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Proposed medical waste facility has some neighbors concerned

Posted: 6:38 PM, Sep 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-20 00:33:59-04

Westside resident Joe Marroquin doesn’t want medical waste in his neighborhood.

“If it’s such a good idea, why don’t you make it in someone else’s neighborhood?” asked Marroquin.

Document handling firm CC FilePro recently applied for permits with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for a medical waste treatment facility.  That facility would be in a currently vacant warehouse near the intersection of Port Avenue and Lipan Street, blocks from Marroquin’s home.

“We don’t need any of that junk over here,” said Marroquin.  “It’ll be too close to our high school, too close to the people on Comanche Street.”

Former City Councilman Kelley Allen is leading the project.  He says this is the ideal site because of zoning and proximity to hospitals and other medical facilities.  The facility would treat and sterilize the waste employing what’s called an autoclave which uses pressure and temperature to sterilize waste.  The facility would then send it to the landfill.

“Maybe I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill,” said Marroquin.  “It might be a super clean facility, I don’t know; but medical waste is kind of scary.”

But officials say there’s nothing to fear.  They say the waste, primarily syringes and other sharp items, would be stored securely behind locked doors and gates, and not disposed of on-site.

That comes as little comfort to Marroquin.

“It’s not like they’re making snow cones here, this is medical waste,” said Marroquin.

Marroquin says he and his neighbors are tired to being treated like they live in what he refers to as “the armpit of the city.”

“I thought when they cleared out that area there, maybe we’d get a bowling alley, a movie theater, or something nice on this side of town,” said Marroquin.

Once permits are approved, officials expect the medical waste treatment facility to be operational by the end of Spring 2019.