Vaccination and medical waste disposal: Steam Sterilizer Autoclave


In a normal year, 16 billion injections are given worldwide. This makes up for a lot of medical waste. Unfortunately, not all used syringes and needles end up in appropriate medical waste disposal facilities.

Imagine the increase in medical waste after more than a year of COVID-19 tests and vaccines. If you know what to do with medical waste but find yourself overwhelmed after the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out, you are not alone.

Vaccinations and medical waste are nothing new for medical institutions, but we have all faced many ups and downs over the past year. Many non-emergency procedures did not happen or were delayed, but now things are heating up again and millions of people are being vaccinated.

Stay with us as we guide you through information about the dramatic increase in medical waste caused by COVID-19 and the steps being taken to properly dispose of it.

medical waste disposal,sharps container,COVID-19,steam sterilizer autoclave,clinical waste


Vaccine packaging

Vaccines arrive at your facility in packages that go into routine medical waste. However, some manufacturers have specific rules. Boxes containing the manufacturer’s vaccine vial trays and associated packaging materials need to be returned to the plant to help them meet their commitment to reusable resources.

Healthcare providers and waste management companies need to follow these protocols to maintain compliance and should contact the manufacturer for further clarification.

Syringes and empty bottles

Used syringes are placed in disposable or reusable sharps containers and disposed of as controlled clinical waste. They are either picked up or need to be mailed to a medical waste facility.

It is recommended that you place empty vials in sharp-ware containers to help “reduce potential diversion and illegal intent.” At this point, they are treated like syringes as regulated medical waste.

Whole or partial vials

If you have intact vials or residual doses (partial vials) that are damaged and cannot be administered, they need to be managed as regulated medical waste or non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste.

Other clinical waste

In addition to needles and vials, other medical waste includes gauze, gloves, cotton balls, bandages, masks and other personal protective equipment.

These items do not belong in sharps containers and can usually be disposed of as ordinary garbage. If they contain potentially infectious material, they are placed in regulated medical waste containers.

Medical waste disposal

With the increase in COVID vaccination and medical waste, make sure you comply with regulations and properly dispose of vaccine-related waste to ensure the safety of your healthcare workers. Can provide you with medical waste and biohazard waste removal, treatment and disposal of the total solution. Medical waste is disposed of through a medical waste sterilizer before entering a landfill. Autoclaves used for waste disposal destroy bacteria by pressurizing steam.

What is the process of steam sterilizer autoclave?

First, the medical waste goes into the biohazard box inside the autoclave. Next, the autoclave is filled with pressure and steam for some time. Depending on state regulations, this can be between 30 minutes and an hour. The steam must also reach a certain temperature to kill bacteria. On average, this will be between 250° and 300°F. After that, the pressure is released and the temperature is restored to its original setting. Now, the waste is sterile and can go to regular landfills.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *