In addition to the common uses of skip bins in handling household waste, there are also skips that are specially designed for biological waste products. It's important for such types of waste to be handled safely from the time they are generated to the time they are disposed of.
Many skip bin services that offer biological waste disposal will have established guidelines for dealing with biological waste in order to minimise the risk of accidents and infections.
Defining biological waste
Biological waste consists of any and all items that are contaminated with human or animal pathogens. Plant pathogens also fall under biological waste, along with items that contain DNA residues. In addition, waste from laboratories (including blood products, cells, and cultures) often also falls under this category.
Biological waste is likely to cause infections or other unexpected results if it's not properly handled. In most cases, such products must first be disinfected to eliminate live pathogens before they can be disposed of in clearly labelled packaging.
There are two main types of biological waste: infectious and non-infectious waste.
Handling non-infectious waste
Non-infectious waste refers to all items that don't contain any active pathogens. This covers a wide range of items, from gloves to used labware (pipettes, petri-dishes, test tubes, etc.). While non-infectious waste is less hazardous to deal with, it's still important to handle such items with caution during disposal.
Most skip bin hire services require biological waste to be disposed of in special bags that are clearly labelled. These bags can then be put in special skips that provide secure housing for the waste items. Proper labelling also ensures that the waste management staff and other people don't mistakenly handle the waste without proper safety equipment.
Handling infectious waste
Infectious biological waste refers to all items that contain pathogens and can result in infections when handled inappropriately. There are many different biological products that are potentially infectious, including items that contain human or animal pathogens, blood, or cell cultures.
Sharp items such as needles, blades, and syringes are also potentially infectious. In fact, sharp items are considered both infectious and hazardous to the skin, even if unused.
Infectious items must first be disinfected before disposal. Many laboratory products can be disinfected through bleaching (because bleach kills most pathogens) or through a process called autoclaving. Disinfecting infectious waste is important because it reduces the risk of these items when they are handled by your skip bin company. Sharp items should also be placed in special sturdy boxes that are properly labelled. After these steps, the waste can then be placed in specially labelled skips for final disposal.
For more information, reach out to a company that provides skip bin hire services.