1. What is Medical Waste?
While many government agencies regulate medical waste, the United States Environmental Protection Agency defines it as the following:
Medical waste is all waste materials generated at health care facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, dental practices, blood banks, and veterinary hospitals/clinics, as well as medical research facilities and laboratories.
The Medical Waste tracking Act of 1988 defines medical waste as “any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals.” This definition includes, but is not limited to:
culture dishes and other glassware
discarded surgical gloves
discarded surgical instruments
discarded needles used to give shots or draw blood (e.g., medical sharps)
cultures, stocks, swabs used to inoculate cultures
removed body organs (e.g., tonsils, appendices, limbs)
2. What Goes in the Sharps Disposal Container?
Sharps include, but aren’t limited to, needles, syringes, culture slides and dishes, broken glass, lancets, scalpels, broken capillary tubes, broken rigid plastic, laboratory slides, and exposed ends of dental wires
3. How do I package my sharps waste?
Because of OSHA safety regulations we cannot accept loose sharps in any waste container other than an approved sharps container. Fill sharps containers to the fill line (usually 3/4 full) and securely close and snap the lid. Place the secured sharps containers in the biohazard waste containers.
4. How much experience does Environmental Waste Systems have in the Regulated Medical Waste industry?
At EWS, medical waste disposal and consulting is our only business. Our founder has been involved in the medical waste industry for over 17 years. We have extensive experience servicing everything from small offices to the largest hospitals in our region. Our drivers receive a minimum of 30 days on the job training and all required state and federal training. We also require background checks before we allow anyone in your facility.
5. What does EWS supply customers?
EWS supplies customers with biohazard shipping containers (either fiberboard or plastic), liner bags for the shipping containers, tape and manifests. We are also happy to do a free OSHA checkup and walkthrough of your facility at the time of set up.
6. Can we put amalgam, mercury or x-ray waste in the biohazard box?
No, EWS cannot accept or transport these hazardous materials however; we can connect you companies that offer this service.
7. Where should we store the medical waste at our facility?
Medical waste should be stored in an area that is inaccessible to the general public. While every customer’s situation is unique, many customers use a closet or storage area to store medical waste until pickup. Your EWS service representative will be happy to assist with locating a suitable storage solution.
8. What do EWS customers do to prepare the box for shipment?
One of our company’s goals is to reduce your staff’s downtime. To assist with this, the EWS driver will gladly close and tape the box prior to removal. Your driver will also fill out the manifest for your staff to sign off on as explained in the next question.
9. Is there any paperwork for us to fill out during each pickup?
When the EWS driver arrives at your facility he will fill out the required 4 part manifest, have one of your employees sign it and leave you with the bottom copy for your records. After your waste has been destroyed you will receive the top and final copy verifying its destruction. Keep these on file for documentation of “cradle to grave” disposal of your waste.
10. Why such good prices? Will you start raising rates as soon as you get us like the other companies?
We promise not to give you the introductory offer that we’re all familiar with from credit card and cable companies. They get you to sign up today and in a year the price has doubled. EWS is not a publicly traded company so our customers are our only shareholders. Because of this we don’t have to continuously raise rates to make “Wall Street” happy. Our company’s growth has always been through increasing sales- not rates.