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Alternative Ways to Effectively Recycle Medical Waste

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Medical waste requires strict regulations that guide how medical facilities should manage their waste. Medical waste also has different management procedures compared to other industries waste. Some of these management processes are expensive and consequently increase the cost of running hospitals. Recycling can significantly reduce waste management costs but only if done right and under guidance from relevant authorities.

Not all waste generated from medical facilities can be recycled. However, some types of waste can be easily and safely recycled. About three-quarters of waste generated from hospitals is non-hazardous.

Why recycle?

Recycling can help save money and reduce waste released to the environment.

Alternative recycling tips

Recycling medical waste is a tricky and expensive process. Alternative ways such as reducing the use of non-recyclable products by replacing with recyclable and reusable products reduce the risk and cost.

Below are some alternative recycling processes:

•    Replace paper towels in washrooms with air dryers.
•    Replace disposable diapers with cloth diapers but follow sanitary regulations.
•    Recycle mattress pads, quilts, and used blankets. Use washable beddings, linens, gowns, and bed pads but follow strict sterilization procedures and guidelines on infection controls.
•    Use reusable medical instruments and washable surgical PPE and sterilization trays.
•    Procure recyclable plastic fracture pans and measuring containers.
•    Use reusable utensils, plates and cups in the cafeteria and compost kitchen waste.
•    Print double-sided papers or makes use of soft copy records.


Due to the sensitive nature of medical waste, it is not possible to recycle or reuse all medical waste. Any recycling effort should be governed by strict regulations from relevant authorities.