Future Healthcare Systems, a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal company based in Mount Vernon, N.Y., has opened the State of Connecticut’s first medical waste treatment facility in an eco-technology park in Bridgeport. The new $3.5 million medical waste disposal facility has the capacity to treat 3 million pounds of regulated medical waste per month. While the company has other treatment facilities located in Lincoln, R.I., and Westchester, N.Y., the plant, which uses an autoclave for processing, is the flagship facility in Connecticut.
In 2015, under Approved Storage and Waste Handling North East, the company opened a regulated medical waste transfer station. And in 2016, the company received licenses for the Bridgeport regulated medical waste facility, where it celebrated its ribbon cutting last week.
According to Charlie Dippolito Jr., vice president of Future Healthcare Systems, the company will accept medical waste from the tristate area of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Northeast Massachusetts and service medical centers including Hartford Healthcare and Stanford Health Care.
The facility, he says, allows for more efficient and cost-effective disposal. The state previously had no treatment facilities for medical waste, so Connecticut’s medical and healthcare facilities have been shipping medical waste to a transfer station in Middletown. Trailers carrying the waste headed to New York or Rhode Island, where the waste was treated by autoclave. Finally, the waste left behind by the autoclave was then sent to landfill or treated by Wheelabrator Technology’s waste-to-energy facility in Bridgeport. The costs associated with transferring and transporting the waste has always been passed on to the customer because the waste belongs to the customers (healthcare facilities) from cradle to grave, according to Dippolito.
The Future Healthcare Systems plant allows for local treatment of the medical waste, bringing an end to long-distance transportation and cutting those transportation costs even for the final waste product, which is headed to the same Wheelabrator plant, now just three and a half blocks away from the plant.
“I grew up in the Bronx in New York, and a lot of the guys I grew up with were incarcerated,” comments Dippolito. “I couldn’t stand when people were turned down for a job because of something stupid they did when they were young.”
Dippolito says he thinks someone who made a mistake when they were 17 or 18 years old should be employable after they’ve paid their debt to society, but any job that requires a background check is all but off limits to them.
That’s why the company’s plants hire those non-sexual offenders who have served their time and want to work. Employees are hired to load trucks, and those who show an aptitude are given other jobs from mechanics to supervisory roles.
When people are struggling to find work, it’s an untapped pool of people who society, in a lot cases, has turned its back on. That, he says, doesn’t make sense when companies are struggling to find employees.
“It’s really paid dividends,” Dippolito says.
In fact, he says that he estimates 85 to 90 percent of the time, the employees with criminal backgrounds work out. They are successful because they appreciate the opportunity to be successful.
“We have some people who had criminal backgrounds who have worked for us for 14 or 15 years, and they are exemplary employees,” he says.