Clinical waste management – a target for protesters?

Clinical waste management companies frequently see themselves as potential targets for protesters. Resistance to planning and licensing applications, and subsequently a stream of complaints about, well, about just about everything.

Complaints sometimes arise from those with a legitimate concern and quite rightly there must be a robust mechanism to deal with these. More often, perhaps, are the complains about rather trivial matters that seem to stem mainly from an innate dislike of the waste management process and of clinical wastes in particular. Traffic, general appearance, noise, smell, site hygiene – most complaints predicated on some imagined dread of disease from the hideous processing of blood and guts, needles and worse, that seems to lodge in the minds of those living or working nearby.

Experience of the strong and sometimes violent American anti-abortion or Pro-Life lobby suggests that they too may lodge complaints against clinical waste management companies. Clinical waste from the many small and community-based ‘abortion clinics’ logically comprises aborted foetuses. In reality, many will be little more than a small and rather diffuse piece of tissue in the case of later terminations there will be little doubt about the foetus.

There are many reports of protests outside the so-called abortion clinics, in America and here in the UK. Protests have been directed at the clinic operators and their staff, and at users of the service who are dissueded from attending. http://www.lifeissues.org/blog/?p=1458 suggests that clinical waste management companies may become secondary targets for criticism,  and there have been a few reports that this type of protest has happened, as a strike at the softer underbelly of clinic operators who are starved of incoming supplies or waste management services – some of these reports can be found in the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum archives..

This creates unexpected safety and security hazards for waste management operators who mus remain aware of the possibility of complaint or more direct action.

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