Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Disposing of Infectious Waste

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HealthWiki > A Community Guide to Environmental Health > Chapter 19: Health Care Waste > Disposing of Infectious Waste


The chart on this page shows when and how to disinfect and dispose of infectious wastes in small health centers. Some health centers may not be able to use all of these methods, or may have their own, better ways to treat wastes. The important thing to prevent infection is to use a system that everyone in the health center understands and follows.

IMPORTANT! Follow all laws on how to get rid of health care waste.


Separate by type SHARPS ITEMS CONTAMINATED WITH BLOOD OR BODY FLUIDS BLOOD, BODY
FLUIDS, FECES
BODY PARTS
Needles, blades, lancets, broken glass, other sharp objects Blood bags, dialysis kits, syringe barrels, gloves, masks, bandages, cotton swabs, other wastes Liquid blood, fluids from suction canisters, feces, and other contaminated body wastes Amputated limbs, tissues, skin tags
Separate using colored containers

put in sharps containers
put in colored bag or container
OR

carefully cut or shred waste and put in bleach bucket
put in colored bag or container
put in colored bag or container with tight-fitting cover
Seal containers when 3/4 full, seal container with tape when 3/4 full, seal bag or container
OR
keep tight-fitting cover on bleach bucket
seal bag or cover container with tight-fitting cover when 3/4 full, seal bag or container
Disinfection or safe burial drop into a sharps pit
OR
put container into a drum
disinfect using a heat method
OR
leave in bleach bucket for at least 10 minutes, then drain
wearing protective clothing, carefully add bleach to container and let stand for 10 minutes put in safe burial pit, add lime, and cover with soil
Final disposal when almost full, seal the pit with concrete
OR
when 3/4 full, fill drum with concrete and bury drum in a landfill
put in safe burial pit, cover with soil. When pit is almost full, cover with soil and seal with concrete.
OR
dry and resue or recycle glass, metals, and plastics
or
discard with other solid waste
put liquid waste into safe leaching pit or into sanitary sewer or septic tank when pit is almost full, cover with soil and seal with concrete
For more information handling sharps and burying sharps ways to disinfect with heat and chemicals handling feces and body fluids and burial and leaching pits handling body parts and safe waste burial



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