worker destroying waste in an autoclave

A Guide to Autoclaves in the Medical Waste Industry

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. has used over 390 million tests. Plus, an average of 167 million COVID-19 vaccinations. But what happens to the medical waste and how is it safely disposed of?  The disposal of hazardous waste goes through a medical waste sterilizer before it goes to the landfill. An autoclave for waste disposal destroys bacteria through pressurized steam.
Learn more about autoclaving biological waste in the medical industry here.

What Is an Autoclave for Waste Disposal? 
An autoclave is a sterilization machine that uses heat to kill microorganisms and spores. They are typically used in healthcare industries. That’s because the majority of waste from a hospital setting contains biohazard or infectious material. Biohazard material can threaten human and animal life if not properly disposed of. That’s why a waste autoclave machine is an important process to treat waste before its final disposal. Most medical waste autoclave manufacturers have the training to provide the safe removal of your waste products.

What Is the Process of Autoclaving Biological Waste?
First, medical waste goes into a biohazard bin that goes inside the autoclave. Next, the autoclave fills with pressure and steam for a set period of time. This can be between 30 minutes to an hour depending on state regulations. The steam must also reach a certain temperature to kill bacteria. On average, this will be between 250° to 300°F. Afterward, the pressure releases and the temperature returns to its original setting. Now, the waste is sterile and can go into regular landfills.

What Types of Medical Waste Can Be Autoclaved? 
Autoclaves are designed to sterilize regulated medical waste. That means anything that has contaminates of blood, fluids, or infectious materials. These include:

  • Used bandages
  • Gauzes
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Used or contaminated sharps (needles, syringes, and scalpels)

Containers of sharps that are also contaminated can go through the autoclaving process. But they must be FDA-approved and only hold biohazardous sharps. Failing to label or mislabel medical waste containers can lead to significant consequences. And potential damage to the environment.

The Disposal of Hazardous Waste: What Can’t Be Autoclaved? 
Some medical waste is not suitable for autoclaving. This is because the 250° to 300°F heat is designed to process bacterial waste. Materials that you should not autoclave include:

  • Radioactive materials
  • Corrosive chemicals
  • Chemotherapy waste
  • Some expired medications
  • Pathological waste

It’s important to abide by regulations on medical waste and know what materials are suited and not suited to autoclaving.

Try MedSharps Medical Waste Sterilizer Services Today 
An autoclave for waste disposal is the safest and most effective way to rid medical waste. Do you need help with the disposal of hazardous waste? Are you tired of looking for a medical waste autoclave for sale online? Try Medsharps. They are your regulated medical waste experts. We provide our medical waste sterilizer service straight to you. We will pick up your waste in our biohazard containers. Then transport it directly to our autoclaving biological waste treatment facility.
Don’t risk improper medical waste disposal, contact us today.