Medical Laboratory Waste Management ⚕️: We have recently discussed biomedical waste management on our past blog. Now, let us dive deeper into this discussion and focus on a more specific medical setup: the clinical laboratory.

Much like hospitals or other health care facilities, laboratories also have processes that can generate different types of waste containing different levels of hazard.

And also, much like those stated above, an efficient medical laboratory waste management should be implemented on the premises to ensure overall safety and cleanliness. Read on to learn more.


A Bit About Waster

Before we discuss the topic of medical laboratory waste management, let me share with you more information about Waster.

We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for you and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.

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READ: Efficient Waste Management 🚮


Medical Laboratory Waste Management: Classifying Is Very Important

Before anything else, let me first define laboratory waste.

Laboratory waste is anything that is, obviously, any waste generated from laboratories in industries or in educational facilities like universities.

In a medical laboratory setup, there are always accompanying rules and guidelines on the waste it generates. One of those rules involves classifying the waste generated.

Now, why should clinics properly classify or label their bins?

The answer to that is simple; not only is it required by the law and to comply with the waste legislation, but it also ensures that different types of laboratory waste go into their proper bins for future disposal.

There should be three specific types of laboratory waste containers in a clinical laboratory. One should a contain non-contaminated waste container, or what we usually call the common rubbish materials, wherein it equates to the regular general waste bin; one should contain a regulated medical waste container, or what we also call the biohazardous waste which includes the common sharps and swabs, and finally, we have the hazardous waste container, which usually consists of harmful chemical waste that requires proper management in the medical laboratory.

This also applies to dental laboratory waste disposal, as this industry also produces biomedical waste that should be disposed of properly to avoid contamination like amalgams, sharps, gauzes, and disinfectants.


Pharmaceutical And Cytotoxic Waste

There are also medical laboratories that produce and tests drugs to be deployed to pharmacy or drug stores.

Additionally, some also create cytotoxic drugs that kill cells; cytotoxic drugs are used to disintegrate cancer cells and treat cancer patients.

They also require special bins designated only for pharmaceutical and cytotoxic waste.

As for the cytotoxic waste, UNSW Sydney provided a way on how it can be properly disposed of. Here is what they have stated:

Where cytotoxic waste is collected into the purple plastic bags, the cytotoxic hazard symbol must be
displayed and the following label affixed:
Waste Category: Cytotoxic Waste – incinerate at 1100ºC
Specific hazard information: Relevant GHS pictogram or DG Class 6, name of chemical(s)
Waste Generator: person responsible for the waste
Date: date or period over which the waste was generated
Building: Building and building number (grid code)
Room: where the waste was generated (laboratory or facility, room number)

Cytotoxic waste in robust plastic bags must be contained in a solid-based container with a lid
and the container labelled “Cytotoxic Waste” and display a Cytotoxic hazard symbol

Cytotoxic waste (purple cytotoxic waste bins) is collected from all biological waste collection
points by a clinical waste contractor


Risks Of Improper Waste Management

Without proper waste management, the medical laboratory runs the risk of harming the laboratory itself along with the staff, the supply chain, and the waste collectors tasked to dispose of the waste.

Medical Lab Management states the following risks for the following people:

  • These risks also tend to be compounded for staff outside of the lab, as they are often unaware of what they are handling and the corresponding hazards it may pose.
  • Environmental services employees who empty trash bins or handle containers at the facility waste collection area may be exposed to sharps, chemicals, or bloodborne pathogens if improper practices are followed.
  • Contract staff that transport waste to landfill disposal sites and incinerators also are at risk for contact and exposure to hazardous pathogens.

Negative occurrences like getting injured and punctured due to sharps, bodily fluids, blood, and mucous contamination, and getting exposed to harmful chemicals can happen without proper laboratory medical waste management. These can lead to health conditions like HIV and Hepatitis or any other complications caused by hazardous products.

Additionally, to emphasise, all of the above can still happen even with proper practices. But, it can be lessened; so,  proper clinical laboratory waste management practices should be prioritised.


Waster: Medical Laboratory Waste Bins For Proper Management

Waster offers low cost, reliable and fully accredited and licensed medical waste collection services in both 120 litre and 240-litre sizes for medical laboratories.

The service will involve the provision of bins/containers and collection on a regular schedule. The medical waste will be taken for disposal – i.e., either autoclave or incineration depending on the location.


Medical Laboratory Waste Management: Conclusion

As a medical laboratory that produces and studies certain drugs and pathogens that can harm humans, animals, and the environment, they should implement proper waste management in their premises. This includes classifying waste to properly dispose of it. A laboratory waste management plan should be properly implemented, in other words.

Independent clinical and dental laboratories can purchase Waster’s medical waste disposal bins to help dispose of their trash properly.

See our blog on clinical waste disposal.

Additionally, you can also watch this video for more information:

Waster: Things You Need To Know

If you’re looking for recycling bins, check our waste recycling shop and find the best deals in terms of pricing and services. Check our medical waste disposal for more information.

Also, please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us at [email protected] if you have any further questions.