Madison Environmental Resourcing, Inc. (MERI) will work with those impacted by the recent floods to destroy records contaminated by sewage water.

Jim Fitzpatrick, MERI CEO, said, “As the floodwaters recede, people may wonder what to do with moldy, infectious confidential papers and records. We can take the worry away by safely collecting, disinfecting and destroying this for them.” 

MERI is a Waunakee, WI-based medical waste disposal company. It works with hospitals and businesses throughout the Midwest to remove biohazard, hazardous and universal materials.

A licensed infectious and hazardous waste transporter, MERI also has a licensed infectious waste treatment facility. Its microwave processors sanitize and shred items to a fraction of their original size.

In addition, through its nationwide sharps mailback program, MERI provides a cost-effective solution for facilities looking to collect and safely dispose of needles.

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Bloodborne Pathogens: Test Your Knowledge.

See if you know what it takes to keep everyone safe in the workplace.

Also, be sure to keep MERI Inc.’s BIohazard Bloodspill Cleanup and Disposal Kit on hand to disinfect, document and dispose after a workplace incident.

If you want to fly a sustainability flag at your hospital or clinic surgical center, one of the easiest ways is to do it is blue wrap recycling. But if you want this to happen, you need to follow a couple simple rules when recycling your surgical blue wrap. Rules you say? It’s worth it. Diverting waste from the landfill translates to a better sustainability record and a cleaner world. We even have this free poster for you to follow to make sure you properly recycle your blue wrap.

What is Blue Wrap and How Can it Be Reused?

Blue wrap binds sterilized surgical tools to prevent contamination. Once it’s removed, don’t trash it! This heavy-duty polypropylene #5 is collected by certain waste disposal companies, like MERI to be recycled into other products, including the fiberglass that’s installed behind the bumpers of cars. One of our customers recycled almost 19,000 pounds of blue wrap – about 10 percent of its total biohazard waste.

In order for the blue wrap recycling process to work, it’s important to follow this simple rule. Blue wrap must be separated out from the rest of your medical waste. Our customers put their blue wrap into a clear plastic bag for us to collect. We do this at the same time we pick up their medical waste. 

Again, it bears repeating: Separate your blue wrap from the rest of your medical waste if you’d like it to be properly recycled. We’ve seen everything from paper towels to medical instruments and devices to knee joints. Yes, you read that correctly. They were in with the blue wrap recycling bag. If anything is in the bag that shouldn’t be, it contaminates the entire bag, and the whole bag thrown out instead of baled. Oh, and if you’re still stuck on the knee joint and don’t believe us, well, we’re going to spare you a picture of that.

Here’s a picture of something we commonly see that just won’t fly. A simple paper towel jumbled in with the blue wrap bag. The recycling center would reject the entire load if not for our MERI man Bob spotting it ahead of time and taking it out of the pile before baling.

MERI Inc.’s Bob Jones fishes out a paper towel in a pile of blue wrap

Proper Blue Wrap Recycling

The ONLY thing that should be in your clear blue-wrap bag is blue wrap or associated tape used around the blue wrap that holds the medical instruments. 

DO:

* Place only Blue wrap Associated Tape Used to Hold Medical Instruments

DON’T HAVE ANY OF THESE IN YOUR BLUE WRAP RECYCLING BAG:

  • Bodily Fluids/Blood
  • Sharps/Needles
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Infectious Materials
  • Contaminated Materials
  • Chemicals/Gloves
  • Liquids
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Medical Instruments or Medical Devices

Free Blue Wrap Poster

To educate everyone on proper blue wrap disposal, hang this poster to make it abundantly clear above your blue wrap container. Most importantly, hang it near where your blue wrap recycling bin is located.

If you’re a medical clinic or surgical center looking to improve your sustainability record, recycling blue wrap could be your answer. But remember, your efforts are only as good as making good on proper blue wrap recycling. That way, your blue wrap will get new life rather than end up in the landfill.  

infectious waste

It’s time to report your 2018 infectious waste numbers to the WI DNR. You can access the link here.  March 1, 2019 is the deadline to submit your Wisconsin facility’s 2018 infectious waste numbers.

For those who generated more than 50 lbs. of sharps and medical waste in a calendar month during 2018, this task should go more quickly now that the WI DNR has automated the process. If you did one before, a lot of the electronic fields will already be filled in for you. Be sure to check them and make any necessary changes.

Does your healthcare facility need to file an infectious waste annual report?

State law requires businesses and institutions to separate and manage infectious waste safely. It requires hospitals, clinics and nursing homes to implement plans to reduce medical waste. To verify compliance with these requirements, infectious waste generators must file a report regarding waste sent off-site for infectious waste treatment. This is also know as the “Off-site Treatment Report.” In addition, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes must file the “Medical Waste Reduction Progress Report.” The DNR’s infectious waste annual report combines both reports in the same online form.

To determine whether your facility must file the infectious waste annual report, go to dnr.wi.gov and search “infectious waste.” If you have questions, please contact Ariana Mankerian (608-266-6965).

MERI makes it easy to pull your infectious waste numbers

MERI customers can quickly get their numbers by using the online portal.  All you have to do is:
1)   log into: https://merigenesis.com
2)   Type in your customer ID (if you can’t remember it, just give us a call and we can remind you what we have on file)
3)   Enter your password. Can’t remember it? Don’t worry. You can create a new one. Just click on the green button and follow the instructions in the email that will come your way.

If you are a generator of infectious waste in Wisconsin and have not yet received an email from the DNR notifying you of instructions to ensure everything gets filed correctly, be sure to email them at DNRMedicalWaste@wisconsin.gov. This is especially important if your facility has a new contact person.

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Madison Environmental Resourcing, Inc. (MERI) will offer a RCRA/DOT Hazardous Waste Training Certification Class 5/14/2019. It will be from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at MERI’s facility at 800 Uniek Drive in Waunakee, WI.

Hospital, Medical Clinic, Facilities, Environmental Service, Plant Operations, and Safety Department employees should attend, especially those in need of RCRA/DOT Certification.

Click to register here or email this HAZTRAININGFORM to info@meriinc.com if you’d like to be added to the class list.

WHAT: RCRA/DOT Hazmat Training

WHEN:     May 14, 2019

WHERE:   Madison Environmental Resourcing, Inc. 800 Uniek Drive, Waunakee, WI  53597

Check-In:  8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Class: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Cost: $250 person.  Continental Breakfast,  Lunch and Afternoon Beverages will be provided.

Certification: All who successfully complete the course test will receive their certification at the end of the day.

Payment: USE THIS LINK TO PAY BY PAYPAL OR CREDIT CARD. Invoices can be sent ahead of the training day by contacting info@meriinc.com and noting the name(s) of those attending from your organization. Or, payment can take place on the day of the training. Make checks payable to MERI. Receipts will be available.

RCRA/DOT Hazardous Waste Certification Class 5/14/2019 COURSE DESCRIPTION 

RCRA COMPLIANCE FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATORS OVERVIEW
(MORNING SESSION)
This RCRA compliance course is for large and small quantity generators. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires that facility personnel be trained to “perform their duties in a way that ensures the facility’s compliance” with hazardous waste regulations.

DOT HAZMAT TRANSPORTATION OVERVIEW
(AFTERNOON SESSION)
Comprehensive training for shippers, handlers & transporters. Students receive regulatory changes and training in the use and application of the 49 CFR manual. Are you meeting hazmat training requirements? Every employee involved in shipping, transporting, or handling hazardous materials must receive training to be certified. And, the training must take place at least every 36 months. Also, the training must update whenever there is a regulation change affecting an employee’s job duties. All employees must train in hazmat compliance before performing hazmat activities in the workplace. This course will also provide train-the-trainer basics

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

All employees who are responsible for hazmat employee training; preparing/signing shipping papers; placarding; security; marking and labeling; packaging; loading and unloading of vehicles; and other activities that are regulated under the DOT hazmat regulations.

To run the event we will need a minimum of 10 people in attendance. Spread the word so we have a good attendance!

MERI Inc. Video

 Always wonder where your medical waste goes after it leaves your facility? Watch our new video for a behind the scenes view of Madison Environmental Resourcing Inc. 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=bBAUpmubqhM
 

MERI CEO Jim Fitzpatrick shares the history and mission of MERI, and how our team strives everyday to make your medical waste disposal worry free.

See what happens when sharps, biohazard and infectious waste goes through MERI’s microwave processors, getting disinfected and shredded to a fraction of its original volume. Also, learn how its destruction is properly recorded using MERI’s sustainable electronic manifest system. 

Finally, check out MERI’s nationwide mailback kit program, which provides an array of easy disposal options for sharps and other regulated medical waste, including trace chemo and amalgam.

Most importantly, if you like our video, we’d appreciate a thumbs up on Twitter …and feel free to share it with others on Linked In!

sharps wall box

You may have noticed a sharps wall box mounted in restroom gas stations, grocery stores and countless other facilities. Then again, you’ve likely seen plenty without. This disparity might have you wondering whether or not you really need to have one. The short answer is YES. But before we get into why your business needs a sharps wall box, let’s back up a minute. What exactly is a “sharp”, and when might you come across one?

What Is a Sharp?

The medical community uses the word sharp to describe items with a point or edge that could puncture the skin. Examples include hollow needles used to inject medicines, syringes that either inject into or withdraw fluid from the body, lancets or fingerstick devices for blood testing, and auto injectors like insulin pens with pre-filled medicines.

Imagine someone uses your facility’s restroom to administer a diabetic or allergy injection. Would you have a safe place to store the discarded needle?  If not, the infectious waste is likely to end up in the trash, flushed down the toilet, or placed in a feminine hygiene container, which could be a huge problem. Here are three reasons why your business needs a sharps wall box.

1) Sharps are a Health Hazard

Think of all the times you’ve taken out the trash and seen objects like broken glass poking out of the bag. It’s dangerous. But just think if it was also contaminated with blood borne pathogens, which is what happens when sharp needles are discarded in the trash. The situation immediately becomes far more serious, especially if the waste handler gets pierced and is at risk of If a contracting an infectious disease, such as Hepatitis C.

There’s environmental considerations too. When infectious sharps are mixed in with recyclables, they can cause whole loads to be rejected and sent to landfills instead. Moreover, when they’re loose in the environment, sharps quickly become a public health hazard.

2) Sharps Lawsuits and Needless Plumbing Bills

More than 100 million people in the US are living with diabetes or prediabetes – almost 30 percent of the population. They often need to check their blood sugar levels, and possibly follow that with an insulin injection.  If you don’t have a rigid sharps box to put their discarded needle, lancet or fingerstick device into, could you explain why you don’t have one?

In high traffic restrooms, such as airports, parks, hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries and office buildings, the risk is greater for a needle or sharps puncture by janitorial staff member if there is no place to properly throw the needle or sharp object away. As a result, needlestick injury lawsuits happen.

Beyond lawsuits, there’s an issue of plumbing bills for removing syringes from toilets, which is easily remedied by simply hanging a sharps box in your restroom or first aid station. And, speaking of expense, what you might not realize is…

3) Sharps Wall Boxes are Cheaper than You Think

A sharps box is surprisingly economical to install and service, especially when considering the time, stress and expense that’s endured by an employee who is accidentally poked and has to undergo costly tests to determine if an infectious disease was transmitted.

Plus, the cost of MERI’s 5 quart sharps disposal system is inexpensive compared to the cost of a lawsuit.

Those in need of a durable wall mounted sharps box solution often select MERI’s rugged black 5 quart Sharps Guard disposal box or rugged black 1 quart Sharps Guard disposal box.  Both of these black sharps boxes are made from the same a high-density plastic found in professional baseball helmets, so they can hold up well in a gas station or park restroom that may not be checked on a regular basis throughout the day.

MERI’s Sharps Disposal Systems Feature Everything You Need

All of MERI’s sharps disposal systems come with a rigid lockable sharps wall box, biohazard container insert, medical waste disposal mailback kit to send back the waste when its full and a manifest that documents its proper disposal. 

Just follow the mailback kit instructions, including signing the manifest on the side of the shipping box, before sending it back via your local US Post Office. This video outlines how easy MERI’s mailback kits are to use.

Why the Hesitation When the Remedy is Simple?

The risks of not having a sharps disposal kiosks are numerous, but the remedy is simple, as this editorial notes. Avoid health and environmental hazards by mounting a sharps disposal box in your business’s restroom.

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Madison Environmental Resourcing, Inc. (MERI) will offer a Hazardous Waste Certification Class 11/7/2018. The RCRA and DOT hazmat training will be from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at MERI’s facility at 800 Uniek Drive in Waunakee, WI.

Hospital, Medical Clinic, Facilities, Environmental Service, Plant Operations, and Safety Department employees are all encouraged to attend, especially those in need of RCRA/DOT Certification.

Click to register here or email this HAZTRAININGFORM to info@meriinc.com if you’d like to be added to the class list.

WHAT: RCRA/DOT Hazmat Training

WHEN:     Wednesday, November 7, 2018

WHERE:   Madison Environmental Resourcing, Inc. 800 Uniek Drive, Waunakee, WI  53597

Check-In:  8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Class: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Cost: $250 person.  Continental Breakfast,  Lunch and Afternoon Beverages will be provided.

Certification: All who successfully complete the course test will receive their certification at the end of the day.

Payment: USE THIS LINK TO PAY BY PAYPAL OR CREDIT CARD. Invoices can be sent and electronic payments made ahead of the training day by contacting info@meriinc.com and noting the name(s) of those attending from your organization. Or, payment can take place on the day of the training. Make checks payable to MERI. Receipts will be available.

RCRA/DOT Hazardous Waste Certification Class 11/7/2018 COURSE DESCRIPTION 

RCRA COMPLIANCE FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE GENERATORS OVERVIEW
(MORNING SESSION)
This RCRA compliance course is designed for large and small quantity generators. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requires that facility personnel be trained to “perform their duties in a way that ensures the facility’s compliance” with hazardous waste regulations.

DOT HAZMAT TRANSPORTATION OVERVIEW
(AFTERNOON SESSION)
Comprehensive training for shippers, handlers & transporters. Students receive regulatory changes and training in the use and application of the 49 CFR manual. Are you meeting hazmat training requirements? Every employee involved in shipping, transporting, or handling hazardous materials must receive training to be certified. And, the training must take place at least every 36 months. Also, the training must update whenever there is a regulation change affecting an employee’s job duties. All employees must train in hazmat compliance before performing hazmat activities in the workplace. This course will also provide train-the-trainer basics

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

All employees who are responsible for hazmat employee training; preparing/signing shipping papers; placarding; security; marking and labeling; packaging; loading and unloading of vehicles; and other activities that are regulated under the DOT hazmat regulations.

To run the event we will need a minimum of 10 people in attendance. Spread the word so we have a good attendance!

ATTENDEE INFORMATION Email this information below by November 5, 2018 to info@meriinc.com. Please clearly note the following information for the November 7, 2018 RCRA/DOT Hazmat training certification:

NAME    ORGANIZATION          EMAIL            PHONE

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

Eyebrows by Microblader Rachel Brown-Wilson

Helping people achieve their quest for perfect eyebrows has meant an explosion in microbladers in the US. Many use MERI’s mailback kits to cost-effectively manage Microblade Waste.

A form of cosmetic tattoos, microblading is an alternative to makeup that combats the struggle for killer brows. It is a relatively inexpensive, fast, and precise procedure. Most importantly, it ensures good-looking eyebrows for anywhere from 6-16 months (if treated properly).

PhiBrows artist Rachel Brown-Wilson says clients look to her for a more permanent makeup solution in creating the framing eyebrows they truly deserve. Many of her clients struggle with inadequate eyebrows.  This is simply due to aging and pigmentation loss or not having been gifted perfect brows at birth.  Or, many don’t have either the skill or time to use makeup to draw or fill their brows each day. 

“Defined eyebrows can instantly make you look more polished and put together. Even with no makeup on, an admirable colored and shaped brow can open up your eyes and transform your entire look,” says Brown-Wilson. She uses two different types of microscopic needles for contouring, shading and filling in with a carefully selected pigment. Strokes are always drawn in the direction of natural hair growth in order to achieve hyper-realistic eyebrows.

“The best part of my job as a microblader is helping people put their best face forward. Men and women alike are renewed when they regain eyebrows that were lost to either age, or an earlier chemotherapy treatment. The younger generation also gravitates to this form of tattooing to achieve an artistically designed look.”

Managing Microblade Waste

Brown-Wilson says adding a Microblade Waste Management Solution to her small business plan helped to secure the funding she needed when starting her microblading studio.

“I teamed up with MERI who offered a mailback kit with a manifest that documented the proper destruction of my needles and other infectious microblade waste.”

Widely popular among microbladers and other cosmetic tattoo artists, MERI’s mailback kits are easy, safe and cost effective way for technicians to designate all materials infected with blood borne pathogens after a procedure.

MERI’s medical waste mailback disposal strategy is straightforward. It saves the environment from improper waste disposal that can be subject to a hefty regulatory fine. Also, it saves small businesses money compared to pick-up methods that require contracts or a regular pick up schedule.

“Just starting out, I loved the fact that using a MERI medical waste mailback kit meant that I didn’t have to commit to a contract. I can just pay as I and as my business grows,” says Brown-Wilson. “Also, showing the health inspector my documentation, noting my proper waste destruction, is one less worry about following all of the strict regulations of our business.”

How MERI’s Mailback Kits Work

Each MERI medical waste mailback kit includes certified infectious waste collection container(s) that abide by the strict Department of Transportation (DOT) and United States Postal Service (USPS) shipping standards.

Containers range from one quart in size up to two gallons, depending on the amount of waste generated. Items that can go into the containers in include gloves, needles, gauze, and anything has bloodborne pathogens on it.

Each MERI kit includes the following items:

* Collection container(s)

* Heavy plastics

* Simple-to-follow instruction sheet

* Manifest to document proper treatment and disposal

* Prepaid return shipping label

When the container is full, simply fill out the manifest on the side of the outer shipping box. Keep one copy for your records and place the other inside the plastic sleeve on the side of the box. Then, give it to your local USPS mail carrier. There is no need for postage as a pre-paid shipping label already on the box. Click here to see how MERI’s mailback system works

Compliant Medical Waste Solution

The DOT’s penalty for non-compliant medical waste disposal is steep. Up to $27,500 per violation per day. Therefore, it’s crucial that no matter how you dispose of your medical waste, it’s done compliantly.

Disposal companies like MERI take care of all these legal requirements for you. Your only obligation is to sign the manifest before shipping your kit for disposal. And then, keep a copy for yourself. Beyond that, just package your waste and give the box to your local US Postal Carrier.

While compliance is an important issue, many waste generators also find that using a mail back system may be cheaper than most other removal methods.

Providing Cheaper Waste Disposal for Microbladers

MERI’s mailback kits are ideal for those who generate less than two, 2-gallon containers worth of infectious waste per month. If your studio exceeds this amount, a service pick up might cost less.

However, for small generators of infectious waste – like microbladers and tattoo parlors – calling a waste disposal service to transport that same amount of waste could cost up to double the price, depending on your number of containers and location(s).

The most cost-effective way to use a MERI mailback kit is to purchase a couple larger collection containers rather than multiple smaller ones. If you store these containers in a secure location, infectious waste can be kept indefinitely.

In most instances, using a mail back system could save your microblading studio time and money, in addition to providing a more efficient option for compliantly disposing of your biohazard waste.

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MERI is offering a FREE Infectious Waste Poster to help hospital employees determine what medical waste goes inside the red biohazard bin.

free infectious waste poster

What is Infectious Waste?

Part of the confusion around infectious waste is that is goes by many names, including:  biohazard, red bag, RMW or regulated medical waste.

While state regulatory information may vary, according to the Wisconsin DNR’s website, the following waste is considered infectious, and should always be segregated from standard waste.

Sharps ­- Unused or disinfected sharps that are being discarded, such as hypodermic needles, syringes with needles, scalpel blades, lancets, broken glass or rigid plastic vials and laboratory slides. PLEASE NOTE: all sharps must go into a rigid container before going in the biohazard bag.

Bulk blood or body fluids – Pourable or drip able amounts of blood or body fluids or items saturated with blood or body fluids.

Microbiological laboratory waste – Cultures derived from clinical specimens and discarded laboratory equipment that has contacted cultures.

Human tissue – Teeth but not hair or nails. NOTE: teeth with amalgam fillings should go into a hazardous waste container.

Animal tissue, bulk blood or body fluids – From an animal carrying a zoonotic infectious agent such as rabies, anthrax or tuberculosis.

Free Infectious Waste Poster

One of the ways to quickly make staff aware of what should go in the red bin is to hang this free poster  near your biohazard containers.

The free poster from MERI outlines an example of the types of infectious medical waste items that should go in the biohazard bag, such as: 

  • Sharps Containers (no loose needles or glass vials in the bag)
  • Empty Red Biohazard Bags
  • Bags & IV Tubing Containing Blood Products
  • Chest Drainage Units
  • Pathological (Small or Soft Tissue Only)
  • Suction Canisters
  • Hemodialysis Products
  • Items saturated or contaminated with blood, urine or feces that are drip able, pourable or can flake off

The poster also highlights items that should not go in the biohazard bag, including:

  • Garbage or Recycling
  • Loose Sharps or Vials (Should go in a Sharps Container first)
  • Medication
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Batteries
  • Limbs
  • Chemotherapy Waste

For safety’s sake, we’d like to reiterate that there should be NO LOOSE SHARPS in either the  biohazard bag or medical waste bin. All sharps should go into a separate sharps container. This sharps containers should go inside the biohazard bag. Or, if using a reusable sharps container, go on the reusable sharps cart. Medical waste transporters may also carry out larger rigid sharps  biohazard containers.

Medical Waste Savings Through Proper Segregation

Knowing what goes in an infectious waste bin — and what doesn’t — is the key to a medical waste generator savings. Thousands of dollars get wasted each year simply because items get inadvertently thrown into a red biohazard bag rather than another appropriate container. 

For example, standard trash items, such as paper, bottles and food, should never be disposed with your infectious waste. These items are like infectious waste fat, adding poundage with no benefit. It costs a lot more, pound per pound, for infectious waste disposal compared with general waste.

The easiest way to reduce the amount of infectious waste an organization produces has little to do with its actual waste production. Rather, it’s making sure your entire staff understands the difference between infectious waste and general waste. 

Hopefully, this poster will help with that effort!

If you have any further questions, please email us or give us a call at (608) 257-7652.