Clean Harbors Disposes of MRSA Admission-Testing Cartridges

Clean Harbors, a provider of environmental, energy and industrial services, announces a service to properly dispose of patient-on-admission methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) testing devices for hospitals, research laboratories, public health clinics and physicians offices.

These sophisticated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) devices typically use self-contained, single-use cartridges that contain sodium hydroxide (NaOH). This requires that the used media be classified as hazardous, as opposed to medical, waste. This classification places MRSA testing devices under the control of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). While the manufacturers product insert and Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) properly state that these items are hazardous, not all institutions recognize that MRSA detection cartridges must be treated as hazardous waste.

Additionally, waste cartridges containing chemical reagents and biological fluids may be considered "mixed waste," which could place them under the jurisdiction of local and state regulators. Since hazardous wastes are the responsibility of their Generators from cradle to grave it is in the best interest of healthcare administrators to properly categorize, manage and document all of their wastes through destruction.

Clean Harbors has the expert staff and the knowledge of federal, state and local regulations to provide full regulatory compliance consulting and outsourcing. The service includes tracking and documentation, as well as certificates of disposal to ensure proper handling and to reduce liability. The company has the disposal infrastructure to properly categorize, handle and dispose of MRSA testing devices and other hazardous and non-hazardous wastes generated by hospitals and other healthcare institutions. Clean Harbors operates two of the four hazardous waste incinerators in the U.S. that are permitted to manage mixed RCRA and biohazard wastes.

"Clean Harbors provides a wide range of disposal services for healthcare institutions," says Clean Harbors vice president of healthcare John Kelsey. "We help healthcare employees navigate the complexities of multi-tiered regulations, keeping them in compliance while simplifying administration. MRSA test kit disposal is simply an extension of our service portfolio that is already benefitting our current customers and is available to all."