Hospitals are busy places that produce lots of waste. Most hospital teams want to dispose of that waste as quickly as possible since accumulation could allow bacteria to grow. In between waste generation and disposal is the option to disinfect waste.
Disinfecting waste may sound like a foolish endeavor. It’s waste, after all. However, disinfecting waste is beneficial, especially using an autoclave. Keep reading to learn three reasons why your hospital should consider autoclaving waste.
Disinfect Waste for Safer and Easier Disposal
Disinfecting waste seems pointless since it’s going to end up in a landfill or somewhere similar. However, the point of disinfecting waste isn’t about improving it. It’s about making the waste safer for the people who handle it and creating more disposal options.
If hospital staff disinfect waste like sharp needles, then the hired waste management team in charge of waste disposal will worry less about the dangers of used needles. With fewer hazards to worry about, the people in charge of disposal can consider landfill alternatives, such as waste-to-energy. Landfill alternatives are often better for the environment.
Clean Waste Without Chemicals
Autoclaves are among the best ways to disinfect waste because they don’t use chemicals. An autoclave pumps heat or steam into a pressurized chamber to sterilize the waste or other items within the chamber. Cutting chemicals out of the cleaning process is often better for the environment. If you’re hoping to get board members, investors, and stakeholders to agree to an autoclave, you can use the lack of chemicals as an arguing point.
You may also have to inform these people that autoclaves can aerosolize whatever chemicals are present on the waste. Treatment staff will need to prepare for these potential hazards. Despite this risk, autoclaves are one way many hospitals dispose of medical waste safely. Your hospital could be next!
Use Autoclaves for More Than Waste
While it’s good to disinfect waste without chemicals for safe and easy disposal, autoclaves are multipurpose. They can do more than clean waste. Use them to disinfect reusable items, such as surgical instruments, without chemicals. As we mentioned, cleaning without chemicals is better for the environment. Autoclaves also provide batch cleaning, which is a bonus.
Your hospital should consider autoclaving waste and other dirty items for these three reasons. Taking on part of the waste management cycle can help your hospital save money and your teams understand the waste you generate. When you know what you’re generating, you can look into reusable or recyclable options that can further help you save money.