Small businesses (and even many larger businesses) that generate medical waste almost always have a contractor to take it away. This is not just a transportation/hauling company; it is a company that promises or purports to handle the waste responsibly. This gives the manager of the business some peace of mind. If you establish a relationship with them, these contractors might provide waste containers. They will also have preferences for packaging and storage.
The company will have a lot of legalese in their contracts to control their liability. Regardless of contract language, in the case of a release of medical waste accident or release, both the generator and the transport or storage or processing company would bear responsibility as determined by a court.
There are many possible arrangements.
Maintain good relations with your medical waste company.
Yes, you are their customer, but you should particularly avoid a legal dispute with a company that handles regulated waste, because of the liabilities involved. Ideally, you hire them to solve your problems, but if something goes wrong with the waste after it leaves your facility, the regulators may still come after you.
In the US, this industry has annual revenues of $3.9 billion. It is a growing industy due to an aging population and increasing government spending on Medicare and Medicaid. Stericycle is the biggest company in the industry with an estimated 23.9 percent market share, but there are over a hundred medical waste haulers nationwide. Concentration is low compared to many industries. This means companies must compete, and that is good for generators of medical waste.
An IBISWorld report from 2021 stated there are 158 businesses in ths industry in 421 locations throughout the US. Waste collection companies are classified under NAICS code 56211. Companies that deal with hazardous waste are 562112. "Other" waste collection is 562119. An SIC code is 4953010. Hospitals account for 43 percent of revenue to the industry according to IBIS.
Stericycle has been buying up smaller companies. Stericycle is vertically integrated, operating collection trucks and storage facilities and treating waste in their own plants. Stericycle operates in many countries, but generally does not transport waste across international borders.
The French company Veolia Environment conducts many waste management operations in the US, including collection, treatment, and disposal of medical waste
Is there an industry association for these medical waste companies? We are not aware of any such association in the United States. At one time there was a Medical Waste Management Association (MWMA) but it ended operations in 2018. Project Greenhealth is an organization for healthcare providers "committed to the integration of sustainability principles and practices".