Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Where does animal and human medical and biological waste go?

Medical waste from people and animals is disposed of in a variety of ways, according to experts at Some local facilities that generate this waste have capabilities to deal with it onsite; others don’t.

For hospitals, the main goal of disposal is to eliminate bacteria and organisms that could be harmful to other people. According to, these procedures must be followed with extreme precision and care to avoid anyone coming into contact with bloodborne illnesses and biohazards. 

Incineration reduces the volume of waste that would need to be transported from a facility to a landfill or other disposal site. 

Hospitals also use a technique called autoclaving, which utilizes heat in the form of steam to sterilize certain types of medical waste, effectively killing microorganisms.

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Regulated medical waste is defined as “material generated in research, production and testing of biologicals or health care such as: infectious animal waste, human pathological waste, human blood and blood products, needles and syringes, cultures and stocks.” All must be treated by an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) sanitization process. 

Veterinarian clinics must also follow federal and state laws when disposing of animal carcasses. There are routine options for disposing of the carcasses such as burial, landfill, composting, cremation or incineration and rendering evolving technologies.

Companies that dispose of medical waste in Des Moines include Bio-One and Stericycle. 


Will the Lauridsen Skatepark be open during the winter?

The Lauridsen Skatepark, located downtown Des Moines at ​​901 Second Ave., experiences thousands of visitors throughout the year, and that doesn’t stop once it gets cold.

The park is open year-round, permitted by weather conditions. Updates can be found on the park’s availability and condition at According to the website, Operation Downtown is in charge of maintaining the park. From December to March, they perform occasional walk-throughs. The other months of the year, they clean the park three times per day to keep the bowls open and rides smooth. 

If the park is in need of maintenance, or you notice something that needs reported, email Polk County Conservation at or call 515-323-5300. 


When is the special election going to be held for the open Des Moines City Council seat?

After Des Moines City Councilmember Indira Shuemaker submitted her resignation, the council unanimously voted to include her vacant seat on the Nov. 7 ballot. Candidates who have thrown their names in the hat as of press time are Kimberley Strope-Boggus, Chris Coleman, Rob Barron, RJ Miller and Kathy Hellstern. n

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