WHAS11 investigates who's to blame for Watterson medical garbage

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by Brian Shaw

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 6:30 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For months, Dennis Tapp had noticed discarded garbage on the side of the Watterson.  WHAS11 spoke with him over the weekend and discovered the garbage was originating from Baptist Health Louisville. On Monday, we brought the situation to their attention and they told us they would be investigating.

“We have a waste management company that we work with that disposes of all of our trash," Julie Garrison, Regional Marketing Manager of Baptist Health Louisville said. "We have been working with them to find out the route that they take to the landfill which does go along the Watterson Expressway.” 

That was Baptist Health Louisville’s initial response to the situation on Monday. On Thursday, WHAS11 followed up with Waste Management to see where they were in their investigation and the process of collecting from Baptist.

“I can tell you. We are not sure how the waste got alongside the road," Michael Fuller, Senior District Manager of Waste Management said. "We haul the waste with what is called a self-contained compacter. Once that waste is in the compactor, it’s not coming out until it gets to the landfill. It’s a mystery that we don’t have an answer for at this point.” 

Fuller said a compacter is a box that contains a hopper or funnel. The hopper is where the garbage goes then it is run through a cycle where a ram compresses the garbage into the unit. 

Dennis Tapp told WHAS11 that this was not a one-time incident and that as many as eight to ten bags have been on the side of the road.

WHAS11 was also able to confirm that crews working for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet had cleaned up hospital garbage on the Watterson in June. In each instance, the bags were intact.

“It’s virtually impossible for it to come out of that," Fuller said. "The back door could come open but we would be talking about a huge mess. Which we are not talking about, we are talking about a bag here and a bag there and we would obviously know if the back door came open.”

WHAS11 then followed up with Baptist Health and they told us that Waste Management has discussed adjusting their pickup procedure and there was a theory that garbage was potentially not making it completely into the containers. Waste Management said there were measures to protect against this.  

 

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