Dental & Medical
6 things that medical (and dental) clinics can recycle
July 26, 2016
Medical clinics are dedicated to improving health, but in the process they sometimes need to use items that contain hazardous materials. It’s therefore critical that health facilities understand what the hazards are, and ensure that they are managed in a safe way.
Front of mind will be things like sharps and potentially infectious materials, but in medical and dental clinics there are other wastes that need to be carefully disposed of. Fortunately, effective and safe recycling options exist for many of them.
Here is a list of things that medical and dental clinics can recycle:
1. Thermometers and sphygmomanometers
As clinics go digital, old, mercury-containing thermometers and sphygmomanometers can easily be slipped into a storeroom and forgotten about. However, they contain large amounts of mercury and, until proper disposal, there’s always the chance of accidental breakage and mercury spillage. If these items are no longer required, the best option is to recycle them.
2. Dental amalgam
While awareness of the problems of flushing dental amalgam into the sewer or dumping it in landfill is growing, there is still a way to go in achieving a 100% recycling rate. However, effective recycling schemes mean that a 100% recycling rate is highly achievable.
3. X-ray films
X-ray films epitomise medicine, and the good news is that toxicity isn’t such a problem in this case. Rather, older style x-ray films and the chemicals used to process them can easily be recycled.
Fluorescent lights (tubes and compact fluorescent lamps) contain mercury. While the amounts may be small per tube, the vast number disposed of each year makes lighting a significant source of mercury pollution. Mercury-containing lighting can be safely recycled, with glass, metal and phosphor powder, as well as the mercury, all put to new uses.
Batteries power a growing number of devices found in medical clinics, and it’s easy to ensure that they are all safely recycled.
Electronic equipment abounds in medical clinics, and with rapid advances in technology it may quickly become obsolete. Whether it’s computers or more specialised equipment, electronic components contain several nasties including mercury, lead and cadmium, along with precious metals like gold and silver. E-waste is a rapidly growing problem, and effective recycling is the best solution.
Looking for a recycling solution for your medical clinic’s waste problem? Ecocycle specialises in recycling mercury-containing equipment and waste, x-rays, electronic waste and batteries. Call us on 1300 32 62 92 or fill out the form below to find out how we can help responsibly recycle your waste.