Year Opened: 2008"Bridgeview Update" (from Spring 1998 Evergreen Association Newsletter)
The latest inspection report for Bridgeview indicates problems have been occurring with samples of chem-claved waste showing signs of bacterial growth on incubator spore samples after three days incubation.
A DEP inspector who visited Bridgeview on February 2 examined three spore samples in the incubator at that time from the Chem-Clav 2000 dated January 30, January 31, and February 1. The February 1 sample showed growth. One sample from the Chem-Clav 3000 dated January 30 also was in the incubator and showed growth. These waste containers were reprocessed, sampled again, and rechecked on February 5 and 9, at which time no growth was observed.
Another inspection of incubator spore samples on February 12 indicated possible growth in two samples from waste processed in the 2000 unit February 10 and 11. Re-inspection of the samples on February 13 showed definite growth in the February 10 sample.
Bridgeview explains it has experienced problems with samples occurring both as a result of environmental contamination from mishandling of the samples (incubator sample appears cloudy) and failure of the Chem-Clav units to treat the waste (incubator sample shows orange colonies). To solve the first problem, the facility will likely install a glove box to prevent environmental contamination of the samples. Bridgeview meanwhile must inform DEP as to why samples have been showing environmental contamination and indicate how it will correct these problems. Until these problems can be resolved, Bridgeview must hold all treated waste at the site until the three-day incubation period has been completed.
An OFF-HOUR inspection Saturday, November 22, 1997, at 5 a.m. by DEP air quality and waste management inspectors revealed no problems, except for an uncovered ash container. None of the equipment was operating and no employees were present at the time. Manifests for all waste to be treated were locked in the office. Inspectors returned on November 25 to complete the inspection and noted: problems with Bridgeview's handling of manifests; a Chem-Clav steam vent dripping liquid smelling of the chlorine treatment solution; boxes of waste from CT on the loading dock without lids; shredder cooling water being discharged to the storm drain without a permit from Water Quality; bacterial growth in an incubator control sample. With the exception of the incubator spore samples, all problems had been corrected by the February inspection.
Installation of the new 3000 lb./hour Chem-clav unit has been completed and the unit has been operating since last fall. Operating hours at the facility are 7 p.m. Monday to 3:30 a.m. Saturday and dayshift works Saturday and Sunday.
This plant was initially a pet crematorium. While the pet crematorium is
still a part of their operations, the state Department of Environmental
Resources (now named the Department of Environmental Protection) permitted
them to expand their operations to include a wider range of medical wastes.
Holly described the plant as a "growing facility" and Jeanne let me know
that they use double trailer trucks to haul medical waste into the area (on
winding roads that are an accident waiting to happen).
They have a patent for this "Chem-Clav" technology they are using. [It's actually "STI Chem-Clav" which is owned by Randy McKee and Sterile Technologies Inc which surfaced in Linden, NJ] The
group needs more info on the safety of this technology, but Holly described
it as a process where they sterilize the waste with a chlorine solution of
sorts, then they shred it and landfill it at the Pottstown Landfill. FYI,
the Pottstown landfill owned by Waste Management, Inc. (see
http://www.corporations.org/wmi/ for background) and is leaking
radioactivity into the ground (they take radioactive sewage sludge from a
local sewage treatment plant that a nuclear reactor dumps wastes into).
The landfill is being fought by a group called the Alliance for a Clean
Environment because WMI wants to expand it. Anyway, back to Bridgeview...
Holly told me of two incinerator units they have had. They had a 2000
lb/hr unit that was dismantled to make space for their new Chem-Clav
technology. They also have a 1000 lb/hr unit that they still use to burn
things that they can't put through the Chem-Clav process (pharmaceutical
wastes and body parts) as well as medical wastes that generators request to
In addition to having to fight Bridgeview and the BFI landfill, there is
now a new facility planned for across the street from Bridgeview which
would clean and service trash trucks.
Holly made it obvious to me that they wouldn't be happy with additional
waste being sent to their community. Jeanne informed me that, like the
medical waste autoclave in Chester, many workers have been stabbed with
needles in the Bridgeview plant. Holly doesn't feel it's a safe operation
and they both expressed that Cornell ought to treat their waste onsite
rather than ship it to another community, making it someone else's problem.
I have to agree.