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6 Steps to Proper Medical Waste Disposal

6 Steps to Proper Medical Waste Disposal

Safely packaging medical waste is a key step in disposing of it proper

Safely packaging medical waste is a key step in disposing of it properly. Whether it is a hospital or other medical facility, or even a business that deals in medical supplies, these and other facilities that handle medical waste need to know how to effectively and efficiently dispose of their waste. We have created this guide to help show you the way.

Designate a Container for Medical Waste

First, you need to designate a container for your medical waste. If you use corrugated cardboard boxes as these containers, be sure to reinforce them with clear packing tape. The bottom flaps of these boxes must be held in place by tape to make sure they cannot fall open and spill the hazardous contents within.

Do you have what is known as an auto-lock container? Then be sure to secure the bottom flaps of these containers as well. You will see arrows and text describing the way to secure these flaps. However, if you’re using a bin or other container that can be used multiple times, you won’t need to prepare them at all.

Establish the Red Bag Protocol

Next, you will want to establish the red bag protocol. Essentially speaking, the red bag protocol refers to the red bag that the waste is collected in. The red bag should be put inside the container, but smoothed out so that the bag overlaps the sides of the container you chose. Your state may require different thicknesses for the bag; follow these requirements. Whatever you choose to do, do not add anything too heavy for the container to hold.

Only Medical Waste in the Red Bag

You should only place medical waste in the red bag. Medications, needles, trash, and recycling are just some of the items you shouldn’t dispose of in these bags.

Close Up the Red Bag

Wear protective gloves before handling the red bag. Create a seal on the bag by twisting the top. A strong single knot or gooseneck knot should be sufficient to hold it closed.

Ensure Proper Seal on the Container

Ensure that both the bag and the container are properly sealed.

Refer to the Container’s Markings

Check on the markings on the container to see what you need to do next. Some containers may require additional labeling.


No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on social media for updates.

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