Safely Removing Medical Waste and Other Regulated Waste

When it comes to removing medical waste waste, it is important to know that there are four major types of medical waste that need to be dealt with. These include: Infectious, hazardous, radioactive and general. By understanding these various forms and considering your needs, you will be better able to determine which type of medical waste containers are best to meet your needs.

Infectious Waste

Infectious waste is waste that has the possibility of causing infections to humans. This can include human or animal tissue, including blood or other body parts. It also includes items such as:

  • Blood-soaked bandages
  • Cultures
  • Discarded surgical gloves
  • Stocks
  • Swabs to inoculate cultures

Much of the waste that falls into this category may also be pathological waste, which means it contains either known of suspected pathogens.

Hazardous Waste

Waste that could potentially affect humans in a non-infectious way is referred to as hazardous waste. While it is not going to affect humans in an infectious way, this type of waste meets federal guidelines for hazardous waste according to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Some of the waste that falls into this category is medical waste, such as:

  • Sharps (an object that can puncture or lacerate the skin)
  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Scalpels
  • Lancets
  • Culture dishes

Hazardous waste can also include chemicals, both industrial and medical, as well as certain items that can be considered infectious depending upon its usage and exposure to human or animal tissue prior to being discarded. These items include old drugs and chemotherapy agents.

Radioactive Waste

Radioactive waste is waste that can be generated from cancer therapies, nuclear medicine treatments and medical equipment that uses radioactive isotopes. Pathological waste that is contaminated with radioactive material may be treated under this category rather than as infectious waste.

General Waste

At least 85 percent of all waste generated at medical facilities is considered to be general waste. General waste is no different from general office or household waste. As such, it includes items such as liquids, paper and plastics that do not fit in the other three categories.

Handling Pathological Waste

While pathological waste is included in these categories, it is also designated separately due to the potential psychological impact it could have on observers. Waste that comes from a living organism is typically pathological waste. This includes recognizable tissue, body parts and organs from humans and animals. Materials that have been removed from the body during surgery and solids and fluids that are removed during autopsies are considered to be pathological waste. Teeth, however, are not included in this category. This type of waste is almost always treated by incineration.

Regulated Waste

The term “regulated waste” is used to refer to bodily fluid waste as addressed in safety standards and procedures described by OSHA. OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requires businesses to have an Exposure Control Plan in place to protect workers and minimize the chances of transmission of hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV. OSHA requires that regulated waste be placed in closable containers.

Exploring Aluminum Recycling

With the help of aluminum producers and recyclers, the public and other businesses are able to enjoy curbside and industrial recycling services. While there are many items that can be recycled, aluminum recycling is one of the most common types of recycling. Aluminum can be recycled from a variety of areas, including soda cans, wire, window frames, tubing and electronics. Yet, despite the fact that aluminum is so commonly recycled, many people know very little about this material. Here is a look at some interesting facts that you might not know about aluminum and aluminum recycling.

Aluminum is Valuable

In addition to being the most recyclable of all recyclable materials, aluminum is also more valuable than other items in the recycle bin. Yet, despite the value of this material, Americans throw away nearly $1 billion worth of aluminum every year.

On the whole, the recycling rate in the United States is just at about 67 percent, with the aluminum industry paying out more than $800 million a year for recycled cans. Each of these recycled cans helps to reduce the overall toll of the aluminum industry on the environment, as recycling just one can saves enough energy to listen to one full album on an iPod. This is because recycling saves more than 90 percent of the energy that is required to produce new metal.

The History of Aluminum Recycling
Aluminum recycling has been in practice for many years in the United States. In fact, aluminum foil played a vital role in the defense effort during WWII, with families encouraged to save stripes of foil. In many towns, the foil balls could be exchanged for goods and services such as being admitted for free to the movie theater. Government-sponsored ads, radio shows, posters and pamphlets urged Americans to contribute to these aluminum scrap drives.

Recycling Aluminum

A number of different methods are used to recycle aluminum. Curbside and municipal programs are the most commonly recognized methods for recycling, with these programs recycling items such as aluminum foil, beverage cans, pie pans and baking trays. The aluminum industry supports the Recycling Partnership, which is dedicated to helping to increase participating in curbside recycling programs.

Building and automotive parts are also collected for recycling. More than 90 percent of the aluminum in building and automotive parts is recycled when it is no longer in use.

Regardless of how the aluminum is collected, it is all sent to aluminum recyclers who then melt down the aluminum so it can be used in the secondary production process. The melted aluminum can then be recycled directly back into itself to be used over and over again. As a result, nearly 75 percent of all aluminum produced in the United States is still in use today.

Since aluminum can be reused in a closed loop process, it pays for itself to be recycled. As such, the demand for aluminum continues to be high. Therefore, not only does aluminum recycling help to protect the environment, but it also increases the ability to increase profits.

Creating an Effective Ad for Your Advertising Receptacle

Placing an advertisement on an advertising receptacle can be an effective way to build brand loyalty and to gain new customers. When creating a sign for your receptacle, however, it is important to keep a few tips in mind to help ensure the greatest success from your ad campaign.

Tip #1: Take New Photos

Rather than using stock photos that your customers have likely seen over and over again, spend a little more money and invest the time in having a photo taken just for your ad. An eye-catching photo that truly captures the essence of your business will go a long way toward helping you create the image you wish to develop.

Tip #2: Don’t Make Your Logo a Feature

While your logo should be incorporated into your ad, you should avoid using it as the main feature of your ad. Including it will help to increase brand recognition, but there is no need to make your logo the main feature of your ad. Instead, focus on the message that you wish to convey to your target market.

Tip #3: Utilize Your Space

Your ad should utilize all of the space that is available without cutting it off so that parts of it cannot be seen. Get the exact dimension of the display window of your receptacle so you can be sure to get the exact dimensions for your ad. With this information, you can tailor your ad to be exactly the right size. If in doubt, add a border around the ad as filler. This way, if part of the ad is cut off, you will only lose part of the border. On the other hand, if there is more visible space than you anticipated, the border will help to frame the ad in an attractive manner.

Tip #4: Keep Words Minimal

An advertisement on the side of a trash receptacle should not be filled with numerous words. Keep any words short, simple and to the point. Remember, the idea is to capture your market’s interest so they will contact you to learn more, not to cram as much information as possible on to your ad.

Tip #5: Consider the Receptacle Placement

The location of the receptacle on which you are advertising will have an impact on the final design and message that you try to convey with your advertisement. An ad on a receptacle at a public park, for example, will reach a different type of audience than an ad on a receptacle at a car repair shop. Consider who will be likely to see your ad and create your advertisement with that target audience in mind. If you wish to advertise on multiple receptacles, you may need to create a different ad for each receptacle in order to best reach your target audience.

At Securr, we have many different types of advertising receptacles available, including convenience store and gas station island advertising trash cans & recycling bins. For those who are just looking for the basics, we also have logo trash cans & recycle bins available.

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner, you may be feeling quite excited about the upcoming parties, costumes and treats. While Halloween is certainly a very fun time of the year, it also has the potential for creating a whole lot of unnecessary waste that can be easily avoided with a little forethought and planning. Here are some ways to get into the Halloween spirit while still doing your part to keep the planet clean.

Tip #1: Use Eco-Friendly Candy Collectors

Rather than purchase a plastic candy container that will likely be thrown away after the holiday is over, consider using a pillowcase instead. A pillowcase can be easily washed and put back to its original use after the trick-or-treating is over. It is also capable of holding plenty of candy and is not likely to break or form a hole while walking from house to house.

If you don’t want to risk ruining a pillowcase or if a pillowcase seems to cumbersome for your child, you can make your own candy container by cutting the top off of a milk jug and decorating it before heading out for trick-or-treating. With the help of a permanent marker and a little creativity, you can transform your milk jug into a jack-o-lantern or a friendly ghost. After trick-or-treating is over, you can put your milk jug in your recycling container along with all of your other recyclables.

Tip #2: Make Your Own Costume

Halloween costumes are often made of cheap material and are worn only once. Rather than spend the money on something that you will just throw away at the end of the day, consider creating your own costume from items that you already have at home. This is also a great way to create a unique costume that others are not likely to have. For example, you can transform yourself into a jellyfish by attaching strips of bubble wrap to the outside of an umbrella and carrying it over your head. Or, use cardboard boxes to transform yourself into a robot or even a sand castle.

Tip #3: Create Decorations from Trash

You might be surprised by the great decorations that you can create from items that you would otherwise throw away. Jars from spaghetti sauce, pickles and other food items can be cleaned out and painted with Halloween décor. Add a candle inside to create a spooky glow. Creating your decorations beforehand can be a fun family activity that adds a personal touch to your holiday.

Tip #4: Recycle Candy Wrappers

Rather than throw away all of the candy wrappers from Halloween, challenge the family to save them. Once all of the candy is consumed, look into programs such as Terracycle to recycle your wrappers rather than send them to the landfill. Or, if you are feeling extra creative, look for ways to use your wrappers to create something new.

At Securr, we offer a number of different receptacles that are meant for recycling. Whether you need smaller receptacles or large multistream recycle bins, we are sure to have an option for you.

Keep Track of Towels with the Towel Return Station from Securr

 

For schools or other businesses that issue towels to clients, such as gyms with pool areas and hotels or resorts with swimming pools, keeping track of towels can be an arduous task. Not only do you want your students, clients or customers to be able to easily access the towels that they need, but you also want to ensure the clean towels are easily available while the used towels are safely put away and easily accessible for collection. With the help of a Towel Return Station from Securr, you can easily achieve all of these goals!

Keeping the Towels Where You Need Them

The concept of the Towel Return Station is quite simple. Set up in a way that is similar to the traditional trash can, the Towel Return Station has a slot at the top where used towels can be easily placed inside of the locked bin. Above this slot, the Towel Return Station features a small shelf where clean towels can be placed for easy retrieval. If you prefer to keep clean towels in another location where they need to be checked out through a staff member, the shelf can be used for signage or for placement of other items that clients or students may need, such as swim caps or goggles.

Retrieving Towels with Ease

Towels that are placed inside of the Towel Return Station are safely locked away so they cannot be stolen, accidentally used or otherwise tampered with. When you are ready to retrieve the towels for cleaning, the entire front panel of the container swings open so you can easily reach the towels without having to stand or bend in an awkward or uncomfortable position.

Quality You Can Trust

The Towel Return Station from Securr is made from corrosion resistant steel and powder coated in the color of your choice at no extra charge. Available colors include black, fir green, forest brown, olive green, sky blue and white. The corrosion resistant steel and powder coating helps to ensure the wet towels do not slowly cause damage to the inside of the Towel Return Station over time.

Standing 46 inches tall with a 20-inch width and a 20-inch length, this Towel Return Station weighs 175 pounds. The size of the station makes it small enough to fit just about anywhere that it is needed without taking up an unnecessarily large amount of space. On the other hand, the station has a large enough capacity to hold plenty of towels so you are not constantly needing to empty it for more space.

Backed by a one-year warranty, the Towel Return Station comes complete with the words “Towel Return” written on the front. By selecting a color for your Towel Return Center that is different from the color of the trash and recycling receptacles at your school or business, you can further help to differentiate this bin from others that you may have. Contact Securr Trash today to learn more about how you can use these bins or how you can qualify for discounted rates!

Securing and Destroying Confidential Documents

Whether you work for a school, a government agency or other place where confidential documents needs to be properly disposed, developing a system for secure removal and disposal is essential. Not only is this important in terms of maintaining the privacy of other people, but mishandling confidential information can lead to a lawsuit and a whole host of other problems for your business or organization. Therefore, it is essential to consider all of your options when developing a plan for disposing of sensitive documents.

Disposal by Shredding

Shredding is the most common method for disposing of sensitive documents. There are six levels of security for shredding:

  • Security Level 1: For shredding of general internal documents – Strip-Cut of 3/8” or Cross-Cut between 3/8” x 1 1/2” and 3/8” x 3 1/8”
  • Security Level 2: For shredding sensitive internal documents – Strip-Cut of 1/8” or 1/4”
  • Security Level 3: For shredding confidential documents – Strip-Cut of 1/16” or Cross-Cut of 1/4″ x 1/8″
  • Security Level 4: For shredding secret documents – Cross-Cut of 1/16” x 5/8”
  • Security Level 5: For shredding of top secret documents that are DOD approved – Cross-Cut of 1/32” x 1/2″
  • Security Level 6: For shredding of top secret documents that are NSA/CSS approved – Cross-Cut of 1mm x 5mm (approximately 1/26” x 1/5”)

While most office supply stores do not list shredders according to their security level, they do list the dimensions of the cut. It should also be noted that some government shredders that fall within the Securty Level 5-6 range are called disintegrators. These are very large machines that are also capable of destroying microfilm, hard drives, cell phones and other similar items.

Disposal by Burning

Other than shredding, it is possible to dispose of sensitive documents by burning. By burning documents, you eliminate the possibility of the documents being reconstructed. To security dispose of documents in this way, you should use a Burn Bag, which is simply a bag that is designated to get incinerated each day or whenever you otherwise schedule the disposal of the documents. Burn bags can also be used in conjunction with a shredder, with the documents shredded before they are incinerated. Not only does this help increase the security before the items are burned, but it also assists with the actual burning process.

Prior to shredding or incinerating your documents, you may need a safe place to store the items. At Securr, we offer a Document Control Cart Enclosure that is specifically designed to keep sensitive documents secure. This sturdy steel enclosure comes with a rolling poly cart inside that can be easily removed for transport of the contents. Fire can be contained inside the enclosure in order to meet indoor safety requirements, while the two-point locking mechanism further ensures security.

The Document Control Enclosure from Securr is available in 32 gallon, 65 gallon and 95 gallon varieties. Contact us today to learn more about your options for securely storing sensitive documents or for more information about how you can enjoy discounted prices by purchasing your items in bulk.

Starting a Recycling Program in Your School

With hundreds of students and adults passing through their halls every day, schools are a great place to implement a recycling program. While most rely heavily on computers and no longer waste nearly as much paper as they once did, recycling programs can be used to address the waste of plastic, aluminum, glass, cardboard and the other paper products that are still used in schools. For those schools that are interested in starting a recycling program, here are a few simple tips for getting one going.

Get Support for the Program

No recycling program will be successful if it is not backed by the administration, the custodial staff and other teachers in the building. Therefore, before you put a recycling program in place, it is a good idea to meet with others in your school in order to get their feedback and support. Not only will these individuals be able to provide suggestions in terms of how to run the program, but getting them involved in the planning process will help ensure that they continue to support the program after it is in place.

Identify Recycling Areas

Once you have gathered together a team to assist with developing your recycling program, you will need to determine where you will place your recycling containers. Many schools have simple bins placed in each classroom, but recycling containers can also be placed in the cafeteria, near athletic fields and in any other area where groups of people may gather within the building.

Obtain Recycling Containers

By contacting local businesses, you may be able to find a company that is willing to sponsor the purchase of recycling containers for your school. Once the funds have been acquired, recycling bins and containers can be purchased from Securr. We offer a variety of different cans and bins that are ideal for use in the school. Among these are:

By offering a variety of different sizes and styles, we make it possible for you to find the containers to best suit the needs of your school and the recycling program that you have developed.

Locate a Recycling Center

After collecting your recycled goods, you need to determine where you will take the items to be recycled. If you form a recycling club, you may be able to bring in some money for your school by having students sort out the aluminum cans so they can be delivered to a recycling center that will pay for the cans. If you do not have the resources or space available for collecting aluminum cans, look into the programs that your community has to offer. Many communities have an area where recycling can be dropped off at no cost and with no need to sort the recyclable items.

5 Tips for Enjoying a Safe Camping Trip

Camping can be a great way to spend time in the great outdoors, but there are also certain dangers associated with camping that can quickly bring an end to your fun. To ensure you have a good time when camping, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind.

Tip #1: Implement Safe Fire Practices

Building a fire is an important part of any camping trip. Not only will it keep you warm, but it is also useful for cooking meals and for enjoying traditional campfire treats such as s’mores. When building a fire, be sure to avoid setting up under low trees and never leave the fire unattended. Before going to bed, make sure the fire is extinguished completely. If you used a grill with coals, check to see if the park or campground has hot coal containers where the coals can be safely tossed away.

Tip #2: Practice Animal Safety

When camping in the outdoors, you are sharing your space with a wide variety of animals. While wild animals generally are not interested in harming humans, accidentally frightening one or inadvertently tempting one with food can lead to trouble. Never approach a wild animal and be sure to make some noise while hiking so you do not accidentally sneak up on an animal. Food should be stored indoors or hung from trees in order to keep it away from bears, while trash should be tossed in bear-safe receptacles.

Tip #3: Stay Hydrated

It is easy to get caught up in all of the fun of camping that you forget to drink plenty of water. Yet, dehydration can lead to sickness that will put an immediate end to your fun. Since you will be spending time outdoors under the sun, your body will need even more water than usual. Keep a water bottle near you at all times and take a few drinks every hour, even if you aren’t feeling particularly thirsty.

Tip #4: Wear Bug Spray

Not only are bugs a nuisance, but some of their bites and stings can lead to serious health issues. Keep yourself safe while reducing your risk of lime disease or other conditions by putting on bug spray. One full-body spritz is enough to keep you protected from bugs throughout the night.

Tip #5: Be Aware of Poisonous Plants

If you are sticking to well-maintained trails, you likely will not encounter poisonous plants such as poison ivy. Nonetheless, even in well-maintained areas, there is always the risk of coming into contact with these plants. Therefore, it is important to learn how to identify the poisonous plants in the area where you are camping so you can be sure to avoid them. Keep an eye on children to ensure they are not coming into contact with or ingesting plants that could be dangerous to them.

By keeping these simple safety tips in mind, you will significantly increase your chance of staying safe and creating nothing but positive memories on your camping trip!

Simple Ways to Help Fight Climate Change: Part 2

As part of this two-part series exploring ways that you can help prevent climate change, we have mostly explored steps that you can take at home. In this second part, we will explore how to help outside of your home and within your community.

Explore Alternative Transportation Options

Finding ways to leave your car at home when going to work or running errands can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Walking whenever possible is the cleanest option. In addition, you will enjoy many health benefits with this simply option! Riding your bicycle is another option that is becoming increasingly easier to do with many communities adding bike lanes and paths for residents to enjoy.

If walking, riding a bike or using public transportation is not an option, you can still keep your waste down by properly maintaining your vehicle. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that you can improve your gas mileage by an average of 0.6 percent by ensuring your tires are properly inflated. In some cases, you can improve gas mileage by as much as three percent. A loose, cracked or damaged gas cap will also allow gas to escape from your tank as vapor, so be sure your gas cap is in good shape and always turn it until it clicks a few times to ensure it is properly in place.

Take Your Own Shopping Bags

Plastic bags take hundreds of years to break down, during which time they are contaminating soil and waterways. In addition, plastic bags require a significant amount of energy to produce. To help reduce the number of plastic bags that are used throughout the country, consider taking your own shopping bags when you go shopping.

Plant a Tree

Whether on your property or in a community lot, look for ways to add more trees to the area around you. Not only do trades offer shade and a peaceful place to rest, but they also help to clean the air while putting more oxygen back into it. Explore your community and look for other places where you can add more trees and create greenspace for community members to enjoy while also helping to reduce the carbon footprint of your neighborhood.

Start Recycling Programs

If your community does not have a recycling program, talk to your legislators about getting one started. If a recycling program is in place, look for ways to get more residents to participate. You can do this in part by simplifying the process of collecting recyclables and making it an important part of your community. One way to accomplish this goal is to install Securr recycling receptacles in city parks, on the street and businesses. With the option to place logos on the bins, you can seek out business partners to serve as sponsors to help pay for the bins and their collection in exchange for the advertisement the bins can provide for their business.

Simples Ways to Help Fight Climate Change: Part 1

Taking steps to protect the environment is an important part of ensuring the Earth continues to a place to sustain life for thousands of years to come. As part of this two-part series, you will learn more about how you can help fight climate change as well as how Securr can help with that fight.

Get a Home Energy Audit

Conducting a home energy audit will help you learn more about how much energy you use in your home while also providing you with tips for reducing your energy consumption. Most homeowners cut their energy bills by anywhere from 5 to 50 percent after having a home energy audit conducted.

Use Clean Energy Options

Adding solar panels to your home is an excellent way to reduce your fossil fuel consumption. A growing number of solar panel options specifically designed for residential use are becoming available, including color panels that can be placed on your roof. You can also ask your utility company about buying clean electricity, as some offer clean alternatives to their customers. While you may have to pay slightly more for this electricity, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint while also helping to drive up the demand for alternative sources of energy.

Replace Your Lightbulbs

Replacing your lightbulbs with quality LED bulbs can significantly reduce the amount of energy you use while also extending the life of your bulbs. In fact, LED bulbs can last 25 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than other bulbs.

Make Smart Heating and Air Choices

A dirty filter in your HVAC system will make it work harder, thereby wasting energy. To prevent this energy loss, replace or clean your filters every three months. You can save additional energy by using a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you can set your thermostat so it goes to a lower temperature during the winter or to a higher temperature during the summer when you are not home or when you are asleep.

Upcycle and Recycle Whenever Possible

Upcycling and recycling helps to reduce energy waste by eliminating the need to create new products. Of course, it also eliminates the amount of waste in landfills, thereby further helping to keep the Earth clean. There are many resources online with great ideas for upcycling projects, including those that involve making fun and interesting furniture from items that you would normally throw away. You can also recycle items other than plastics, papers and glass. For example, some retailers have recycling programs available for recycling clothing. With the average American throwing away almost 80 pounds of clothing per year, you can reduce your waste while also helping others when you choose to recycle your clothing instead.

To make recycling easier, Securr offers a number or bins and containers that are specifically designed for use with recycling programs. We also have clothing collection bins that can make it easier for you to collect and recycle clothing. From recycling containers with single slots to those with multiple slots to easily sort your recyclable materials, our bins come in a variety of different sizes and shapes that can be customized to meet your needs.