Madison Environmental Resourcing Inc. (MERI) is now in its new location at 800 Uniek Drive in Waunakee, WI.

According to MERI CEO Jim Fitzpatrick, the medical waste disposal company outgrew its former Badger Road location in Madison. “We’ve expanded our services to offer a centralized solution for our regulated medical waste customers,” said Fitzpatrick.  

One-Stop Medical Waste Shop

Besides collecting and processing infectious waste, MERI properly disposes other regulated medical waste streams, including pharmaceuticals, hazardous and universal materials.  MERI also helps clients be more sustainable by collecting and recycling blue wrap and repurposing medical devices.

“Our strategy of becoming a one-stop medical waste shop has simplified and streamlined our client’s disposal process,” said Fitzpatrick, adding, “And more customers are requesting our cost-effective service.”

About MERI

A partnership of three Madison, WI hospitals, Madison Environmental Resourcing Inc. (MERI) helps facilities properly dispose regulated medical waste throughout the Midwest. In addition, MERI has a nationwide medical waste mailback program that compliantly disposes needles or trace chemotherapy waste.

Restaurateurs are always on the alert for red flags that could sink their ratings and bottom lines. But sometimes, the simplest mistake – like not having a place to store used needles – can result in an unfortunate headline. Use these three restaurant sharps disposal tools to help avoid a (bio)hazardous review from a customer, employee or OSHA inspector:

1. Hang Sharps Containers in Restaurant Restrooms

About 14% of Americans today either have a food allergy or diabetes. Many carry an EPI pen, or insulin injection needle, with them at all times in case of an emergency. If someone asked where your sharps disposal container is, could you direct them to one on your premise? Or, could you explain why you don’t have one?

Providing a sharps box means your customers and employees can avoid placing their sharps in the restaurant’s restroom trash, where a staff member can get poked while taking out the bag.

MERI’s sharps disposal system comes with a rigid sharps box to hang in your restroom. It also includes a handy mailback container. When your biohazard insert is full, exchange it with a new insert inside the mailback kit. Then, mail the full insert back to us in the postage paid box.

Just follow the instructions, including signing the manifest, before sending it back via the local US Postal mail carrier. At $79 for the whole system, it’s a bargain compared to a multi-million lawsuit that may be brought forth by an employee or customer if accidentally poked by a needle placed in the trash bin or parking lot. It may also prevent you from a Sharps lawsuit.

2. Use a Mailback Kit to Easily Dispose Full Sharps Containers

It’s never okay to reuse a sharps container located inside a sharps box. The box is filled with needles and bloodborne pathogens, which could spread infection if not properly disposed after use.

A mailback kit makes it easy to switch out the full container with a fresh one. It even comes with a prepaid USPS return shipping label addressed to MERI’s licensed treatment center. Simply follow the instructions to package up the old biohazard mailback container, and drop it off at your local U.S. Post Office or give to your postal carrier.  This video outlines how easy MERI’s mailback kits are to use.

3. Have a Blood Spill Clean Up and Disposal Kit 

Accidents happen. It’s not only important to properly clean up, but also to dispose of infectious waste. MERI’s blood spill clean-up and disposal kit disinfects, documents and disposes after a spill involving blood, vomit, urine or feces.

Place the blood spill kit near your first aid kit. Then it will be easy to grab when cleaning up and collecting the infectious material. The rigid container can also hold glass shards that would otherwise pierce through a typical plastic garbage bag. Read and follow the instructions that come with the kit to ensure you stay safe when cleaning up.Before sending, sign the enclosed manifest. It documents you are properly disposing infectious waste. Then, mail the infectious waste in the postage paid box back to MERI’s treatment center.

Responsible Restaurant Sharps Disposal Tools

Being a responsible restaurateur or business owner means implementing OSHA guidelines to avoid biohazardous accidents. Have a sharps container in your restaurant’s restrooms, as well as blood spill clean-up and disposal kits near your first aid kit. They’ll make it easy for your employees or guests to dispose their sharps or other infectious waste – and even easier for you to take care of it after.

MERI will soon have a new home at 800 Uniek Drive in Waunakee, WI.

Madison Environmental Resourcing, Inc. (MERI) is working through final permitting with the Department of Natural Resources. Two of MERI’s microwave processors moved and installation is currently in progress.

Once the DNR issues a permit to operate, likely by late February, MERI will be fully operational at the new facility. Plans are in place to make it a seamless transition so customers will continue to be serviced during the move.

 “We outgrew our Badger Road location due to more customers requesting our superior, cost-effective service,” said CEO Jim Fitzpatrick. “Now, we hope to expand into other offerings, including adding resusable sharps.”

 One-Stop Medical Waste Disposal Shop

Besides collecting and processing infectious waste, MERI handles other regulated medical waste streams, such as pharmaceuticals, hazardous materials and universal waste.  It also helps its clients be more sustainable by collecting and recycling blue wrap and repurposing medical devices.

“Our strategy of becoming a one-stop medical waste shop has simplified and streamlined our client’s disposal process,” said Fitzpatrick.

 

You need to know how to properly tie a biohazard bag after it is full.  Having a properly sealed bag is one of the regulatory requirements for packaging your medical waste for shipment. Believe it or not, there’s a right way, and a wrong way to tie a medical waste bag once its full. The right way will mean that your bag will be less likely to leak if turned upside down.

At MERI, we’ve tested several knots. The two best methods are either to use an overhand knot or to use a gooseneck knot secured with either a plastic tie or duck tape.

Watch this video demonstration about how to properly tie an overhand or gooseneck knot once your regulated medical waste bag is full.

Or, follow these steps:

How Properly Tie a Biohazard Bag Using An Overhand Knot

 

Step 1 Overhand Knot: Gather, Twist End 8″-10″

 

 

 

 

Step 2 Overhand Knot:  Overhand Knot: Make Loop With the Twisted End

 

 

 

 

Step 3 Overhand Knot: Loop the End Through to Create a Knot

 

 

 

How Properly Tie a Biohazard Bag Using A Gooseneck Knot

 

Gooseneck Step 1:  Gather, Twist End 8″-10″

 

 

 

 

Gooseneck Step 2: Make Loop With the Twisted End

 

 

 

 

Gooseneck Step 3:  Seal Tightly With Either Duck Tape or Plastic Tie

 

 

 

 

Don’t tie your regulated medical waste bag in a bunny ear fashion, like this:

 

Tying a bag in rabbit ears is not acceptable, because, if turned upside down, your bag will likely leak.

 

 

 

Make sure the container lid is securely fastened once your red biohazard bag is tied inside the medical waste transport container. On that note, you’ll make our MERI medical waste drivers’ day if they see our container properly closed like this on your collection day:

Instead of seeing the lid not secured, or the biohazard bag full but not tied:

        

Finally, one last ask. Make sure that you don’t have any loose sharps in your biohazard bag or medical waste transport container. All sharps belong in a puncture-resistant red sharps box before going into the medical waste container. Sharps include needles, syringes, broken glass, scalpels, Capillary tubes, culture slides, broken rigid plastic and exposed wires.

Want to share this info with others? Feel free to download this handy Poster: Properly Package Medical Waste For Shipment  You may even want to place it by where your medical waste transport containers are located for easy reference. Our poster highlights the three simple steps folks need to follow for properly packing your medical waste for disposal.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at 608-257-7652 or CONTACT US

 

MERI's new Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit

Blood, vomit, urine, feces, or other biohazard waste spills happen everyday on a bus or in a school, lab, manufacturing or business setting. It’s a dirty job but someone has to clean it up.  If you’ve planned ahead, thankfully, you have MERI’s new Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit on hand to do it.

Madison Environmental Resourcing Inc. new Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit disinfects, documents and disposes potentially contaminated infectious waste. This all-in-one, pre-paid postage mail kit offers a total solution when cleaning up and disposing biohazard waste, including sharps or broken glass. It even holds discarded clothing items saturated with blood borne pathogens.

Use MERI’s New Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit To:

  • Remove and disinfect the surface area after a potentially contaminated infectious waste spill such as blood, vomit, urine or feces.
  • Dispose biohazard waste spill or broken glass in biotech, research lab at blood spill after an incident in a manufacturing facility.
  • Document proper disposal of discarded clothing containing blood borne pathogens due to an accident or nose bleed at a school, day care, gym, swimming pool or recreation center.

Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit Is DOT and USPS Certified

Certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the United States Postal Service (USPS), every one of MERI’s Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kits holds up to eight pounds of absorbed waste. Best of all, each kit comes with an exposure incident form to record spill as well as a manifest noting that the infectious material is being properly destroyed at our licensed treatment facility.

What’s In Each Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit?

MERI’s Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit features both clean up and disposal items. 

The Clean Up Items Include:

  • Absorbent Powder Pack (0.75 oz)
  • Scoop & Scraper (1)
  • Disinfectant Surface Wipe (1)
  • Mask with Visor (1)
  • Red Biohazard Waste Bag (1)
  • Pair Latex-Free Exam Gloves (1)
  • Antimicrobial Hand Wipes (2)
  • Exposure Incident Form (1)
  • Absorbent Pad (2)

And, the Disposal Box Items Feature:

  • A rigid 10.3” high x 10.5” wide x 7” deep, 2 gallon Biohazard Container
  • Absorbent Pad
  • Thick Plastic Bag and Zip Tie
  • Manifest to Document Proper Disposal of Potentially Infectious Waste
  • Pre-paid Postage Shipping Box to Send Material to Treatment Facility

Cost-Effective Spill Clean Up and Disposal Solution

MERI’s new Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit is a handy, compliant, cost-effective solution for environmental service, facility or maintenance managers. This kit would especially be helpful to have at:

* Corporate or Retail Locations

* Manufacturing, Biotech, University Research Facilities

* Police, EMT, Government Agencies, Drug-Testing Sites

* School, University Restrooms or First Aid Stations or Emergency Health Services

* Day Care, After School Care, Senior and Recreational Centers

* Dental or Veterinarian Offices

* Nursing Stations, Urgent Care, Long-term Care Facilities

* Chemistry Labs, Gym and Athletic Trainer Facilities

* Airlines, Cruise Ships, School Bus or Charter Coach Tour Operators

* Hotel, Restaurant or Gas Stations

Delivery of Your New Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit 

MERI’s new Biohazard Blood Spill Clean Up & Disposal Kit ships in one to two business days after ordering. Before sending back your prepaid shipping box back to MERI, first sign the manifests. They are located in the plastic label on the side of the box. Next, keep one manifest for your records. Finally, please note that return shipping must be done through the United States Postal Service.

Don’t forget to order another MERI mailback kit before returning yours. That way you can always have a safe place to store your biohazard materials.

Click Here for Video Packaging Instructions

Watch this video or view these packing instructions to see how easy it is to package MERI’s mailback systems back through the United States Postal Service.

 

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.

# # #

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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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