Man arrested for storing infectious medical waste

Sunday, November 3, 2002

COLUMBIA -- Authorities are investigating a man who was arrested after 137 containers of infectious medical waste were found inside an empty home in Columbia.

The 36-year-old man was arrested Tuesday and released Thursday on $500 bond. Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane said he planned to file three misdemeanor charges against the man.

Capt. Mike Martin said police were first notified of the waste last Saturday when contractors who were working on the empty, unoccupied home reported seeing containers inside marked "biohazard."

Martin said the containers ranged from small needle boxes used in doctors' offices to barrels 55 gallons or larger, none of which seemed to be leaking.

Representatives from Arkansas-based Medical Waste Management removed the containers sometime early Friday and took it back to their headquarters in Osceola, Ark.

According to police reports, the man said he had contracts with several hospitals and clinics in Missouri, including two in Columbia.

Beth Marsala, with the Department of Natural Resources' Solid Waste Program, said the man was an employee of Arkansas-based Medical Waste Management and was using the home to illegally store medical waste. She said the company at one time had a license to transport waste in Missouri, but it is no longer valid.

Records show that the company's registration has been revoked in Missouri and Arkansas.

The man's arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 12.

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