Recently, the Government of Saskatchewan has been implementing a plan for suicide prevention. Included in this plan is affirming and strengthening the stewardship program, which works towards removing expired pharmaceuticals from homes around the province. Expired drugs can be found in most homes and can be a risk for people with mental health issues. Fortunately, there is a company that has been providing safe disposal of expired drugs from our communities for nearly 30 years.
Biomed Recovery & Disposal Ltd. handles biohazardous waste recovery and disposal services for Saskatchewan. Incorporated in 1994, Biomed serves health care facilities, medical clinics, pharmacies and more across the province, providing efficient and cost-effective waste disposal services. The company collects and processes all kinds of biohazardous wastes, such as used needles, anatomical and cytotoxic waste, and expired drugs. “We started offering collection services for expired pharmaceuticals and used needles in the 1990s, with a program endorsed by the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan,” says Cam Willett, Biomed’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We provide industry approved Bioboxes free of charge to Saskatchewan pharmacies, collect the waste and then dispose of it using a proprietary process approved by the Ministry of Environment.”
The program is simple. Because of Biomed’s already-established routes to the province’s health care facilities, clinics, doctors’ offices and laboratories, the company can collect expired pharmaceuticals at the same time as it picks up all other biohazardous waste. Once picked up, all the waste is safely processed and disposed of at Biomed’s facility at Aberdeen. “We’re already out picking up waste, and the stewardship program has been a natural extension of the services we already provide,” says Willett.
Biomed’s proprietary disposal process means that expired drugs and used needles can be disposed together in the same box; there is no need for pharmacists to separate them. This means that both waste streams can be picked up with one truck, reducing the carbon footprint created by transport. Expired drugs can also be disposed of in needle disposal units located in most urban centres in the province. The used needle problem has led Biomed to design and manufacture better, more secure needle boxes for use across Canada. “If there’s a needle box in Saskatchewan it was most likely manufactured and serviced by Biomed. We work with harm reduction to put needle boxes in places where they have been requested or where we know they should be,” says Willett. “It’s part of being a good corporate citizen, working to keep used needles and expired drugs from public places.”
Beyond its work disposing of needles, the company is also an innovator in the biohazardous waste industry. For 30 years, Biomed has been making advancements in effective methods of safe waste disposal as well as designing better biohazardous waste containers. “We are always working to do better,” says Willett. “We’re committed to our work and providing the best waste disposal products and services available.”
Learn more about Biomed Recovery & Disposal and find a needle box collection point at biomedwaste.com.
Biomed Recovery & Disposal Ltd. is proudly Indigenous owned. The company handles biohazardous waste recovery and disposal services for Saskatchewan.