Last month, Republican Representative Jeff Denham introduced the Department of Veterans Affairs Creation of On-Site Treatment Systems Affording Veterans Improvements and Numerous General Safety Enhancements Act,” which would enforce on-site medical waste treatment systems in VA facilities. Denham argues that it will help save taxpayer dollars and reduce infectious material being transported.
Democratic Representative Charlie Crist is the main cosponsor of the bill, and he explains that “Improving efficiency at the VA means prioritizing resources for where they are needed most – caring for our veterans. With this bill we are working together to make government work better and to put our heroes first.”
Crist’s office went on to detail that “On-site sterilization machines compact medical ‘red bag’ waste and destroy microbial life, rendering hazardous bio-waste safe. Otherwise, this infectious waste is loaded into trucks and driven to regional disposal centers – a process that is dangerous, costly, and inefficient. System wide, this bill will save the VA millions of dollars each year and improve care for our veterans. This technology improves crisis-readiness and is safer, more efficient, more cost-effective, and more environmentally friendly than traditional medical waste disposal. Implementing this technology will align the VA with Centers for Disease Control best practices for infection control, and VA hospitals will no longer need to truck millions of pounds of hazardous waste to far-away disposal centers.”