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A QUICK GUIDE TO WASTE MANAGEMENT IN HEALTHCARE

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					                      CLINICAL AND RELATED WASTES

    Waste Category                         Container                              Symbol
                                                                                                  A QUICK GUIDE
Clinical Waste                Sharps                                                                   TO
                                                                                                     WASTE
                              Yellow sharps containers:
Must be disposed of by
                              Impact and puncture-resistant, spill
contractors by means of
                              proof, tamper proof when locked

                                                                                                   MANAGEMENT
high-temperature
incineration, or maceration   Preferably mounted on stable,
                                                                         Black Biohazard Symbol
then disinfection             elevated surface
                                                                           on Yellow Container
                              Closed off when filled to marker
                              line —do not overfill                                                    IN
                                                                                                   HEALTHCARE
                              Sharps containers specified in:
                              AS 4031 (disposable)
                              AS/NZS 24261 (reusable)

                              Non-Sharps
                              Thick-walled yellow plastic bag
                              labelled Infectious/Contaminated
                              Waste



Cytotoxic Waste               Sharps
                              Purple container meeting all above
                              specifications, eg: Impact and
Must be disposed of by
                              puncture-resistance
contractors using
incineration at 1100 0C                                                                            This is pamphlet No. 4 in the Bug Byte Series
                              Non-Sharps
                              Purple multi-layer walled plastic or                                     for Staff Education produced by the
                              wet/dry bag labelled Cytotoxic          White Telophase Symbol on     Grampians Region Infection Control Group
                              Waste                                        Purple Container       See http://infectioncontrol.health.vic.gov.au/gramps.
                                                                                                    htm for other pamphlets in the Bug Byte Series
                                                                                                                        Compiled 09/03

                                                                 Grampians Region                 This pamphlet is based on the latest information available as
                                                                 Infection Control Group                              of September 2003
                                                      2. Rationalization of Waste Generated                       What Comprises Clinical and Related Wastes?
                                                         Many avenues can assist in decreasing the amount         Clinical Waste is industrial waste generated in a
                                                         of resources used, and thus rhe amount of waste          clinical or similar setting that has the potential to
                                                         produced, for example: double sided photocopying,        cause disease, injury, or public offence, and includes:
                                                         refilling of printer cartridges, choosing products
                                                                                                                  •   A sharp discarded object or device capable of
                                                         with less packaging
                                                                                                                      cutting or penetrating the skin—a “sharp”
                                                      3. Product Substitution                                     •   A clinical specimen other than urine or faeces
                                                                                                                  •   A specimen of urine or faeces taken for
                                                         Substitution of reusable items in place of
                                                                                                                      laboratory testing
                                                         disposables:
Our society is drowning in a sea of waste caused by                                                               •   A laboratory culture
                                                         • Use of re-sterilisable dressing trays in place of      •   Human tissue
our throw away lifestyle
                                                           disposables (only if it does not create other          •   Tissue, carcasses or other waste arising from
Think about the packaging you throw away every             problems)                                                  animals used for laboratory investigation or for
day—paper, cardboard, plastics, polystyrene              • Replacing disposable batteries with rechargables           medical or veterinary research, other than
Hospitals and healthcare agencies produce large                                                                       psychology testing
                                                      Our agency as a “Good Citizen” in Managing Waste
amount of general waste every day—perhaps as much                                                                 •   Human blood or fluids other than urine or faeces
                                                      Our agency has a community responsibility to generate       •   Materials or equipment containing human blood or
as a small town. Items such as:
                                                      as little waste as possible, and to manage the waste it         body fluids other than urine or faeces
•    Used paper towel                                 generates well                                              •   Waste from patients known to have, or
•    Packaging from medical and surgical supplies                                                                     suspected of having a communicable disease
                                                      Apart from the colossal waste of scarce resources
•    Single use medical items
                                                      involved in making new items all the time, the cost of      Related Waste is industrial waste generated in a
•    Kitchen waste—tins, plastic containers, milk
                                                      disposal by land fill is increasing rapidly as we run out   clinical or similar setting that constitutes, or is
     cartons
                                                      of land fill sites                                          contaminated with chemicals, cytotoxic drugs, or
•    Newspapers, facial tissues
•    Incontinence pads                                                                                            pharmaceutical products
                                                      Clinical Wastes
•    Office paper waste                                                                                           Regulations covering Clinical and Related Wastes are
•    Etc, etc, etc …………………………………….                    In addition to household and office wastes generated        summarised as follows:
                                                      in caring for clients, some wastes produced have the        • Collected into containers of proper colours
How can this huge amount of waste be decreased?       potential to cause infection/problems if
                                                                                                                     marked with the proper symbols
                                                      inappropriately managed.                                    • Stored after collection from clinical areas in a
1. Recycling
                                                      These are called Clinical and Related Wastes, and              central area which is signposted with appropriate
•    Recycling of usable waste, eg: cans, bottles,    these make up about 12% of health agency wastes.               biohazard symbol, is vermin-proof, is adequately
      plastics, waste paper from Admin. areas and     Because they must be managed carefully for public              cleaned, is kept locked, has an adequate spill kit,
     newspapers                                       safety they are subject to Government Regulation, and          a non-absorbent floor, and is refrigerated for
•    Purchasing supplies which have a recycled        are expensive to containerise, store and transport             Clinical Waste
     content                                                                                                      • Clinical and Related Waste is collected by EPA—
                                                                                                                     accredited contractors in trucks which have
                                                                                                                     appropriate transport Permits and biohazard
                                                                                                                     signage.

				
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Description: A QUICK GUIDE TO WASTE MANAGEMENT IN HEALTHCARE