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June 2022

[Infographic]: Your guide to medical waste

Written by Nathalie Leblond
Medical Waste and Waste Disposal

This round-up blog post and infographic will help to explain what is considered medical waste and what isn't, and how medical waste can be disposed of safely and responsibly. 

Did you know that of the total amount of waste generated by health-care related activities, about 85% is general, non-hazardous waste - similar to domestic waste?  The remaining 15% is considered hazardous material that may be infectious, chemical or even radioactive.

While Initial is not ale to dispose of radioactive health-care risk waste (or medical waste) we are able to assist our customers with the safe and responsible disposal of infectious waste, sharps, and pharmaceutical waste. Read our blog on understanding health-care waste terminology to really understand the distinctions.

The infographic below explains what falls into these categories of medical waste: 

Guide to types of medical waste infographic

The major sources of health-care risk waste are:

  • hospitals and other health facilities
  • laboratories and research centres (Read more about medical food waste and contaminated food waste here)
  • mortuary and autopsy centres
  • animal research and testing laboratories
  • blood banks and collection services
  • nursing homes for the elderly
All of these facilities should therefore have medical waste disposal solutions in place, in order to protect employees, patients and residents. If after reading this far you're still wondering whether your business needs a medical waste disposal service, find out if you need a medical waste disposal service.

Health risks

Health-care risk waste contains potentially harmful micro-organisms that can infect hospital patients, health workers and the general public.

Other potential hazards may include drug-resistant micro-organisms which spread from health facilities into the environment, sharps-inflicted injuries; and toxic exposure to pharmaceutical products, in particular, antibiotics and cytotoxic drugs released into the surrounding environment, and to substances such as mercury or dioxins, during the handling or incineration of medical waste. 

This is why it is so important to make sure that you have a reputable, registered waste carrier to handle your medical waste. Here are 4 very important questions you should be asking your medical waste service provider. 

Where to find medical waste disposal services

Initial believes in making compliance with legislation as easy as possible so you can focus on what you do best – delivering exceptional healthcare to your patients. Throughout South Africa, healthcare facilities place their trust in us to provide an efficient and reliable medical waste management service.

Initial is a registered infectious waste carrier, and can provide all the relevant waste tracking documentation to put your mind at ease. Contact Initial today for more information.

Contact the Initial team to discuss your hygiene requirements

Nathalie Leblond

Nathalie Leblond

I joined Rentokil Initial South Africa in 2004 as the PA to the MD, and after 6 months maternity leave I re-joined the Company in 2009 as the Marketing Co-ordinator for Rentokil. I'm now the Marketing Communication Manager for Rentokil Initial. I'm still terrified of cockroaches (Americana's only!) but the rest of the creepy crawlies we deal with don't really bug me (see what I did there?), so I guess I'm in the right industry! I am passionate about what we do here at Rentokil Initial and also write for our Hygiene Blog, which can be found at blog.initial.co.za, and our Ambius blog - https://www.ambius.co.za/blog. Life outside of Rentokil Initial mostly revolves around my daughter, who has just turned twelve, and my husband (who is a bit older). I love living in Cape Town and wouldn't trade living here for anywhere else in the world.

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