Veterinary Waste Disposal
Whether you’re a small veterinary clinic or a major veterinary hospital, you are sure to accumulate some waste with your patients. It takes time to dispose of all the waste, especially if it contains medications and biohazard products. Your friends at All Florida Medical Waste are proud to offer hassle free, compliant waste disposal.
What Makes Up Veterinary Waste?
Just like with human care facilities, animal care facilities generate both hazardous and nonhazardous waste. The specific type of waste generated by a vet clinic can vary based on the services provided. For instance, some veterinary clinics perform tests and conduct lab work as well as providing temporary housing for pets. Some may handle only pets and small animals while others are large animal facilities.
Hazardous waste in a veterinary clinic will often consist of sharps, syringes, needles, scalpels and other sharp items. It may also include vaccines and other medications as well as vials of live bacteria. The remains of sick or research animals and other waste, which is harmful to humans, would be included in this category. Bedding and bandages with blood or other substances would also fall under hazardous waste.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has requirements for veterinary practices and how waste is handled. The agency requires vet clinics and other animal facilities to create plans for waste disposal that company with local, state, and federal laws.
Often, state and county or city laws regarding waste disposal may be stricter than what is found at the federal level. Ignorance of these laws and regulations doesn’t reduce responsibility. It is up to the vet clinic and specified personnel to stay updated on the current rules and regulations.
Handling Veterinary Waste
As with medical facilities for humans, sharps in veterinary clinics must be handled according to federal and state regulations. The sharps must be placed in approved containers and labeled correctly. Items listed under sharps include anything that can cut the skin, such as needles, razors, scalpels and broken glass.
The second category of waste for vet clinics is biohazardous waste. This includes anting that can be harmful to humans, which isn’t sharp. For instance, it may be tissues or fluid from an animal or carcasses or body parts. Specimens and cultures also need to be separated along with bandages and other supplies which may be soiled with blood, urine, feces, or other bodily fluids. All items must be placed in containers labeled for biohazardous waste.
Medications, some cleaning fluids and lab chemicals may also need to be separated from other waste. Everything must be labeled and documented according to regulations and handled as required by federal and state law. Anyone handling this type of waste must have the protective clothing and gear to reduce their risk. They must be trained on the proper procedures for waste management.
It’s also critical to ensure that the waste is handled correctly after it leaves the site. For some items, this may mean incineration while others may need to be rendered harmless. Responsibility doesn’t end when the waste leaves the clinic, which is why it is best to hire a waste disposal company that specializes in medical waste.