Continuously expanding health care industry supported by growing population has led to the generation of substantial amount of medical waste globally each year. The medical waste problem continues to grow in the U.S. due to introduction of new drugs or medical devices. Thus, in order to ensure safety from hazardous and controlled medical waste, several government organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are constantly engaged in working toward proper disposal of medical or pharmaceutical waste in the country. According to statistics provided by the DEA, as of September 2010, the organization collected over 4.1 million pounds (over 2,100 tons) of prescription drugs across 50 states in the U.S. These efforts would in turn ease the path for end-users to dispose medical or pharmaceutical waste, leading to market growth. Various government organizations are looking for solutions to waste management problems. Several non-government organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) are stepping in to help hospitals or other health care facilities to recycle and dispose of medical waste.
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The medical waste management market has been categorized into two major types: medical waste management and pharmaceutical waste management. The medical waste management segment has been further categorized into type and service. Based on type, the medical waste management segment has been sub-segmented into sharps waste, infectious and pathological waste, non-infectious waste, radioactive waste, and pharmaceutical waste. Of these, the non-infectious waste sub-segment accounted for the largest share of the medical waste management segment in the U.S. in 2014. Dominance of this sub-segment is due to rising awareness programs by private or government bodies to manage non-infectious waste streams. However, increasing demand for infectious waste management due to its harmful results for organizations is likely to drive the segment. Therefore, the infectious waste management segment is expected to expand at the fastest growth rate during the forecast period.
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In terms of service, medical waste management has shown high degree of adaptability in collection, transportation and storage, waste treatment, and disposal method. These services are routinely used in daily medical practice by professionals. Hospitals find medical waste management services to be increasingly profitable, as the reach of the services has improved significantly over the years due to the advent of new collection, transportation, storage, treatment, and disposal services. Of all these segments, the disposal segment accounted for the largest share of the medical waste management market in the U.S. The medical waste management market, based on type, was valued at US$ 5,892.7 Mn in 2014 and is projected to reach US$ 7,994.6 Mn in 2023, expanding at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2023.
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The pharmaceutical waste management segment has been classified based on three different parameters: type (hazardous and non-hazardous), category (controlled and uncontrolled), and substance generator (hospitals, manufacturers, clinical lab, physician office, and reverse distributors). Based on type, the hazardous sub-segment accounted for the smallest share of the pharmaceutical waste management segment in terms of revenue in 2014. Based on category, the uncontrolled sub-segment dominated the pharmaceutical waste management segment in 2014. The trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period owing to constant efforts by the U.S. Government to spread awareness among the population about safe disposal of uncontrolled pharmaceuticals. In terms of substance generator, the pharmaceutical waste management segment has been categorized into hospitals, physician offices, clinical laboratories, manufacturers, and reverse distributors. The hospitals sub-segment accounted for the largest share of the pharmaceutical waste management segment in terms of revenue due to increasing demand for disposal of various controlled or uncontrolled pharmaceuticals.
Key players profiled in the medical waste management market study are Clean Harbors, Inc., Republic Services, Inc., Sharps Compliance, Inc., Stericycle, Inc., Suez Environmental Services, US Ecology, Inc., Veolia Environmental Services, and Waste Management, Inc.
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