A number of government organizations in the U.S., such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have been working to ensure the safety of patients and the general public from controlled and hazardous medical waste. The proper collection, storage, disposal, treatment, and management of medical waste has become a major concern for not just the U.S. but the world.
The U.S.medical waste management market is likely to expand at a modest 3.4% CAGR from 2015 to 2023, according to Transparency Market Research. By value, the market is projected to increase from US$5.8 bn in 2014 to US$7.9 bn by 2023.
The market is bifurcated into medical waste management and pharmaceutical waste management. Here is how the two segments have fared over the years and their future outlook.
Management of Non-infectious Medical Waste Warrants Largest Share in U.S. Market
The segment of medical waste management can be further broken down based on type of waste and services offered. By type, the medical waste management segment includes infectious and pathological waste, sharps waste, radioactive waste, non-infectious waste, and pharmaceutical waste. In 2014, the sub-segment of non-infectious waste held the largest share in the medical waste management segment owing to an increase in awareness programs by government as well as private bodies. The spread of various infections around the country has resulted in the demand for the management of infectious medical waste. This is anticipated to drive the market for this sub-segment in the coming years, registering the highest CAGR from 2015 to 2023.
By service, the medical waste management segment is divided into waste treatment, collection, transportation, and storage, and disposal methods. The disposal sub-segment dominated the medical waste management segment in 2014, with waste treatment emerging as the fastest developing sub-segment through 2023. Waste treatment services are being offered by an increasing number of medical waste management organizations, driving demand.
Demand Surges for Disposal of Controlled and Uncontrolled Pharmaceuticals
The segment of pharmaceutical waste management can be sub-segmented based on category, type, and substance generator. By category, the pharmaceutical waste management is bifurcated into controlled and uncontrolled pharmaceuticals. In 2014, the uncontrolled sub-category held the largest share with 91% and is likely to continue its dominance over the forecast period. Constant efforts by the U.S. Government to increase awareness among the general population about proper storage, disposal, and management of pharmaceutical waste is one of the major factors driving this sub-segment.
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On the basis of type, the pharmaceutical waste management segment is divided into hazardous and non-hazardous waste. The latter held a larger share in 2014 owing to the increasing number of non-hazardous pharmaceutical drugs sold in the U.S. market. By substance generator, the segment of pharmaceutical waste management is categorized into manufacturers, physicians’ offices, hospitals, clinical labs, and reverse distributors. The sub-segment of hospitals held the dominant share in terms of revenue in 2014 owing to the rising demand for the proper disposal of varied controlled and uncontrolled pharmaceuticals.
Some of the leading players in the U.S. medical waste management market are Clean Harbors, Inc., Waste Management, Inc., Republic Services, Inc., Veolia Environmental Services, Suez Environmental Services, Sharps Compliance, Inc., US Ecology, Inc., and Stericycle, Inc.