Late this afternoon, the Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) was notified by the New York State Department of Transportation (“NYSDOT”) that a substantial quantity of medical waste, enough to fill two garbage bags, had been found along the roadside on Route 20 in the Town of Hamburg in the vicinity of Pleasant Avenue and Lakeview Road. NYSDOT and partner agencies including the Town of Hamburg Police advised ECDOH that the waste was not easily seen from the roadway but had been scattered along the roadside in that location. In a collaborative effort, personnel from Erie County Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Services were dispatched to collect and contain the waste to prevent exposure to the public and ensure proper disposal. Erie County is collaborating with New York State to investigate the origin of the materials.
Members of the public should avoid direct contact with potential sources of medical waste. If soiled gloves, bandages, containers, etc. are found on private property, they should be handled as follows:
- · Avoid touching the materials with bare hands. Wear gloves, use a plastic bag, or retrieve the item using tongs, a stick, or a shovel.
- · Place the item in a plastic bag. Tie the bag shut. Place the bag inside another plastic bag. Tie the bag shut.
- · Place the bagged item in the garbage.
- · Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- · There is no need to contact the health department or other agency at this time.