Taking the Hazard Out of Waste

By Nancy E. Berry on October 3, 2012

SteriMed Medical Waste Solutions, Inc.

"Technologies available today for the on-site treatment of medical waste include chemical treatment systems, low-temperature steam disinfection systems, and microwave disinfection systems, " says CEO Dwight Morgan of SteriMed Medical Waste Solutions, Inc., a medical waste technology and management company. The company has developed a patented medical waste processor that simultaneously shreds, macerates, disinfects, and dewaters medical waste by using an environmentally friendly biodegradable disinfectant, which has been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The engineered cocktail kills all infectious diseases, including H1N1 influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and hepatitis. By using this system, there is no need for incineration of the medical waste, a process which inherently produces dioxins—a known cancer-causing compound. This system also mitigates the high volumes of water used in autoclaving (steam disinfection) and eliminates caustic bleaches and other toxic disinfectants that require neutralization before disposal into the local wastewater system. "Basically the process is carbon neutral because there are no fossil fuels consumed in the on-site waste treatment process, and it has been approved for use in all 50 states, " notes Morgan. "The cost savings to a facility that adopts this on-site waste treatment is as much as 50 percent, with environmental footprint savings in excess of 80 percent. " By treating medical waste on-site a health care facility can eliminate the high costs associated with off-site transportation contracts. Today SteriMed has more than 500 machines operating around the world. The company recently worked with the U.S. Navy to provide them with the new technology; it was a great solution for ships that could not dispose of medical waste while out to sea—the SteriMed processors took care of disinfecting the waste right on the ship.