Hospital Waste Management is there to manage waste produced by hospitals using such techniques that will help to check the spread of diseases through it. Not all healthcare and pharmaceutical waste is hazardous however, those which are, need to be disposed of correctly.

disposal-of-healthcare-and-pharmaceutical-waste

Hazardous waste is essentially waste that contains hazardous properties which if mismanaged has the potential to cause greater harm to the environment and human health than non-hazardous. As a result, strict controls apply from the point of its production, to its movement, management, and recovery or disposal.

The healthcare sector ensure that they are disposing of pharmaceutical waste correctly in order to protect the environment as well as human health, GPT Waste Management Ltd are suppliers of waste and recycling services to the health and pharmaceutical sector and ensure that disposal of all hazardous waste is disposed of in compliance with regulations.

According the research done by the World Health Organisation in November of 2011, of the total amount of waste generated by health-care activities, 20% was considered hazardous material.

This 20% of hazardous waste materials therefore needs to be correctly disposed of in compliance with regulations, as they may be infectious, toxic or radioactive.

They also found that annually an estimated 16 000 million injections are administered worldwide, however not all these needles and syringes are being disposed of properly afterwards.

A main benefit of the correct disposal of clinical waste is that it reduces risks to both human health and the environment. Hospital wastes are categorised according to their weight, density and constituents, and can potentially contain harmful microorganisms which can infect hospital patients, health-care workers and the general public.

The waste management services in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors offered by GPT include Resource management guidance, Hazardous waste management programmes and Pharmaceutical waste disposal.

The major sources of health-care waste are:

  • hospitals and other health-care establishments
  • laboratories and research centres
  • mortuary and autopsy centres
  • animal research and testing laboratories
  • blood banks and collection services
  • nursing homes for the elderly.

With an extensive UK network of service providers and their disposal facilities, GPT Waste provide a range of services to NHS trusts, GPs, dentists, pharmaceutical manufacturers, private sector businesses, research companies and many more.

Steps towards improvement

The World Health Organisation also found that high-income countries generate on average up to 0.5kg of hazardous waste per bed per day; while low-income countries generate on average 0.2 kg of hazardous waste per hospital bed per day. However, health-care waste is often not separated into hazardous or non-hazardous wastes in low-income countries making the real quantity of hazardous waste much higher.

Some steps should be taken for the minimisation of hospital waste. Before any clear improvement can be made in medical waste management, consistent and scientifically based definitions must be established as to what is meant by medical waste and its components, and what the goals are. Plans and policies should be laid down for this purpose.

According to the World Health Organisation, improvements in health-care waste management rely on the following key elements:

  • building a comprehensive system, addressing responsibilities, resource allocation, handling and disposal. This is a long-term process, sustained by gradual improvements;
  • raising awareness of the risks related to health-care waste, and of safe and sound practices;
  • selecting safe and environmentally-friendly management options, to protect people from hazards when collecting, handling, storing, transporting, treating or disposing of waste.

GPT Waste provides clinical healthcare and pharmaceutical waste management services, specialising in protecting people and reducing risk. We work with local and national companies across the public and private sector to improve employee and customer safety, ensure legislative compliance and minimise the environmental impact of waste disposal.

To speak to someone about your pharmaceutical and clinical waste disposal requirements, call 0844 854 5000 or email info@gptwaste.com

References:

World Health Organisation

GPT Waste Management Ltd

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