Environment Magazine

Treatment of Medical Waste

Posted on the 04 February 2019 by Inciner8 @inciner8ltd

Treatment of Medical Waste



The safe treatment and disposal of medical waste is a big challenge for the medical industry. Medical waste can be very dangerous, and it needs to be effectively treated in one way or another before it can be disposed of in a sanitary landfill.

It can contain many microbiological spores which are very difficult to destroy. But one of the best ways to safely treat and dispose of medical waste is through incineration.

The benefits of incineration for medical waste

Hospital, medical and infectious waste incinerators (HMIWIs) use controlled burning in a secure unit to safely destroy most types of medical waste.

Despite negative perceptions of 'burning', incineration is one of the most effective and highly efficient technologies for treating medical waste from an engineering point of view. There are many benefits to it:

  • No pre-treatment is required, and very little sorting is necessary - the bulk of medical waste can be incinerated right away
  • It eliminates pathogens, including hard-to-kill bacteria
  • It breaks down and neutralizes organic, hazardous chemicals
  • The volume of landfill waste is dramatically reduced - often by 80 per cent or more
  • The end product is completely sterilized and treated
  • With the right units and safe technology, very little gas is reduced into the atmosphere
  • Specialist incinerators can also re-capture the energy generated from burning to heat boilers and provide power and hot water to facilities

The challenges of incineration

Understandably so, there are strict regulations on the emissions of medical incinerators in the US, the UK and around the world. The release of toxic gases from burning medical waste could be a challenge, without the right type of incinerator.

But with a safe and effective incinerator unit - like our entire range at INCINER8 - there is no need to worry about pollution or gas emissions. They meet and exceed all regulations. Our incinerators all utilize the very latest technology and highest engineering standards to control the entire gas exchange and release process, preventing any harmful smoke from being released.

All hazardous material is confined to the ash at the bottom of the incinerator, which can then be disposed of in sanitary or hazardous landfill sites.

As with any process, good operating procedures are required to protect workers from the heat of the incinerator unit. But all our units are very simple and extremely safe to use.

Other types of medical waste treatment

There are a number of other ways to treat medical waste. They include:

  • Microwaves
  • Irradiation
  • Vitrification
  • Autoclaves
  • Mechanical/Chemical Disinfection
However, these tend to require much more effort and investment than incineration, and they are often not as effective.

Incineration is one of the safest and most thorough ways of treating medical waste. If you'd like to learn more about our range of medical incinerators and how they can help you safely treat medical waste, get in touch today.

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