In todays news is an article describing new procedures for disposal of medical waste. Aha, this is exactly what I need to know – ever since a relative’s visit a few months ago I have had a jar of “sharps” on the kitchen windowsill, between the hand soap and flowers like an ornament or strange experiment. I wonder what our cleaner thinks as she moves it each week to wipe the surface underneath.
The new system does not come into force until June – no worries, they have been incubating for a few months, one more won’t make much difference. I read on, hopeful that there will be a link to connect me to a “this is what you have to do page” … 8 paragraphs further on and I am none the wiser. I search under terms “medical waste disposal” and “sharps waste” each with Bermuda as a defining tag, leading to older articles stating that the hospital bio-oxidiser stopped working many months ago and the interim arrangements included renting containers for storage of this waste, distinctly alarming!
In England I worked in practices and hospitals, we had “sharps bins” in bright yellow with scary biohazard symbols and protocols enough to decorate a ballroom. In one building you even had to keep a list of the “waste-generator” (interesting name for what we usually called patients, but of course the document had been designed by a politically correct admindroid). I would like to tell you what happens on Bermuda, only it appears nobody knows. I looked on the government website, the waste management website, the hospital “portal”, the yellow pages, the pink pages …. Where else? I can hardly go up to my neighbours to ask “are you a medical-waste-generator?” – sounds rather intrusive does’t it. But how else am I to learn what I am supposed to do with my sharps?
Some of you will be saying “the relative should have taken them away” – right, as if it is sensible to carry used needles in hand luggage, or even permitted? Bring their own sharps box? Have you seen the size of them? Even the travel ones take the space of at least one pair of shoes and if a girl has to choose between shoe space and sharps box then I can pretty much guess what she will opt to pack! Besides, you can guarantee at least one “sharps” will be left behind, in the bathroom, the bedside table, even the washing machine, and then I am back to my original problem – how do I dispose of a small handful of sharps on this island?