Medical Waste Management By Margaret Milner TREN 3P14
Medical Waste • defined as A discarded biologic product, such as blood or tissues, removed from operating rooms, morgues, laboratories, or other medical facilities. The term may also be applied to bedding, bandages, syringes, and similar materials that have been used in treating patients, as well as animal carcasses or body parts used in research
Health care is considered one of the most complex waste streams of any industry. Waste includes solid (trash), biohazards (sharps, red bag wastes), hazardous (chemicals, solvents, mercury), recyclables (such as paper and cardboard), compostable (good and organic wastes), and radioactive waste.
On average, hospitals generate more than 5 million tons of waste each year. • Medical waste treatment and waste disposal are part of a multibillion dollar industry, however most hospitals are unaware of the large amounts of waste they generate, or how much they spend annually on disposal or of the environmental impacts that are created with the disposal
A 1993 study by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment found that 10% of the 150 000 tonnes of waste produced by the province's hospitals each year was handled as biomedical waste. Another study revealed that 39% of it was ordinary waste that did not need special treatment.
Stericycle Canada • only company in Canada that offers medical waste service nationally • the largest provider of biomedical waste management in North America, providing medical waste collection, transportation, treatment and disposal. • operates a network of over 105 collection and transfer sites along with 45 processing facilities. 7 of which are located in Canada
Waste Process • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmE7Kqc3_zY
All Stericyclepickups are performed by employees who are trained in responsible handling of biomedical waste • All material that is picked up can be traced from starting point until incineration using a tracking system called “BioTrack”
Programs • Canada Green Building Council, distinguishes buildings that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, and meet high performance standards. • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificate is rewarded to buildings that meet these standards. • Green Seal can also be acquired.
Initatives • Hospitals can be built to follow the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines, allowing them to become more energy efficient • Energy-efficiency upgrades such as switching to fluorescent lights, implementing waste management, energy and heat conservation programs, and using a laundry system that uses cold instead of hot water will help to lower costs and become more sustainable.
The Royal Victoria Hospital located in Barrie Ontario is also committed to reducing waste and being environmentally responsible. • They do this through the education of staff, patients, volunteers and physicians about an improved recycling program.
Discussion • What do you think that hospitals could do to lower their waste output?