In this post, we’re looking specifically at black containers and their use in the medical field.
Our Medical Waste Segregation Series is taking a closer look at the color-coding system used for collection containers in the field.
Color-coded containers not only help distinguish what type of waste is inside but it also keeps health workers, those responsible for cleaning the facilities and waste disposal companies safe and compliant throughout the process.
In this post, we’re looking specifically at black containers and their use in the field. This color is reserved specifically for waste that’s referred to as waste that is RCRA-classified hazardous waste.
RCRA stands for “Resource Conservation and Recovery Act” which is a law put in place by Congress in the early 70s to govern the disposal of solid and hazardous waste after much of the environment was becoming overrun with the harmful waste.
Solid waste according to the EPA includes garbage made up of solids, semi-solids, liquids, and contained gaseous materials.
For solid waste to be hazardous, it must present a problem to humans or the environment due to its toxicity, reactivity, corrosivity or ability to be ignited.
For medical waste segregation, black containers are used around hospitals, exam rooms and in the laboratory to hold waste such as medications of all doses and amounts, P-listed drugs (those that are acutely toxic), bulk chemo and pathological waste, which must only be sent for incineration to properly get rid of it.
Failure to comply with the color-coding system for waste segregation won’t just put the public, workers, and the environment at risk, it can also result in penalties. Check with your local government or a trusted waste disposal company for any specific medical waste rules in your area.
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