The first thing you should do is take a proper microbiology course with lab and follow that with an update on infection control. You have some VERY erroneous ideas about what infection control is, how it is practiced, why certain things are done in certain ways, etc.
Let me ask you this: Without getting a culture and looking up the results, how do you know if your patient has C-diff? Hepatitis A? Candida? There is no fluid or drainage from Hepatitis A. It's just a virus on your hands.
Now consider this: You don't see any fluids or drainage from your patient and YOUR MOM is the next one to get an x-ray. Tell me how you explain to her how you know that the person before her did not contaminate that board with viral hepatitis. How do you KNOW that board is not contaminated? Which one will convince your mom to put her skin against that board: Your explanation, or covering the board with a disposable bag?
Infection control is serious business. It is, of course, admirable to want to avoid waste. But you have to do that in context. Your understanding of your context is not good enough for you to declare those bags a waste. They are not. They serve a critical purpose. If you want to improve upon that idea, then the first thing you need to do is gain a more robust understanding of the field of infection control, then apply that understanding in your area. You can't change policy if you don't understand why it exists in the first place. A better idea isn't better if you don't have a true understanding of the idea it's replacing. If you want to come up with a way to get rid of the bags, first understand how and why they do what they do in ALL cases, then ensure your solution does that good a job or better.
There is an entire department in your hospital dedicated to infection prevention and control. If you are really concerned about the waste in your area, talk to them. Your manager is concerned about waste as well. Those things cost money and any solution that can save money while maintaining or improving best practices is welcome. If it can't save money, then it had better do something else that is better than the current practice. If it can't do either, then the bags are staying.
Respiratory therapist (B.S., RRT, RPFT)
Working on my master's in nursing