We know that change can be uncomfortable. But what if it could save you time and money? Disposing your medical waste through the mail is a fully compliant and time-saving alternative for small waste generators who count on medical waste disposal facilities for a pick up.
In the highly regulated world of medical waste, you want to be certain that your medical waste disposal is compliant with federal and state laws. After all, nobody wants to get pegged with a fine of up to $37,500 per violation per day.
That’s why most medical waste generators call an infectious waste disposal facility to pick up their waste and transport it back to their facility. And we get it, there’s security in being able to watch your waste leave the premises in their trusted hands.
That said, paying a waste disposal facility to pick up small generators’ medical waste is no more compliant than sending it through the mail with a medical waste mail back kit (but it is more expensive.)
For anyone who’s apprehensive about using a mail back kit, which we refer to as a Medical Waste Recovery System, we’d like to explain exactly how the kits work, and how they are every bit as compliant as having your medical waste picked up.
How Medical Waste Mail Back Kits Guarantee Compliant Disposal
Mail back kits are much more than standard shipping containers. Each kit has gone through a rigid testing and certification process that meets the Department of Transportation’s packing and shipping requirements, as well as the U.S. Postal Service’s requirements for transportation.
It’s important to note that only the USPS can transport infectious waste, not UPS or FedEx. So, if you’ve ever mentioned the program to your UPS delivery driver, don’t take their inability to transport your waste as a sign that the system isn’t compliant. It merely means that they aren’t the right service to ship the waste.
Most mail back kits include a collection container(s), heavy plastics, a manifest to document proper treatment and disposal, and a prepaid return shipping label.
As long as you follow the detailed packing instructions, which are broken down into five steps, you will be in complete compliance with every medical waste disposal law. The instructions are more explicit on the box, but here’s an abridged breakdown:
Do not remove any of the other boxes and bags for shipping that come in the box. People often disassemble the boxes and can’t remember how to put them back together. Only remove the collection container, and keep the other components together and unopened for the time being.
2. Fill the container – Place the container near where you will use it, but away from where unauthorized people can access it. If you are disposing sharps, always place them in sharp end first, with the needles pointing away from you.
Once the container is full, close and lock the lid. Then, place that container in the saved plastic bag (from the shipping container) that’s inside the cardboard shipping box.
3. Seal contents and prepare box for mailing – Seal the bag (with the container inside) that’s in the brown shipping box, which is inside the white outer shipping box. This creates triple-layer protection to prevent any material from spilling in the event of an accident.
4. Keep a record – Manifesting your waste disposal is an important step in remaining compliant. Tracking your disposal on paper ensures no waste is lost or spilled during transportation.
Begin by locating the two-part manifest tracking document in a plastic envelope on the side of the white box. Then, print your name and address in the section marked “Generator”, and sign the document.
In addition to sending the document to your medical waste disposal facility, be sure you keep a back copy for your records. Also, be sure to provide your email address when you initially order the kit. That way, when the disposal facility receives your waste, they can notify you once it’s been destroyed.
5. Mail the box to the infectious waste disposal facility – The return merchandise label is already on the box. All you need to do is follow the shipping instructions and give it to the US Postal Service.
If you’ve been apprehensive to try disposing your medical waste through the mail with one of these mail back kits, you needn’t worry. It’s a simple alternative to the standard pick up, and is just as compliant.
Also, click on the button below to see how using a mail back system can also cut your disposal costs by nearly 50 percent!
Learn how to easily track, properly handle and affordably dispose your biohazard or infectious waste.