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FAQs

Can I get an emergency or off schedule pick-up? Answer

Yes, we can schedule an emergency or off schedule pickup. If you can wait until the next time we are in your area, you will only be billed your contract price for the pickup. If we have to send a driver out to do the pickup off route, an additional transportation  fee along with your contract pricing will be billed to your account.

Will the SWI driver go room to room and collect the red bags and full sharps containers? Answer

Unfortunately, we are unable to do this because of the time constraints of the route. When the driver arrives at your site, they can wait for a few minutes while you gather up the waste. If the wait becomes excessive, the driver will have to leave, and you will have to call the office to reschedule your pickup. We suggest that you have a central collect point where you put all the waste prior to us arriving at your site so that there is as little inconvenience to your staff as possible.

Will the SWI driver seal and tape the box and weigh it for me when they arrive to do my pickup? Answer

Yes, the driver will be more than happy to take care of that for you. We understand time is a precious commodity. The driver will also weigh the medical waste container either in your office or in their truck (every truck has a digital scale that is calibrated yearly), in order to give you an accurate accounting of the weight of your waste.

When will I get my white copy of the manifest back? Answer

The typical turn around time for the white copy of the manifest to be returned to you is approximately 10 – 14 days after your pickup is done. Normally, we send the white copy of the manifest along with your invoice to your billing address, unless other arrangements have been made.

Where should we keep our medical waste? Answer

Medical waste must be stored in a manner and location that is accessible only to authorized employees and that maintains the integrity of the packaging and provides protection from the elements and wildlife. It also must be easily accessible to the SWI driver in order to do the pickup.

What is considered an acceptable sharps container? Answer

All disposable or reusable sharp containers supplied by SWI meet or exceed OSHA, NIOSH, CDC, and JCAHO requirements. If you purchase your sharps containers from a vendor other than SWI, you will have to check with them to see if they can verify that they meet the Federal and State requirements. The Federal Government has announced that the following containers can no longer be used as sharp containers: coffee cans, milk jugs or cartons, 2 liter soda bottles and thin walled plastic containers. Any needles, syringes or sharps placed in these containers will not be picked up by the SWI driver.

How full should I fill the sharps container before replacing them? Answer

Sharps containers should never be filled more than the manufacturer’s recommended fill level. If the manufacturer has not specified a fill level, then 3/4 full is the recommended level to fill the sharps container before replacing.

What goes into the sharp containers? Answer

  • All needles and syringes
  • Hard plastic pipettes and tips
  • Glassware items including but not limited to test tubes, vials, bottles, slides, vacutainers, etc.
  • Items made of metal, razor blades, scapulas, knives, tweezers, scissors, etc.

What can’t I put into the medical waste box / hamper? Answer

  • No hazardous or radioactive waste
  • No loose liquid in excess of 20cc
  • No loose syringes or needles
  • No loose hard plastic items, such as pipettes or culture dishes
  • No glass items.

Rule of thumb: If it can puncture the red bag, it needs to be placed in a sharps container.

What can I put in the medical waste box / hamper? Answer

  • Closed and tied red bag waste
  • Closed and locked shut disposable sharps containers
  • Leak proof containers of liquid
  • Soft red bag waste, including but not limited to: gauze, table paper, blood soaked items, intravenous bags, soft plastic items, gloves, gowns, bandages, etc.
  • Chemotherapeutic and Pathological waste may be placed in separate cardboard medical waste boxes / hamper, and must adhere to the above guidelines.

What pick up frequencies does SWI offer? Answer

  • Daily
  • Three times a week
  • Twice a week
  • Once a week
  • Twice a month
  • Once a month
  • Every other month
  • Every three months
  • Every four months
  • Every six months
  • Once a year

Do the different types of waste have to be segregated? Answer

Yes, different types of waste (i.e. regulated medical waste, chemotherapeutic, and pathological) must each be placed in separate containers in order to accurately and properly manage and dispose of each type of waste correctly.

What is pharmaceutical waste? Answer

Any chemical product, vaccine or allergenic, not containing a radioactive component, that is intended for the use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or injury in humans or animals. Pharmaceutical waste assigned a P or U waste code or exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics: Corrosivity, Ignitability, Reactivity, or Toxicity are considered hazardous waste and cannot be picked up by SWI.

What is pathological waste? Answer

Human pathological wastes, including tissues, organs, and body parts and body fluids that are removed during surgery or autopsy, or other medical procedures, and specimens of body fluids and their containers.

What is chemotherapeutic waste? Answer

Waste that is contaminated through contact with or has previously contained chemotherapeutic agents, including but not limited to: gloves, gowns, towels, syringes, and intravenous solution bags and attached tubing. In order to be considered “Trace” chemotherapeutic waste, items must be “RCRA empty,” containing less than 3% by weight of the original quantity of hazardous drugs.

What is medical waste? Answer

Regulated medical waste is defined as any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment (e.g., provision of medical services), or immunization of human beings or animals, in research pertaining thereto, or in the production or testing of biologicals, but does not include any hazardous or radioactive waste.

What treatment technologies does SWI use to dispose of the waste? Answer

SWI utilizes State approved incineration and autoclave treatment technologies for the disposal of all waste types.

What types of facilities does SWI service? Answer

  • Small, medium, and large facilities
  • Animal orphanages
  • Allergists
  • Assisted Living Homes
  • Blood banks
  • Casinos
  • Clinics
  • Dentists
  • Diagnostic Centers
  • Dialysis Centers
  • Doctors
  • Endo Centers
  • Funeral Homes
  • Government Agencies
  • Health Departments
  • Hematologists / Oncologists
  • Hospitals
  • Hospital Satellite Facilities
  • Imaging Centers
  • Laboratories
  • Nursing Homes
  • OB/GYNs
  • Oral Surgeons
  • Outpatient Surgery Centers
  • Pediatricians
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
  • Physicians
  • Prisons
  • Radiology Facilities
  • Schools
  • Tattoo Parlors
  • Testing Centers
  • Urologists
  • Veterinarians

What types of waste does SWI pick up? Answer

  • Regulated Medical Waste
  • Infectious Waste
  • Red Bag Waste
  • Sharps Waste
  • Chemotherapeutic Waste
  • Pathological Waste
  • Isolation Waste
  • Pharmaceutical Waste

SWI is licensed to transport medical waste in which states? Answer

SWI is licensed to transport medical waste in Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, and Ohio.

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