What Are the 4 Major Types of Medical Waste?

June 23, 2022

Written by Owner

Numerous types of medical waste depend solely on the types of materials used and waste disposal methods. In the US, there are four major types of medical waste. Knowing how to categorize them is a critical part of their disposal process. Keep reading to learn the four major types of medical waste disposal. 

What is Medical Waste?

Before we talk about the four major types of medical waste, we need to make sure that you understand what medical waste is. The World Health Organization defines medical waste as “all forms of waste generated by health care facilities.” 

Any object (for example, bandages, syringes, bedsheets, etc.) that have come into contact with any form of bodily fluid is considered to be potentially infectious and hazardous. These objects and others are separated into the following major types of medical waste:

1.General Waste

General medical waste is not usually considered hazardous. This type of waste includes paper, plastic, and office waste. This type of waste can be disposed of regularly and doesn’t require any special handling. 

2.Infectious Waste

Infectious waste includes any waste that could be infectious to humans, animals, and the environment. This type of waste includes blood, human tissue, or anything contaminated with bodily fluids like bandages, gloves, and sharps. Each state in the US has different strict guidelines for storing, transporting, and disposing of these wastes. 

3.Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is not considered infectious to humans, but it’s still dangerous. Sharps are also found in this category as long as they haven’t been used. Chemicals such as solvents, mercury in thermometers, and lead in paint are also part of this category. 

4. Radioactive Waste 

As the name suggests, radioactive waste is any waste containing radioactive material. You can find this type of waste in radioactive treatments like chemotherapies. Medical equipment that uses nuclear elements is also considered radioactive waste. 

The Importance of Licensed Medical Companies 

A random person shouldn’t collect medical waste in your healthcare facility. Proper medical waste disposal requires licensed medical waste disposal services. 

Here at USA Bio Care, we have numerous certifications, including OSHA, EPA, and HAZMAT. With our expertise, you’ll make sure your staff and your entire healthcare facility are protected from the risks of improper medical waste disposal. Read more now about our services. 


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