infectious waste

Are you wondering if it’s time to file your WI DNR Infectious Waste Report? Or even if you need to file this year?

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Infectious Waste Report applies to all Wisconsin infectious waste generators. It’s not just for medical facilities, such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. It verifies that both generators and treatment facilities throughout the state are in compliance with regulatory manifesting requirements.

If your Wisconsin location(s) shipped 50 pounds or more of medical waste to an infectious waste treatment facility in one or more months during the calendar year, you will need to complete the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Infectious Waste Report.

This Infectious Waste Off-Site Treatment report is the first of an annual two-part electronic document within the WI DNR annual Infectious Waste Report. Only hospitals, clinics and nursing homes should complete the second part of the annual filing, also known as the medical waste reduction progress report.

Are You Exempt?

Not sure if you have to file either one or both of documents in the annual WI DNR Infectious Waste Report?

Use this handy worksheet to determine if you are exempt from having to file the infectious waste report with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Even if you don’t file an infectious waste report, according to WI DNR Annual Reports Exemptions and Records  you should keep on file any of the following:

  • Your infectious waste manifests or records of waste sent off-site for treatment (hospitals, clinics and nursing homes must retain for five years, all others for three years).
  • Your certificates of destruction or treatment (hospitals, clinics and nursing homes must retain for five years, all others for three years).
  • Logs of the amounts sent off-site for treatment and the destination facility.
  • Logs of the amounts generated.
  • Records related to on-site treatment (see s. NR 526.12, Wis. Adm. Code).

Being Exempt In Past Doesn’t Reflect Your Future

Veterinarians, dentists, acupuncturists, tattoo artists, laboratory researchers, manufacturers and small businesses, take note: Just because you may have been exempt from filing the WI DNR Infectious Waste Off-Treatment Report in the past, it doesn’t mean you will be this year — especially if your facility expanded, or had an incident, and generated more medical waste.

Wisconsin funeral home directors also should be aware that they might need to file.  While the WI Regulation’s NR 526.04(5) states: Human tissue that is interred or cremated on site is exempt from reporting”, this doesn’t mean that you are exempt as you may have sharps or other infectious waste.

Just ask yourself: Did 50 pounds or more of infectious waste get removed from my premises during the calendar month? If you answered YES, then an infectious waste off-site treatment report must be filed.

Note that 50 pounds is not an average monthly total in any a calendar year. Whenever 50 pounds or more is removed from the premises for treatment elsewhere, during any month during the calendar year. This is according to manifests, shipping papers or other records.

The DNR has a great list of what is and isn’t infectious waste. You can find it this guide, Basic Infectious Waste Requirements for Generators of Small Amounts.

Medical Waste Reduction Plan

Funeral homes and smaller infectious waste generators are exempt from completing the second part of the Infectious Waste Off-Treatment Report, also known as the medical waste reduction plan.

However, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes will likely have to complete the medical waste reduction plan. This addressees not only previous waste management practices, but also strategies being put into place to reduce your future waste production. The plan needs to be reviewed annually and updated at least every five years.

WI DNR Infectious Waste Report Date

An electronic version of the DNR’s Infectious Waste Annual Report form, first launched in late 2015, asked all generators to submit their infectious waste numbers for 2014.

In 2017, the Wisconsin DNR hopes to catch up by asking for 2015 numbers. Then, shortly after that, 2016 numbers, in order to get everyone up to date, according to Barb Bickford, WI DNR’s Medical Waste Coordinator.

Bickford did not specify a date when the upcoming filing of 2015 numbers will take place.  Backend testing is currently taking place. However, once it goes live, the process should be quicker for repeat filers.

She noted that those who submitted in the past should automatically get an email notifying them when it’s time to file the report. You an also check the DNR’s reporting web page for updates at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/HealthWaste/IWReport.html

If you’ve had changes in your staff, your facility has changed its name or has a new owner, or if you think that you might need to file for the first time, you should notify the DNR at: dnrmedicalwaste@wisconsin.gov. This will avoid delays of the correct person being notified. And, will save future typing. You won’t have to change pre-populated information.

Reports will be due six weeks from the DNR’s release date.

We’ll Keep You Informed

MERI will keep you informed once the WI DNR’s reporting feature is available.

Our handy customer portal keeps track of your infectious waste numbers and makes it easy to retrieve the information you need to file your reports quickly.

This software allows you to:

  • Retrieve manifests that include cradle-to-grave documentation of infectious waste.
  • Receive a report detailing the total weight of treated waste over a specific date range.
  • Update your contact information.

We’ve already sent every MERI customer a link to the portal along with the required password. If you’re having trouble accessing the portal, please contact us by phone or email and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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MERI could help you save 20-50% on your medical waste disposal!

Discover how much you can save!

According to the CDC, as many as 168 million doses of the flu shot, also known as an injectable influenza vaccine, could be administer in the United States this year. Where will thousands of those used needles go?

Madison Environmental Resourcing Inc. (MERI) has been working with colleges, corporate office parks, skilled nursing centers, hospitals and traveling nurses throughout the Midwest to make sure needles from flu injections are properly disposed, either through MERI’s regulated medical waste pickup or sharps mailback program.

In the process of our MERI employees get their flu shots, here’s what we learned:

Tis the Flu Season

Even though 2016’s National Influenza Vaccination Week officially kicks off until December 4-10, flu shots are being administed now as flu cases are often reported as early as October. Flu season peaks between December and February and lasts as late as May.

If flu viruses are spreading, it’s never too late to get your vaccine, even if you’ve already gotten sick with one flu virus. Depending on the type you get, you are protected from three to four flu strains for approximately six months after you’ve been vaccinated.

Use Injection Not Nasal Spray

During 2016-2017, the nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) vaccine is not being recommended to combat the flu virus. Instead, the CDC recommends using the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV).

Anyone who had to deal with the affects of the flu can tell you it’s worth taking a few moments, or overcoming a fear of needles, to get yourself, and your loved ones, vaccinated.

It’s especially important to get young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people aged 65 years and older vaccinated, as they are at high risk of having severe complications from the flu. This can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes that can lead to hospitalization or death.

Difference Between a Cold and Flu

You likely have a cold if you are tired and gradually feel a runny nose, sore throat, cough, sneezing jag, or headache coming on.

On the other hand, you probably have the flu if your symptoms come on suddenly, are more severe, you’re extremely tired or often are going to the bathroom to get sick.

A cold is a hassle. The flu can be deadly, especially when one’s immune system is compromised. While it is still very difficult to distinguish the flu from other viruses on the basis of symptoms alone, there are tests available, if needed, to find the answer.

Click here for this handy difference between a cold and flu chart.

How Do You Avoid Getting a Cold or Flu?

Mom was right when she pleaded “Wash Your Hands!”

To avoid picking up a cold or influenza virus, wash your hands often and thoroughly with warm soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth, and try to stay away from anyone who is experiencing symptoms of a cold or flu, as they can expel tiny droplets of the virus in the air, or on a table surface.

Another way to avoid getting sick is to make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and manage your stress levels through regular exercise and meditative breathing.

Most importantly, to avoid the flu, take a moment to get your flu shot to #FightFlu!

And, if you need assistance with removing needles after a flu clinic, please give Lisa or Caleb a call at 608-257-7652 or email us at info@meriinc.com

 SAVE THE DATE – TUESDAY OCT. 11, 2016 

We know that you often have a lot to juggle so helping to make sure that you are compliant is one small way we can keep you and your staff safe.  That’s why we want you to save Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016  for our upcoming RCRA and DOT hazardous training class in the Wisconsin Dells.  Email us today at info@meriinc.com if you’d like to be added to the class list.  

Training Opportunities Available
Attention Hospital and Medical Clinic Environmental Services, Facilities, Plant Operations or Safety Department Employees:

RCRA/DOT Hazmat Training

When: Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Where: Hilton Garden Inn (101 E. Hiawatha Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965)
Agenda: Check-In 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Class: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $250 person. This is a MERI sponsored event                                             Companies who send 5 attendees will receive the sixth registrant for free
Continental Breakfast,  Lunch and Afternoon Beverages will be provided.

Register:  fax this  HAZTRAININGFORM  with the info below to  608-257-7656 by Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Or, email us with who will be attending at info@meriinc.com

Payment: Invoices can be sent and electronic payments made ahead of the training day by contacting info@meriinc.com with each registrant’s name, organization and email address. Or, for the day of the conference, receipts will be available for checks (make payable to MERI) or cash.

Certification: A certificate of completion will be given to attendees after they complete the course tests at the end of the day.

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 are updated with regulatory changes and are given 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; the training must be repeated at least every 36 months; and the training must be updated whenever there is a regulation change affecting an employee’s job duties. All employees must be trained 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 Fax registration form below by Friday, October 7, 2016 to 608-257-7656
Please clearly note the following information so that a certificate can be presented upon completion of the Tuesday, October 11, 2016 RCRA/DOT Hazmat training:

NAME    ORGANIZATION          EMAIL            PHONE

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

MERI looks out for my hospital’s best interest. I like doing business with MERI because they are honest and trustworthy.”  

Gail Reichling, Housekeeping Supervisor, Upland Hills Health

Thank you, Gail, for your testimonial for what we do for you and your team at Upland Hills. We’re going to proudly add it to our growing list of testimonials.

Notes like these mean a lot to us, because we like to take care of our customers.

We’ve heard from many of you that our electronic manifests and customer portal have made reporting a lot easier. Hospital and surgical center administrators have also thanked us for helping them to be more sustainable, and reduce their waste numbers, by recycling their surgical blue wrap and repurposing their medical devices.

Because medical waste has its own ebb and flow, we’ll make it a priority to get you picked up, even if it’s not your scheduled date. Find yourself needing more containers and bags? No worries about going over an allotment. We’ll get them to you free of charge.

We’ll also help you save time and money by being your one source for picking up not only infectious waste, but also pharmaceutical and hazardous chemical waste, or universal materials like batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and medical devices.

We know that you often have a lot to juggle so helping to make sure that you are compliant is one small way we can keep you and your staff safe.  That’s why we want to have you save the date for our upcoming RCRA and DOT hazardous training class on October 11, 2016 in the Wisconsin Dells.  Email us today at info@meriinc.com if you’d like to be added to the class list.  

 SAVE THE DATE – TUESDAY OCT. 11, 2016 — RCRA AND DOT HAZARDOUS TRAINING

 

With increased enforcement, nursing home compliance is critical. MERI’s Free Infectious and Hazardous Waste Review Helps Midwestern Nursing Homes Quickly Assess if They Are Compliant. 

If a DNR inspector audited your nursing home today, would it pass with flying colors?

Skilled Nursing Administrators, Environmental Services and Compliance Officers take note: Proposed EPA rules and increased enforcement means it’s time for you to check if your facility has any compliance issues when handling and disposing its pharmaceutical and medical waste.

From previous reviews we’ve conducted, we’ve noticed many skilled nursing facilities are in non-compliance, especially when dealing with their pharmaceuticals. This is worrying for three reasons.

  • you could be faced with thousands of dollars in fines if audited,
  • you may inadvertently creating an unhealthy workplace, and
  • you could be unnecessarily polluting our water stream.

MERI (short for Madison Environmental Resourcing Inc.) is currently offering a FREE Nursing Home Compliance REVIEW for Midwestern Nursing Homes to help flag any potential compliance issues.

Our quick, 10-question survey can help you determine if your infectious, hazardous, pharmaceutical and universal wastes are being properly stored, collected, treated and disposed. We’ll also talk to you about how you document every step of your waste disposal process, from cradle to grave, and how quickly you can access your manifests.

Click here to email us with a time that works best for you to conduct the survey, or or give Lisa, Jim or Zac a call at 608-257-7652.

After the 20-minute conversation, we’ll review your answers and pull together a report with our findings shortly after. MERI will note where you may currently be out of compliance on issues that may put you at greater risk of fine. Our goal of doing this is to help you get these issues fixed before an inspector shows up at your door with a list of violations that could quickly add up to more $27,500 per violation/per day.

We’ve helped skilled nursing and assisted living facilities stay on top of changing regulations for more than 30 years. Licensed and owned by three major hospitals, MERI understands your world. As a not-for-profit, we know how important it is to be compliant and to keep your costs low, so that you can focus your financial resources on what’s truly important – focusing your resources on those you are caring for.

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Register for this discounted March 9, 2016 hazardous training in the Dells. WH2E has available funds to sponsor this hazardous training, conducted by MERI, at a discounted rate.

Hazardous Training Opportunities Available
Attention Environmental Services, Facilities, Plant Operations or Safety Departments:
RCRA/DOT Hazmat Training

When: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Where: Hilton Garden Inn (101 E. Hiawatha Drive, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965)
Agenda: Check-In 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Class 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: Discounted from $150 to $50/person. This is a WH2E sponsored event.
Beverages, Snacks and Lunch will be provided.
Payment: Make checks payable to WH2E or bring cash. Receipts will be available.
To Register:  Fax this HAZTRAININGFORM or the info below to  608-257-7656 by Friday, March 4, 2016.

Certification: A certificate of completion will be given to you at the end of the day.

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 are updated with regulatory changes and are given 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; the training must be repeated at least every 36 months; and the training must be updated whenever there is a regulation change affecting an employee’s job duties. All employees must be trained 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 Fax info below by March 4, 2016 to 608-257-7656
Please clearly note the following information so that a certificate can be presented upon completion of the Wednesday, March 9, 2016 RCRA/DOT Hazmat training:

NAME                ORGANIZATION              EMAIL              PHONE

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

__________________________________________________

If you handle hazardous waste, you must be properly trained

Why might your office manager require hazardous waste training? Anybody who handles hazardous waste in some capacity – even signing a manifest for shipping – must be certified. If you’re looking for a class to fulfill these requirements, Wisconsin Healthcare for a Healthy Environment (WH2E) is holding a discounted training session in March. Those who might benefit from hazardous waste training, especially if they’ve not had it in the last three years, include Environmental Service Managers, Plant Operations  Facilities Managers or Safety Managers. Read more

It’s time for infectious waste producers to file their annual report(s)

MERI’s online customer portal helps you to easily retrieve info needed for your 2014 WI DNR Infectious waste annual report – due by 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 22, 2106.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 2014 Infectious Waste Annual Reporting is now OPEN!

This is the first time the DNR is requiring infectious waste generators to submit their reports online.  This process must be started – and, if possible, all information inputted – by January 22, 2016 at 11:59 p.m.

By now, you should have received an email from the DNR notifying you of instructions to ensure everything gets filed correctly and on time.  If not, Please email DNRMedicalWaste@wisconsin.gov. Also, follow this link to inform the DNR if your facility has a new contact person or to make changes to the existing contact.

Who Needs to File Infectious Waste Report

If your business or institution generates infectious waste, you may need to file one or two different reports to the DNR: A Medical Waste Reduction Plan and/or an Infectious Waste Annual Report. Whether you need to file one or both reports depends on the type/amount of waste you produce and your disposal techniques.

In our earlier post we outlined how you can determine whether you are exempt or need to file. We also included some tips to walk you through when creating a waste reduction annual plan and an infectious waste annual report.

Easy Way for MERI Customers to Get Needed Info

MERI’s online customer portal makes it easy to retrieve the waste information you need to file your reports quickly. This software allows you to:

* Retrieve manifests that include cradle-to-grave documentation of infectious waste.

* Receive a report detailing the total weight of treated waste over a specific date range.

* Update your contact information.

We’ve already sent every MERI customer a link to the portal along with the required password. If you’re having trouble accessing the portal, please contact us by phone or email and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Still Have Questions About Your Infectious Waste Report?

If you have any questions about filing your reports in general, please contact the Wisconsin’s DNR website, which provides a full list of requirements and exemptions for filing both reports.

Learn how to easily track, properly handle, and affordably dispose your biohazard or infectious waste.

Download Your
Infectious Waste Compliance Guide