Lexington Recycle Center: please stop recycling medical waste


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington’s Recycling Center is asking residents to stop putting medical waste in recycling bins.

Officials say the materials are biohazards and pose a threat to the people a part of the sorting process. They say the highest impact offenders are needles, dialysis bags and tubes, and IV bags and tubes and vials.

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According to officials, employees have been stuck by needles, which requires medical treatment. Additionally, the dialysis and IV tubes wrap around moving parts of the machinery. People have to climb into the machines and cut them out, causing downtime.

Officials say once medical waste is on the sorting line, all material that is currently in the process of being sorted is cleared from the line and sent to the landfill. Employees no longer touch the material.

They say if any of the biohazard material makes its way through the complete sorting process and into a bale of materials, companies won’t purchase sorted materials.

The Recycle Center says though the problem is serious, the solution is simple. Dispose of medical waste properly. It is not recyclable. Put it with biohazard or landfill-bound waste.

More information, along with downloadable flyers on what can be recycled, can be found at LexingtonKY.gov/Recycling.