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What is the Flow of Regulated Medical Waste?

flow of regulated medical waste

When we talk about the “flow” of regulated medical waste (RMW), we’re referring to all the steps involved in the collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of RMW. Management of the flow process is a serious and complex undertaking, more so in times of crisis such as a pandemic or other catastrophic event. As a full-service waste collection, treatment, and disposal service for the greater Tennessee Valley area, TriHaz is equipped to quickly adapt to any increases in flow from our customers’ facilities. When necessary, we increase the number of our employees, add shifts, invest in more equipment and containers, and add additional pickups to customers’ schedules so we’re able to efficiently meet needs – all while complying with applicable regulatory requirements.

How to Mitigate Risk in the Flow Process

Here’s a brief look at how you can reduce risk at every stage of the RMW flow.

  • Collection. The fewer vendors you use to handle your facility’s RMW, the more you can reduce associated costs while protecting employees and patients at the same time. TriHaz’s bundled services are custom solution packages that include medical waste, hazardous waste, and pharmaceutical waste pickup and disposal, as well as secure document destruction. Instead of multiple vendors in multiple trucks who make multiple visits to your facility, you can have all your RMW handling needs met by one provider.
  • Transportation. The transportation of RMW is regulated by the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 C.F.R., Parts 171-180). The regulations cover what’s required to ensure the safe transport of RMW whether intrastate, interstate, by air, rail, motor vehicle, or other vessels. The HMR requirements also dictate the classification, packaging, hazard communication, and when applicable, security plans for infectious substances. TriHaz’s cradle-to-grave touchpoint process ensures your RMW is on the road when it should be and complies with all regulatory rules.
  • Treatment and Disposal. The EPA and other state and federal environmental agencies have strict sterilization regulations and standards. They also require manifests and certificates of destruction, which RMW generators must keep on file for a minimum of three years. TriHaz’s state-of-the-art Huntsville, AL medical waste treatment facility meets and exceeds all current regulations and standards, and document storage is easy with a convenient online portal. This helps your facility mitigate the risk of steep fines.

Getting a Handle on Your RMW Flow

TriHaz’s RMW system helps you get RMW disposal right. Our state-of-the-art processes and procedures ensure the smooth handling of all your RMW disposal needs, and they’re flexible enough to handle sudden changes in RMW demand flow. We also offer convenient, free online training with more than 100 training videos and modules designed to help keep your facility and employees safe and protected.

Are you unsure whether your facility’s current waste management plan is fully compliant? A waste audit can help. TriHaz offers a free consultation to assess your existing processes and procedures. We can also help you create a custom, comprehensive program that includes waste reduction and cost savings opportunities. To learn more about how to keep your facility compliant and safe during changes in demand flow for RMW, get in touch with us today.

Keeping Things Moving


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