Exclusive video: allegations of contaminated urine being dumped

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by Sybil Hoffman

azfamily.com

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 4:31 PM

CASA GRANDE, Ariz -- Syringes, blood, even urine. We're talking about pounds and pounds of biohazardous medical waste.

But a Valley treatment facility is facing allegations it's not properly decontaminating some of it.

The video is quite disturbing. Piles and piles of unshredded needle and what appears to be blood dripping out of a truck. It's evidence Randy Stuflick captured on his cell phone that he believes
proves illegal activity by HMWS, Healthcare Medical Waste Services.

"Something is horribly wrong and they're bypassing the public safety in doing this" said Stuflick in an exclusive interview with 3TV.

Stuflick was hired to drive biohazardous material from HMWS to various landfills. But during his employment he saw numerous violations.

"I was taking out full loads of biohazardous waste that had thousands of needles not shredded, not even the small containers that were supposed to be," said Stuflick.

In addition to unshredded needles, Stuflick claims urine was rarely put into an autoclave to be sterilized, a process required by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

"They said it stinks too bad when its autoclaved," Stuflick claimed.

According to Stuflick, if that's not disturbing enough, he says bodily fluids would often spill out of the trucks during transports.

"It shouldn't be like this, it shouldn't be this hard to control," he said.

"The chance of anything leaking, absolutely something could happen, there's no question about it," HMWS Owner Linda Moll admitted.

Shortly after Stuflick resigned in September 2012, Moll told us, "The next thing I know I'm getting sabotaged with unemployment, ADEQ complaints, OSHA complaints, Channel 3, so it's just been a big barrage of complaints."

ADEQ confirmed it inspected the facility on January 10, 2013. According to the agency, Stuflick's
video "doesn't show a specific person or facility doing the dumping and doesn't show when or where it was filmed." As a result, "our investigators did not observe any of the concerns that were alleged in the complaint."

"Everything is documented from point of pickup through processing and disposal. So the allegations are unfounded," Moll said.

"I mean, this isn't right. I know what I've seen. It's not right," Stuflick said.

According to Stuflick, the list of violations doesn't end with illegal dumping. He claims his former colleagues' health is in jeopardy as he says they aren't equipped with the proper gear to handle biohazardous waste which he believes explains why they don't sterilize urine.

"They aren't not wearing the gloves and this and that that they're stating now," Stuflick said. "They're not wearing respirators. If they were wearing respirators, they would cook the urine."

We wanted to see for ourselves, so we asked to tour HMWS. Moll left her office, ten minutes later she came back and allowed us in. We found all of her employees were wearing either masks or respirators and gloves.

"It's possible he could have taken something and set me up," Moll said in response to Stuflick's video.

Frustrated and concerned for the public's safety, Stuflick stands behind his videos and eyewitness accounts.

"There is a coverup somewhere along the line because the place was so bad, nothing was being followed," he proclaimed.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health is also investigating Healthcare Medical Waste Services.

In 2005, the company was cited because employees were exposed to blood borne pathogens and not equipped with proper respiratory gear.

Moll maintains her operation is safe and that everything going out has been properly sterilized.

 

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