Did you know that for every pound of municipal solid waste that is improperly classified as regulated medical waste, you are paying 10 times as much for disposal as you should?
Healthcare waste volumes continue to grow nationwide. Better access to healthcare is a must, but could also mean higher demand. And what does higher demand mean?
Higher prices for waste disposal services. Acute care facilities already spend a large portion of their waste disposal dollars on regulated medical waste. Waste costs per pound increase exponentially for regulated medical waste, pharmaceutical and hazardous waste. We know this is a problem, but what’s the solution?
Reducing cost through prevention, recycling and better management techniques are the first areas of opportunity. It is a best practice to recycle universal waste, or materials that would otherwise be considered hazardous waste per state and federal definitions. If not recycled, these materials are required to be managed as hazardous waste, which can be considerably more expensive.
Waste disposal fees also vary regionally depending on competition and proximity to disposal facilities. Waste fees per ton are less for large generators, which makes a system contract with aggregation more valuable. Bundling of services is also becoming popular to let one hauler manage all your waste streams.
Other important factors include:
- Proposed plan/scope of work for collecting and disposing;
- Suppliers’ previous experience;
- Quality of equipment/remote monitoring;
- Experience and training of personnel;
- Copies of all state/federal licenses and permits;
- Detailed emergency prevention and response plan;
- Whether transportation is performed by supplier or outsourced;
- Any pending litigation;
- Sanitizing methods; and
- Additional disposal facility fees.
The best case scenario is to develop new processes that will help you change behaviors within the facility, ultimately leading to more environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient ways of eliminating waste.
Want more information? Find out more about Premier’s environmental leadership program.