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The Covid-19 pandemic has seen an unprecedented increase in the need for various kinds of personal protective equipment around the world, so much so that there have been massive shortages in many countries. As the demands in PPE rises, so does the importance of medical waste disposal.

As with regular waste, medical waste disposal is a crucial aspect of waste management that should not be ignored. While regular waste disposal plays an essential role in the preservation of the environment as well as the safety of people’s health, medical waste disposal is arguably more important during these uncertain times.

What is medical waste disposal?

As the name suggests, medical waste disposal is the riddance of waste produced by medical professionals in their effort to combat medical ailments, Covid-19 in this specific case. In America alone, where the most Covid-19 deaths have been reported, 5.9 million tons of medical waste are produced every year, most of which are unregulated.

These include several aspects, including (but not limited to):

  • Needles
  • Ampules
  • Blades
  • Infectious waste
  • Gloves
  • Cultures
  • Pills
  • Injectables
  • Antibiotics

Generally, there are five primary ways of disposing of medical waste:

  1. Incineration
  2. Thermal autoclaving
  3. Irradiative microwaving
  4. Chemical degradation
  5. Biological degradation

To learn more about these methods, check out this comprehensive resource by Biomedical Waste Solutions.

Importance

The novel coronavirus that has been plaguing the planet for several months has seen a drastic increase in the amount of medical waste produced worldwide. Considering this spike, medical waste disposal has never been more important, here’s why:

Flattening the curve

Without properly disposing of infectious medical waste, such as used gloves, needles and gowns, medical professionals, patients as well as waste management professionals are at a greater risk of contracting Covid-19. By properly disposing of infectious medical waste, the ability for countries around the world to flatten their curves is greatly increased.

Preventing harmful build-ups of medical waste

With more and more PPE and other medical equipment being used compared to previous years to combat the novel coronavirus, preventing build-up of these infectious and health-hazardous materials and substances has been rightfully prioritised among waste management companies around the world.

Protecting those on the frontline

As with the two above-mentioned points, preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus includes protecting those on the frontlines from contracting the virus. Proper waste management and effective medical waste disposal plays a crucial role in protecting the brave souls on the frontlines, allowing regular citizens to aid in helping their economies survive this pandemic.

Here at Buhle Waste, we take medical waste disposal as seriously as you take your sleep. If you’d like to learn more about how to properly dispose of medical waste, get in touch with us!