The continuously expanding healthcare industry is generating a huge amount of medical waste each year. This medical waste can be hazardous, radioactive, and infectious. As such, it poses a big threat to the environment and humans, and hence needs to be disposed of with caution. Disposal of medical waste requires special treatment and thus, there are many companies that provide waste management services to the healthcare facilities seeking effective and safe disposal of waste.
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A large amount of medical waste generated is general waste, similar to waste generated in households. As per a report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR), almost 80% of the medical waste comprises papers, plastics, and other materials that come under general or office waste. However, 20-25% of the waste comprises bioactive waste matter such as nappy waste, blood soaked bandages, used syringes, dirty human bedding, expired medicines, stocks, and cultures, all of which are harmful. The poor handling of this waste can expose patients, healthcare professionals, and waste handlers to potential risks and serious infections. Thus, there are many stringent regulations regarding medical waste handling.
Consequences and Legal Actions of Improper Medical Waste Disposal
In Dec 2013, a resident at Monroeville informed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) about medical waste being thrown at a nearby landfill. This spurred a 2 year-long investigation and has recently resulted in the penalization of 12 University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC) hospitals for violating the solid waste management act, imposing a fine of $451,000.
Such incidents and strict actions by the government or environmental bodies are boosting the global medical waste management market.
Services Provided by Companies Operating in Medical Waste Management
Customized services offered by market players are helping encourage healthcare facilities and hospitals to implement professional medical waste management, thus safeguarding the environment and human lives.
For instance, Sharps Compliance, based in Houstan, Texas is offering medical waste management and disposal, helps provide solutions that fit individual location needs, depending on the volume and frequency of waste generated, and also the applicable regulations. The company offers pickup services for healthcare centers with huge volumes of waste and have higher frequency needs. Stericycle, a company based in the U.S., is another provider of medical waste management services, offering recycling initiatives. The company helps hospitals achieve sustainability and compliance objectives.
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Brief Snapshot of Scope of Medical Waste Management Market:
To conclude, the market for medical waste management will witness a continuous rise as the number of hospitals and healthcare centers increases and the awareness about the necessity of safe disposal and management of medical waste spreads across the globe.