Medical Waste Disposal in Non-Medical Settings

Home based health care can create medical waste that must be disposed of properly. It is hazardous to dispose of such waste with ordinary household refuse through the septic system or in any other potentially dangerous manner. This practice can lead to the inclusion of medical waste with municipal waste which eventually goes to landfills with the potential of ground water contamination. Such practices may pose a significant health risk to the public.

Medical Waste Definition: Medical waste is generally defined as any solid waste that includes but not limited to: soiled or blood soaked bandages, unused medications, discarded gloves, needles, swabs, syringes and other sharps.

Therefore, the AAFP supports:

  1. Education about safe disposal of medical waste to the public,
  2. Community based disposal programs that are readily available and affordable, and
  3. Policies to encourage and programs that provide safe community disposal of medical waste from non-medical settings.

(2003) (2014 COD)