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Residents protest proposed medical waste treatment facility

Shrewsbury – The unveiling of a proposal that would bring a medical waste treatment facility to town has come under fire from residents, many of whom live in the neighborhood nearest where the 21,000-square-foot building would be built.

On Nov. 20 the Shrewsbury Planning Board opened a public hearing to review the special use permit application filed with the town by Daniels Sharpsmart, Inc. (DSI), regarded as the worldwide leader in the management and processing of regulated medical waste.

Daniel Kennedy, vice president of facility development for the North America Division of DSI, explained at the public hearing that the medical waste giant hopes to build on 6.7 acres of land located at 263 Cherry St., and 7.22 acres at 609 Hartford Turnpike, better known as Route 20.

The Polito Development Corp owns both parcels of land,

While the proposed site of the medical waste treatment facility is in an area zoned for industrial use, it abuts a residential zone and is also next to the Hebert Candy Mansion on Route 20.

More than 125 residents, many of who live with their families in the Cherry Street neighborhood, an area that runs between Routes 9 and 20, attended the meeting, asked questions and voiced their opposition to the plan.

A petition with more than 200 signatures opposing the project was presented to the Planning Board at the public hearing.

Kennedy confirmed at the public hearing that the facility would process medical waste, including sharps, bloody gauze, bandages, intravenous tubes and lab specimens, and would be a holding area for other waste, including human tissue and materials used in cancer-patient treatments, before that waste was transported to a facility in Maryland to be burned.

Kennedy explained that a sharp is anything that can cut, puncture or pierce, including syringes and needles.

A common theme emerged from the residents that spoke at the public hearing – a concern for the safety of their children and their neighborhood, including the water supply.

Shrewsbury Town Manager Daniel Morgado said that approval of the project would mean an addition $64,000 in revenue from the town, revenue that would come through property taxes, water and sewer charges and electrical costs.

Kennedy said when completed and running at full efficiency , th e facilit y would have about 55 employees and 60,000 pounds of waste would be processed daily at the plant from Monday through Friday.

DSI facilities like the one proposed for Shrewsbury provide hospitals and other health care facilities with reusable containers to dispose of the aforementioned medical waste. The waste is gathered in 30-gallon box containers with lockable lids or a large plastic container with wheels.

Once at the facility, the waste is sterilized using a high-temperature, high-pressure, six-step system in which the containers are sterilized so they can be reused.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=6085

Posted by on Nov 27 2009. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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