What Is Red Bag Waste?

In part I of our red bags series, we discussed why medical facilities use red bags for biohazardous waste. Red bags are just one of the allowed methods for containment of medical waste, and what goes in them is not the same as what goes in a sharps container or other medical waste bins.

Red bag waste is biohazardous, or waste that is potentially infectious. It is also known as regulated medical waste and biohazardous waste.

What goes in that red bag?

Red bag waste has had contact with a potential infectious agent and must be disposed of in a red biohazard waste bag. This includes:

  • blood soaked items
  • gauze
  • bandages
  • specimen cups
  • items containing dried blood or other fluids
  • gloves, gowns, intravenous bags
  • soft plastic items
  • table paper
  • personal protective equipment

Once red bag waste is ready for disposal, it cannot go into the regular trash.

Generally, a waste management company that specializes in regulated medical waste, such as RedBags.com will take the waste off site and destroy the potential for harm from it. Because this waste has been contaminated by potentially infectious materials, it needs to be destroyed through an autoclave. An autoclave is like an oven that is heated to approximately 300 degrees. All regulated medical waste is placed inside for about one hour to destroy any harmful materials.

After it’s been treated in this way, the waste is then ready to go to a landfill. In other cases, this type of waste is sent to an incinerator.

Per OSHA, it is the employer’s responsibility to determine the existence of medical waste, and to ensure that it is using proper packaging, such as red bags for biohazardous waste.

For more information about what constitutes this kind of waste, how to properly dispose of it, or how to select a reputable medical waste management company, contact Red Bags to discuss service options.

 

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