How to properly dispose of pharmaceutical waste – treating potentially hazardous materials at hospitals and clinics


There are very strict rules in place regarding the treatment of hazardous pharmaceutical waste. No wonder, since this industry is also composed of numerous sites and medical facilities where there are plenty of bacteria and viruses present, and without the right method to handle the storage, transportation, and disposal of the waste, the consequences can be quite dire indeed.

In Celitron’s next article, we will discuss how you can properly dispose of pharmaceutical waste, and by doing so, avoid huge health risks and fines!

Knowing how to properly dispose of pharmaceutical waste is a must for hospitals and all other medical facilities

Among other things, it is the responsibility of medical staff to ensure environmental and patient safety by upkeeping a clean working environment and reducing the risks of cross-contamination that come with handling hazardous pharmaceuticals and the waste generated by medical procedures, such as expired vaccines and cell culture dishes. As such, each and every medical facility must have some sort of pharmaceutical waste management process in place.

The first step in this process is segregation and storage. Any and all hazardous waste must be separated into special, color-coded containers, and stores in an area that is far away from patients. Due to contamination risks, it absolutely cannot be disposed of like regular trash (unless sterilized, but more on that later). Hazardous pharmaceutical waste like sharps can easily puncture the average trash bag, cut or prick the skin, and spread infections. Dumping them in the drain is even worse, as they can spread viral infections outside the walls of the facility and endanger the environment.

Most medical facilities reach out to outside licensed services to handle the transportation of hazardous pharmaceutical waste, who still need to be extremely careful, since up until the waste is destroyed, it is still considered potentially infectious. The final disposal usually takes place inside an incinerator.

Of course, thanks to modern technology, there are ways to make this pharmaceutical waste management process easier and safer. Read on to find out more about Celitron’s solutions!

Celitron’s pharmaceutical waste disposal systems – how does it help hospitals and other medical facilities?

Celitron provides a variety of cutting-edge onsite equipment to effectively treat and sterilize several types of pharmaceutical waste, including expired vaccines, and even cannabis waste. They all come with the recommendation of the EU as well as the WHO.

How to dispose of pharmaceutical waste like outdated vaccines

The ISS (short for Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder) provides medical grade sterilization to treat and safely destroy pharmaceutical waste like petri and cell culture dishes, specimen containers, vaccine roller bottles, and of course, expired vaccines. It combines the effectiveness of the steam sterilization process used by autoclaves with the undisputed power of a high-tech medical waste shredder.

This means that pharmaceutical waste like empty vaccine vials is completely destroyed inside the machine and sterilized in a high-pressure and high-temperature environment. The load will then be dried, reduced in mass, and be free of any potentially hazardous foreign material: you will be able to dispose of it like regular waste! To make it even easier for staff, the system comes equipped with a conveyor belt that can automatically unload the waste into a container.

In other words, the ISS can make the storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous pharmaceutical waste much easier and safer. Since all waste is treated within a single vessel, there is no risk of cross-contamination. Not to mention the process is completely automatic, and the machine is quite easy to use.

It also comes with extra safety measures that will prevent staff from opening the doors of the ISS while the temperature inside is still too high. Since it uses steam that is over 100 degrees Celsius, this is extremely important.

Furthermore, it is also highly customizable, so whether you are a small clinic or a large hospital, you can choose the model that fits your need the best: its capacity ranges from 25 liters all the way up to 1200 liters.

How to dispose of pharmaceutical waste like medical marijuana

Ever since its legalization in several states in North America – as well as countries in Europe, South America, and South Africa – the legal medical cannabis market has certainly seen growth within the pharmaceutical industry. Of course, this also comes with a new source of waste that needs to be disposed of correctly. Since it is a relatively new “product”, it is also harder to find a waste disposal method that adheres to the current regulations.

Choosing to use a cannabis shredder like the one based on Celitron’s Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder technology can save you a lot of time and money with its cost-effective operation. The ISS 500 CAN has been specifically designed to render all parts of the marijuana plant to an unrecognizable state, and fits all environmental guidelines, as it emits zero harmful substances, just like Celitron’s other pharmaceutical waste disposal solution.

This way, it only focuses on cutting your cannabis waste, and not into your profits: if you are looking how to properly dispose of this kind of pharmaceutical waste, you will not be disappointed by the ISS 500 CAN.

Apart from a perfectly green operation, Celitron’s marijuana waste shredder also boasts a particularly high performance, even compared to other granulating machines that can render the plant. In a single hour, this machine can render up to 150 kgs of cannabis waste, and can hold up to 560 liters of that waste at a time thanks to its high-capacity chamber, which can be stored inside the machine until it can be processed.

All in all, if you want to know how to properly dispose of pharmaceutical waste, you will definitely need the right equipment. Celitron’s onsite Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder machines are already present in hundreds of medical facilities worldwide: make sure to check them out on Celitron’s website for even more specifications about the available models you can use at the site of your hospital or clinic!

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