare activities, about 80% is general waste. It’s mainly just trash.
The bad news is that about 20% of these hospital wastes are not.
In fact, much of that some 2.36 billion pounds in hospital wastes are actually very dangerous, and it’s why each hospital in the country needs to work with a medical waste treatment company.
Here are a couple scary things that might happen if infectious medical waste disposal methods aren’t used when recycling hazardous wastes.
Mishandled Hospital Wastes Could Spread Diseases and Infections
Hospital wastes contain potentially harmful microorganisms that can infect hospital patients, health-care workers, and the general public if not disposed of correctly.
So dangerous are some diseases that even lightly soiled materials need to be destroyed.
Mishandled Hospital Wastes Could Puncture Their Containers, Injure People, and Infect Them
One type of medical waste that’s particularly dangerous is referred to as sharp medical waste.
These are the scalpels, syringes, and other sharp objects used in health care activities. If they’re not disposed of correctly, they could puncture or cut their container, and then hurt anyone handling the waste, exposing them to an infection.
Unfortunately these types of incidents are a lot more common than you’d think.
Of the millions upon millions of injections that get administered every year across the world, many of the needles and syringes aren’t properly disposed of afterwards.
Though the vast majority of medical waste is just regular trash, 20% of it is dangerous, and needs to be treated as such.
If you have any questions about the proper handling of hospital waste, feel free to contact us any time.