Whenever a human gets treated or diagnosed at the hospital or gets vaccinated by a medical specialist, some waste is produced, which is what we call medical waste. This may include simple stuff such as cotton, syringes, Band-Aids, etc., and complex things like IVs, drips, laboratory wastes, pharmaceutical waste, etc. Hospitals dispose of this stuff, which is commonly known as medical waste disposal.
Hospitals used to take these wastes out like regular trash, but this led to the spread of many viruses and diseases and proved to be a danger to humankind. Since then, hospitals have opted for different methods of medical waste disposals, which have proved to be clean and efficient.
First and foremost is the use of incinerators to get rid of waste. It’s a large piece of machinery and is very costly, so some hospitals do not use them, but it is effective. Incinerators can get rid of non-hazardous and pharmaceutical waste safely. This method is beneficial because it gets rid of the waste entirely without leaving any trace behind.
Sterilization is another way of waste disposal, although it disposes of the chemicals and other harmful stuff from the equipment, and you can use the stuff again. This requires heating at high temperatures to kill the bacteria.
Autoclaving is one such sterilization process used by hospitals to dispose of waste. It is a closed chamber where pressure and high temperature, applied to the medical equipment and tools, sterilizes them. In this way, the bacteria gets killed by the high temperature.
Hospitals also use biological means to dispose of the bacteria, in which different enzymes, used to kill microorganisms and any hazardous stuff, complete the sterilization process. This method is not very common as it is still under practice.
Special kinds of bags are available that the hospital can use to dispose of bodily fluids and tissues. These bags can also contain any radioactive stuff without harming anything near it. These bags get thrown away, or the hospital staff puts them in the incinerator.
So, hospitals have a variety of ways by which they can get rid of hospital medical waste without actually harming the environment or the wildlife in any possible way. Because these methods have proved to be valuable time and time again. New, advanced methods are also on the way that may be more effective and useful in the future, but for now, instead of throwing away the waste, use any of these methods.