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Re: Hospitals - Recycling of Paper and PVC with confidential information



There is a great U.S. EPA program that was set up to answer questions 
just list this!  It is called "Hospitals for a Healthy Environment."  It 
has a web page (http://www.h2e-online.org/) and a listserver 
specifically for those working in hospital pollution prevention.  The 
listserver has recently had extensive discussion of the relationship of 
new medical record confidentiality requirements (under a law called 
HIPAA) to recycling and waste management programs.  

Check it out--and while you're at it, you should consider joining or 
supporting this effective nationwide partnership of government, 
hospitals, and public health groups in the effort to reduce mercury, 
other hazardous materials, solid waste, and regulated medical waste from 
healthcare.  It is a great pollution prevention program!

Kelly Moran
TDC Environmental

Thomas Vinson wrote:

>Hello everyone!
>
>One of our people received a call from a hospital EHS rep.  He is interested in starting a program to recycle county hospitals' paper medical records and PVC patient identification cards.  The hospital system currently contracts with a company to shred the paper medical records and PVC ID cards onsite.  (The records/ID cards are shredded due to HIPPA, which requires special handling of confidential medical information.)  This shredded paper/plastic mix is carried off for disposal in a landfill.
>
>He proposed that the PVC/paper mix instead be recycled.  Rene with Recycle Texas found a buyer willing to pay 3 cents/lb, but the deal was not culiminated due to the hospitals' security concerns about the confidential information contained in the shredded paper/plastic mix.
>
>Do any of you know of other hospitals/hospital systems that recycle confidential material, or of other people that might be able to help this guy?  We have located the following resources on P2 and EPP for hospitals:
>
>http://www.sustainablehospitals.org/
>http://www.sustainablehospitals.org/cgi-bin/DB_Index.cgi
>http://www.geocities.com/epp_how_to_guide/
>http://www.noharm.org/ 
>
>Thanks so much!  Sarah
>
>Sarah Slocum
>RENEW Coordinator
>Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
>SBEA/Pollution Prevention and Industry Assistance Section
>Phone: (512) 239-3171
>Fax: (512) 239-6763
>
>Tomas Vinson-Peng
>www.p2Plan.org
>
>Fax: 512/239-3165
>Phone: 512/239-3182
>
>Engineering Specialist
>Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
>MC112
>PO Box 13087
>Austin, Tx 78711-3087
>tvinson@tnrcc.state.tx.us
>
>
>Disclaimer:  Regulatory guidance  e-mails are provided to quickly get you an answer to legal requirements.  They are not a substitute for compliance with the regulation, but guidance based on the best information available to the staff of TNRCC at the time.
>
>
>
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