The FAQs of Medical Waste

What is Medical Waste?

The World Health Organization classified medical waste into eight categories:

Infectious Waste that may transmit infection from virus, bacterial, parasites to human (e.g. lab cultures, tissues, swabs, equipment and excreta)
Sharps Sharp waste, such as needle, scalpels, knives, blades
Pathological Human tissue or fluids (body parts, blood, other body fluids)
Radioactive Unused liquid in radiotherapy or lab research, contaminated glassware, etc.
Chemical Expired lab reagents, film developer, disinfectant
Pharmaceuticals Expired and contaminated medicines
Pressurized containers Gas cylinders and gas cartridges
General waste (UMW) No risk to human health because no blood or any related bodily fluid (office paper, wrapper, kitchen waste, general sweeping, etc.)

You need to know what type of medical waste your facility generates so that you can learn how to dispose of it properly.

What Types of Facilities Generate Medical Waste?


Primary health centers

Nursing homes

Medical colleges

Veterinary colleges

Biotechnology institutions

Research centers

Paramedic services

Blood banks

Funeral homes


Autopsy centers

Physician offices/clinics

Dentist offices/clinics

Veterinarian offices/clinics

Animal shelters

Slaughter houses

Blood donation centers

Vaccination centers


Psychiatric clinics

Gyms and pools



What Are the Dangers of Improper Medical Waste Disposal?

Sharps - learn about the FAQs of medical wastePathological wastes may contain dangerous or communicable diseases, and laboratory cultures may contain high concentrations of infectious agents. Hospital staff, patients and anyone else entering the facility is at risk.

Sharps can inject infectious agents directly into the bloodstream.

Hazardous chemicals and drugs put anyone who needs to handle them at risk.

Disposable medical items can be repackaged by miscreants and sold, often without even being washed.

Drugs that have been disposed of can be packaged by corrupt dealers and sold to unsuspecting buyers.

The air, water and soil will be polluted, directly by the waste or by defective incineration emissions.

What Are the Advantages of Proper Medical Waste Disposal?

Proper disposal done by experts is the most important way to prevent the spread of microorganisms and bacteria that cause diseases and infections. The risks to staff, patients, and visitors are minimized, and the facility is free of unclean-looking areas and unpleasant odors.

It prevents the spread of hepatitis, HIV, and other viral diseases that are communicated through sweat, blood, body fluids and contaminated organs via syringes, needles and IV sets.

It protects our planet.


Call Maine Medical Waste Disposal first for DOT compliant biohazard transportation and disposal: 866-331-7731.

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