Medical waste?

plant-one-on-me(MI 5b)March 26, 2008

I brought home some empty IV bags and tubing instead of throwing it away at work (I am an RN in the ICU). I rinsed out the bags and refilled with water. I am using them to drip irrigate my overwintered geranium and other houseplants. The roller clamp on the IV tubing lets me adjust the amount of water just right.

I also brought home some containers that hold pre-filled syringes. Great containers for my homemade newspaper pots. My best ones fit directly on the windowsill.

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Great ideas!

I don't consider that stuff "medical waste" though, I'd think of it as clean material (I think of medical "waste" as something that's been used & that may be contaminated.)

When I had dental work done, I was dismayed at the amount of waste generated.

Barrels & barrels of plastic sheeting were sent to the landfill every day, as were huge numbers of paper gowns that the dentists & techs had worn once (& if they had to leave the patient, say to get more materials, they had to throw away their gloves & get new ones.)

& I bet neither they nor their waste management contractor composts or re-cycles a thing, too much liability.

It's so nice to hear of someone making a difference, keeping something out of the landfill & reaping a benefit as well!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 11:03AM
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I think that a lot of that medical waste stuff gets incinerated rather than going to landfills, actually. But, that comes with its own environmental impact. I read recently that there is actually a fair amount of mercury in medical waste, which gets released when it is incinerated. Here's a fact sheet from the EPA, if you're interested:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 7:46PM
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This is an old post, I know, but I think that is awesome. I just LOVE IT when things like this can be recycled. I wish I could get a hold of some IV bags. I don't know anyone who works in the medical field, though. I don't imagine a hospital will willing hand them out to the public either, haha.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 6:03PM
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As for the IV bags, if you want an old one, try a small vets office! Now granted I live in the country and it's a small place. But I know mine would give them to me! Just a thought!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 3:24AM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

Recycling takes time. Time equals money. Places like medical offices don't want to sort into bins and deliver to a recycling center. Platic iv bags were offered our local recycle center, but they had saline solution in them. The medical facility didn't want to empty them and the recycling center didn't want to emtpy them so they threw them in the landfill. Sad since there was no contamination, never been used.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 1:39PM
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"As for the IV bags, if you want an old one, try a small vets office! Now granted I live in the country and it's a small place. But I know mine would give them to me! Just a thought!"

I would second that suggestion. My vet (and I think our previous vet as well) uses empty IV bags for booties for bandaged dog paws during wet weather, so saving them isn't unheard of.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 4:22AM
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