Medical waste from Raleigh Veterans clinic found littered across street

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Rock Quarry Road in southeast Raleigh, drivers on Wednesday passed trash littered across the side of the street.

"It's unfortunately pretty typical for the area," said nearby resident David Eichenberger. However, he was only referencing the amount of trash normally found on the street and not specifically the type of trash.

Used latex gloves, rubber tourniquets, packaging for a blood collection set, and a SafetyGlide needle were all found on MLK Boulevard scattered across nearly 30 yards of road.

"I'm hoping it just fell off the back of someone's truck," Eichenberger said.

Based on a limited amount of information, ABC11 was able to verify the material came from a nearby Veterans Affairs clinic. Located five minutes away is a VA outpatient clinic on Sungate Road belonging to the Durham VA healthcare system.

"They owe an explanation and they need to clean it up as much as possible," said resident Darren Lockett. "My concern is we have kids going up and down that street and they can pick that stuff up."

In a phone call and email to ABC11, the Durham VA accepted responsibility for the waste.

"We thank the residents for bringing this to our attention. We have contacted the waste management company responsible for retrieving and disposing of our trash to immediately address the issue. We would like to assure the Veterans we serve that no patient identifiable information was compromised and our community neighbors that there are no biohazardous materials among the contents. We will continue to work with the contractor to quickly resolve the situation."

"I just want to see it taken care of," Eichenberger added. "I don't want my friends and neighbors to be exposed to what's on those gloves."

A Durham VA official said on Thursday that the trash had been removed.
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