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franklin county times

Medical waste collection service eyes expansion

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Feb. 23, 2001
Meridian businessman Jim Brumfield wants to expand a medical waste collection service to include counties surrounding Lauderdale.
Brumfield, who owns Southern Waste Disposal, began collecting medical waste for Lauderdale County about a year ago. He owns two waste dumps in Meridian, Sowaco and Bozeman.
Mike Holmes, vice president of Southern Waste Disposal and its sister company, Medical Waste Solutions, said Brumfield is interested in expanding to areas within a 100-mile radius of Meridian areas he said don't currently have ready access to medical waste collection and disposal.
The waste is rendered harmless through an autoclave system, which is basically a "big sterilization unit," Holmes said.
Lauderdale County Engineer Neal Carson discussed the matter with supervisors at a work session last week.
A year ago, the board of supervisors held a public hearing for input on allowing medical waste collection from Lauderdale County medical facilities. Board President Jimmie Smith said he doesn't remember any comments being made and the amendment was made to allow the medical waste collection.
Since waste wasn't going to be collected in surrounding counties at that time, residents there weren't given the chance to comment.
Smith said the public hearing date has not been set yet and the matter will probably be discussed at another work session before it is scheduled.
After the public hearing, supervisors will decide whether to change their master plan to include medical waste collections from other counties. DEQ officials then have to approve it, Carson said.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell asked Carson to find out if Lauderdale County can charge fees for accepting other counties' medical waste.
Carson said Lauderdale County gets $1 for each ton of solid waste dumped here, but he hasn't had a chance to check on fees for medical waste. He said that would be done at the hearing, since part of the hearing would include a presentation by people who want to bring in medical waste.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.