Safe Disposal of Home-generated Medical Waste
DEP provides guidelines for safe disposal in municipalities
June 6, 2012
Franklin Memorial Hospital no longer accepts home-generated medical waste, such as insulin syringes or lancets (sharps) from community members for disposal due to safety concerns. However, area towns have systems in place so that those who generate this type of waste can safely dispose of them in municipal trash by following proper procedures.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has established the procedures below for safe disposal of household medical waste:
ï‚§ Deposit used sharps in a rigid, puncture-resistant container with a tight fitting screw-on cap, such as an empty laundry detergent jug. (Milk jugs and glass containers are not acceptable as they are easily punctured or easily broken).
ï‚§ When container is full, secure the lid tightly.
ï‚§ Tape the lid with strong tape, such as duct tape to prevent accidental opening.
ï‚§ Add another strip of tape across the body of the container and with a permanent marker write “Do Not Recycle.”
ï‚§ The container can now be placed in a regular trash bag (except for Jay residents).
The only exception to the measures outlined above affects Jay residents. The Jay transfer station requires that sharps’ containers be turned in separately from regular trash at the transfer station, or for residents who utilize curbside pick up, add “sharps” to the do not recycle label on the container.
“We are committed to helping our patients and others safely dispose of their home-generated medical waste. Informational cards regarding safe disposal can be found in all our facilities and medical practices,” said Sarah Tanguay, manager of environmental services at Franklin Memorial Hospital. “Proper disposal of used sharps keeps everyone safe including children, pets, family and community members, and sanitation workers.”
For more information call your local town office, transfer station, or landfill, or visit the Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management Web site: http://www.maine.gov/dep/waste/biomedical/iphousehold.html
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