SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Springfield Department of Public Works is reminding residents to properly dispose of medical waste after alarms were triggered at the F&G Waste Transfer Station in Agawam due to radioactive substances.

The DPW states the short-lived radioactive substances of medical origin were collected the last three Thursdays in the Route 3 area as picture below. According to the map, Route 3 is in the area of East Springfield and Liberty Heights. Download the map to enhance the streets.

What was in the trash

An example of medical waste include byproducts from patients who receive radiation treatments. Radioisotopes have a half-life of 65 days and are disposed of into undergarments such as a diaper or bloody materials. 

An additional example includes animal waste disposed of in the trash for pets that are receiving cancer or tumor treatments. This will cause radiation alarms at the transfer station.

The City of Springfield pays $2,000 for every time the alarm sounds and three contaminated trash loads from radioactive kitty litter cat waste cost the City of Springfield an additional $6,000. The City of Springfield says that costs may have to be passed on to the resident contaminating the trash truck. 

The trash truck that was carrying the radioactive material also has to sit while specialists inspect and identify the contamination which could last from two to five days.

Medical facilities and veterinarians are required by law to process any contaminated clothing, gauze, cat litter, or other materials that may be radioactive. Consult with your doctor’s office for proper disposal.