The eyes are an integral part of our body. With the development of specialised eye care clinics all around the world, people can now take proper care of this all-important organ. Britain, like the other parts of the world, has a fair share of ophthalmology clinics. And with all these clinics operating, they generate tons of eye clinic waste each day that demands proper disposal. 

If you own or manage an eye-care clinic, you need to have sound knowledge of the laws and regulations of ophthalmic waste disposal. If you lack the knowledge then don’t worry. We’ll be sharing our expert’s take on ophthalmic healthcare waste management. So, stay tuned till the end. 

Types of Eye Care Clinic Waste

The eyes are a tiny component of our body. Then what’s all the fuss about the waste generation treating this small part? Well, make no mistake, treating tiny organs generates thousands of tonnes of waste. For example, 780 million contact lenses are discarded each year in the UK. 

Following is a general overview of waste produced in eye care clinics:

  • Sharps Waste: Needles, syringes, and scalpels are common sightings in eye clinics. No eye surgery is done without the one-time-use sharp objects. 
  • Biohazard Waste: Waste that threatens with the risk of contamination can be found in eye care clinics. These are usually bodily fluids and lab culture samples. 
  • Pharmaceutical Waste: Eye treatment is incomplete without consumable medicines and eye drops. And these medicines may pose a threat to the environment once they expire. 
  • Anatomical Waste: Cataract surgeries often produce various anatomical wastes. On average, 0.25 kg of waste is produced in each phacoemulsification procedure. 
  • General Waste: And finally, like any other facility, eye clinics generate the usual kind of non-clinical waste like washroom waste. 

Challenges in Eye Clinic Waste Disposal

Healthcare waste demands special attention in its disposal. Incorrect methods of healthcare waste storage and disposal can lead to the unintentional release of pathogens and toxic pollutants into our environment. If dumped in landfills, it can contaminate groundwater sources. Even some incineration practices of low temperature burning might now result in proper disposal of waste. 

This is why clinical waste disposal in the UK requires compliance with a number of laws. The Environment Protection Act, the Controlled Waste Regulations, and the Hazardous Waste Regulations are some of the laws that set out the path of clinical waste management

How to Manage Ophthalmic Waste

Managing eye clinic waste begins with lowering waste production. It can be achieved by carefully selecting consumables and the process flow of each treatment. Alongside that, proper handling and segregation is a must for achieving waste management safety standards. Following is a run-down of each process of eye clinic waste management. 

Segregation

Segregation of waste is the first step toward healthcare waste disposal. It is the key to effective management of waste. No matter how the waste is going to get disposed of, it is crucial to separate the different types of waste at the point of production. 

Storage

All types of medical waste must be kept in safe storage till picked up by a licensed waste contractor. By safe storage, we mean sturdy and puncture-resistant waste bins and bags with labels describing the type of waste. 

Carriage

Waste transportation is the next step where the waste gets carried away from a healthcare facility to an off-site treatment facility. This is where waste management services come into play, as disposing of waste through these services is much more effective and cost-efficient. 

Disposal

High-temperature incineration is the widely-followed method for most healthcare waste disposal. It requires special settings and trained professionals to achieve a perfect result through incineration. Other low-cost waste disposal techniques are protected pits and electrically powered needle destroyers for sharps waste

End Note

Managing eye care clinic waste is not an undertaking that can be bestowed upon anyone. Disposing of waste in compliance with laws requires proper knowledge and the right set of tools you can only get from a licensed waste management team. Trikon Clinical Waste Management is a trusted name in this space serving numerous companies all around the UK. Get in touch with Trikon for all sorts of waste disposal needs.

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