Medical waste is broadly classified as any item that comes into contact with body fluids. Specifically, it is any solid waste that is
generated in the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of humans. This type of waste was once collected in special bags and plastic boxes
in clinical settings and then disposed of like normal trash. However, this process was quickly found to spread diseases and viruses and
potentially cause outbreaks.
Today, the red biohazardous containers and bags seen throughout hospitals and doctors' offices are used to safely remove sharps, needles,
and IV catheters that contain any human blood or bodily fluid. Medical waste also includes paper towels, wipes, gloves, syringes without
needles, bandages or dressings with small amounts of dry blood or fluid, and any other material from medical care. Syringes with needles
or sharp objects that can piece through a plastic bag require a special storage container for additional protection.
Still considered biohazardous and dangerous for the environment and the general population, this waste cannot be disposed of with
everyday trash. Licensed medical waste management companies must collect the refuse and make it safe before recycling.