Category Archives: Proper Waste Disposal

Don’t Try this At Home… ($50,000 + 2 years in jail)

Here’s a good reason to consider calling a medical waste disposal company today.

The Medical Waste Bill was written, refined, and passed in increments, from 1970 to 1995. To summarize it (or the gist of it) in order to keep everyone safe and healthy, medical waste needs to be separated from regular trash and handled with more care to prevent diseases from spreading unintentionally.

(It’s hard to imagine what the planet would look like without minimal medical waste disposal protocol in place at medical facilities. Imagine if the needles, sheets, blood of Ebola patients were not burned, for example. Imagine if, instead, someone dumped the body fluids of Ebola patients into a source of drinking water.)

Top civil penalties were $25,000 per day of violation, and normal criminal penalties were $50,000 per day and two years in jail. In cases where the dumper knowingly endangered the health of another person, those penalties escalated to a $250,000 fine and 15 years in jail, or a $1 million fine if the dumper was an organization.

It has been twenty years since New Jersey has had a case in which an andividual was charged with dumping medical waste directly into the ocean, but here it is:

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. (AP) _ A Pennsylvania dentist has been charged with dumping medical waste that sullied a New Jersey beach at the height of vacation season.

Authorities said Friday that Thomas McFarland took his motorboat to Townsend Inlet near Avalon on Aug. 22 and dumped a bag full of some 300 dental-type needles, along with 180 cotton swabs and other materials from his Wynnewood, Pa., medical office.

McFarland, 59, is charged with unlawfully discharging a pollutant and unlawful disposal of regulated medical waste. Each charge carries a maximum prison term of five years. Fines could total $125,000 if he is convicted on both counts.

And here’s another one:


A Ralston man who reportedly confessed to dumping medical waste into the Arkansas River and faced up to 40 years in prison and hundreds of thousands in fines died over the weekend.

Garrett Mitchell Gibson, 27, was awaiting a hearing in the river case and a transfer to prison on an unrelated conviction for cattle rustling when he was hospitalized.

According to court documents, Gibson posed as a janitor in order to gain access to dozens of boxes of medical biohazards — needles and near-empty vials of medication.

A fisherman found containers washing onto shore and reported it to authorities. The containers were marked with the hospital name, and a St. John Medical Center security memo warned employees that an unauthorized man was seen on surveillance cameras going room to room stealing biohazard boxes.

According to the memo, it happened every few days for about a week.

Gibson was arrested days later at the hospital, as he reportedly made another theft attempt.

Gibson lied to the Pawnee County Sheriff during an interrogation, saying he was an OU medical student, documents say. When the sheriff bucked that claim, Gibson reportedly confessed to the dumping.

A source says Gibson stole the biohazard boxes in hopes of getting leftover pain medication for himself.

Moral of these stories?

Don’t try this at home.

Let a medical waste disposal company (like us!) take care of your medical waste disposal.

Call us! (866) 464-0127 or visit

For more on these stories, click on or type the URL below:

Sharpening safety skills; techniques that reduce needlestick injury

It only takes one time. Just one stick of a contaminated needle can induce agonizing fear in the most seasoned healthcare worker. Take the example of the radiology technician who admitted with trepidation that she had “only” been stuck once in fifteen years on the job while recapping a needle. But that one incident certainly made a lasting impression.

The rest of the article:

How to properly package medical waste in six steps

1. Set up your medical waste container.

Using corrugated boxes? Be sure to turn over and seal the bottom flaps with 2-inch wide, clear, packing tape. Or securely engage the bottom flaps of your auto-lock container. Top and bottom are distinguished by the printed arrows and text on the box. If you are using a reusable bin or tub, no setup is required.

2. Line your medical waste container with the red bag.

Use a red biohazard bag to line the inside of the container, with the 4 sides overlapping the container’s outer sides. Be sure to comply with any state-specific requirements for thickness of the red bags, etc., and be sure not to exceed the weight limitations of the container.

3. Dispose of only medical waste in the red bag.

Know what is defined as medical waste in your state. DON’T place medications, loose needles or other sharps, trash, recycling, trace chemotherapy, or pathological waste in the red medical waste bag. DO place sealed, puncture-resistant, disposable sharps containers in the red bag. Mark any pathological waste or trace chemotherapy waste for incineration and also package it separately from other red bag waste that is not destined for incineration. Fill the container, as appropriate (see #2), leaving space at the top.

4. Gather, twist, and tie the red bag.

While wearing gloves, gather the 4 edges of the red bag from the sides of the container. Twist the top of the bag to seal its contents. Secure the seal with a strong, hand-tied single or gooseneck knot to prevent any leakage if inverted. You can also use a zip tie or tape to secure the knot. Ensure that the bag is completely closed.

5. Seal your medical waste container.

For corrugated boxes, seal the top of the box with the 2-inch wide, clear packing tape. For auto-locking boxes, engage the top flaps. For reusable container, secure the lid, and engage all closures and locking.

6. Check the medical waste container’s markings.

Federal markings are shown in the picture of the box on this page. You may also need additional labeling if required by your state or local regulatory agencies. Apply the bar code label from your medical waste disposal company.

You may have additional state and local regulatory requirements or medical waste regulations. Always follow the best practices of your facility and comply with local, state, and federal laws for medical waste disposal.