Question about your practice and disposal of urine cups

  1. In your medical clinic how do you dipose of used urine cups?
    In the past I emptied the urine in the toilet and placed the used cup in a red bag. I am now working in a new clinic and they dispose of the cup filled with urine in the regular trash ( ugh) I think at the very least the urine should first be disposed of in the toilet.
    Is it acceptable to put an empty urine cup in the regular trash?
    My review of the OSHA web site states that as long as there is no visible blood the empty urine cup can be placed in the trash.
    What are you doing in your clinics?
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    About darla09

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 6; Likes: 8


  3. by   rn/writer
    I work postpartum rather than in a clinic. When we d/c Foley bags, we empty as much of the urine as possible, deflate the balloon, and put the whole shebang into the regular trash.

    The cost of trash disposal is determined by weight, so not emptying the cups/bags would increase the charge for no good reason. The rate for biohazard bags is approximately ten times that of the regular trash, so you don't want anything in there that doesn't have to be.

    Emptying the cups into the toilet and then tossing them in the regular trash makes the most sense to me.
  4. by   Stacy in North Texas
    I was recently hired in the office of an OB-GYN. The practice there is to empty the urine out of the cup and place the cups in the red bags. Urine dipsticks go in there, too.
  5. by   BSN75
    I work in Family Practice. We have a "dirty" sink where we dump all urines, then we throw all cups into the regular trash. It would be a big no-no for us to throw them in the bio-hazard bags since they cost so much more money.
  6. by   rn/writer
    The information below was taken from the OSHA website.

    Urine that does not contain visible blood is not regarded, under the standard, as blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM). Therefore, absent the patient having a medical condition that would lead to blood in the urine, containers used to collect urine would not meet the standard's definition of "regulated waste." Urine containers and pregnancy tests that do not contain visible blood would not be required to be discarded in biohazard-red labeled containers under OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard.
    Think about it--we don't throw wet or soiled diapers into biohazard bags unless there are isolation issues involved. "Fresh" urine is sterile. Even when it begins to deteriorate we don't generally regard it as infectious. Using this reasoning, while psychological squeamishness might say otherwise, disposing of empty urine cups in the regular trash is just fine. Requiring disposal into biohazard bags is an expensive and unnecessary measure.

    In this time of looking for ways to save money, facilities that have been using biohazard bags for ordinary urine cups or Foley bags might want to reconsider.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Sep 20, '09
  7. by   featherzRN
    I empty the urine out into the toilet - the urine cup goes in the regular trash.
  8. by   JD12
    This is a bit of an old topic, but trying to address urine disposal in my place of employment as there is an inconsistent way that our staff does this. If dumped in the sink, does anyone use a spray to follow the dumping in the sink?
  9. by   klone
    Quote from JD12
    This is a bit of an old topic, but trying to address urine disposal in my place of employment as there is an inconsistent way that our staff does this. If dumped in the sink, does anyone use a spray to follow the dumping in the sink?
    First, you need to make sure it's classified as a DIRTY SINK. At my clinic, the dirty sink has a hands-free sensor to turn on, so when I dump urine in there, I wave my hand at it so the water turns on for a moment afterwards.
  10. by   cayenne06
    Wait, you are saying they pour urine into a TRASH BAG? That is gross. Ew. I hope I am misunderstanding. Emptied urine cups go in the normal trash over here, but only after we dump the urine.

    eta- probably you are talking about lidded cups! I was imagining some poor staff member lugging out a trash bag sloshing with urine. In that case, yeah there's no issue with just tossing them in the trash. We do dump them, however.
  11. by   khinds87
    We are having an issue in my office where urine samples are being left overnight because the staff is forgeting to dispise of samples that dont need to go to lab. What do you do in your offices.?
  12. by   klone
    Our clinic uses an end-of-day check-off list, and disposal of urine is one of the tasks on the list that need to be completed before everyone leaves for the day.
  13. by   khinds87
    Could u be more specific? Did the checklist include all end of day dutys on one sheet. Did they hand it in to someone. I feel some staff sign off but dont actually do to we make them accountable