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Dental Waste Disposal Tips That Will Make You Smile

March 15, 2022

A portrait of a dental assistant smiling at the camera with the dentist working in the backgroundIncreasing the Smiles

Brace yourself. As a dental professional, you know the drill. If you want some dental waste disposal tips, I’m about to fill you in! This will help put a smile on your face if you’ve been feeling a bit numb lately, and when we’re done, you might earn yourself a little plaque.

Decreasing the Expenses

As a dental professional, you know the cost associated with staying compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) medical waste laws and correct practices. They say that medical waste disposal can cost 5-8 times as much as solid waste disposal. Here are two things that can help alleviate this issue:

  1. Finding some practical ways of reducing the cost of medical waste disposal.
  2. Finding a compliant medical waste management company that offers the best prices with quality service.

Here are some simple practices that can help you reduce waste disposal costs:

1. Red Bag and Regular Trash

  • Don’t fill your red bag with unnecessary items. Items lightly-tinged or barely in contact with blood (like tray covers) can go in the regular trash, leaving more space for the blood-soaked items that are required to be separated. OSHA considers any item saturated if it “would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed.” In the long run, sending biohazards to the red bag and trash to the trash can will save disposal costs.
  • Red bags are reserved only for liquid and solid biohazardous waste items only. Medical waste processing is much more costly than standard waste processing. Your costs will be reduced if you keep unnecessary items out, like discarded foods, packaging, and other regular trash.
  • Pharmaceuticals should also be kept out of red bags. Work with your medical waste company with regard to pharmaceutical waste disposal.

2. Sharps

  • Sharps containers maximize their value when they are filled to the max line. However, some states set time limits on how long you can keep them. You may be able to utilize smaller more affordable containers if you aren’t filling the larger. Knowing the number of sharps you’ll generate in a given time will help you decide. If your state doesn’t have a time limit, using a fewer number of larger containers may be the better way to go.
  • Sharps containers must be located “convenient to the point of use” which could easily allow it to be central and reduce the number of containers.
  • Keep covers on all waste containers to avoid making the wrong impression with patients, and arrange for frequent container pickups to prevent odors.
  • Unbroken, uncontaminated carpules are permitted in the trash, but if they break in handling, that becomes a high risk. Always use the sharps containers for carpules.

3. Substitutes

Check your inventory and continue to watch for alternatives of hazardous agents that require special medical waste disposal. For example, Sporox or similar products can be a substitute for glutaraldehyde, which requires treatment with neutralizing agents before disposal.

4. Finding the Right Medical Waste Disposal Company

Finding an OSHA-compliant medical waste management company that is reliable, efficient, and affordable is tough.

GreenServ is committed to offering competitive pricing while providing safe and excellent service for your dental practice. We provide a one-stop shop disposal service for medical waste including sharps, biohazardous, RCRA, and controlled substances. We are ready to help keep your medical waste costs down. All you need to do is give us a call at 662-533-0940 or complete the form on this page. We look forward to putting a smile on your face!

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If you’re interested, give us a call at (662) 533-0940 or complete the form on the contact page.