In hospitals and doctor’s offices you will find medical waste bins with a biohazard symbol indicating that special disposal is required for its contents. It makes sense that medical waste would need to be identified to warn people that the contents are hazardous and should be disposed of with care. There are several methods that facilities use for medical waste disposal.
Common Disposal Methods for Medical Waste
Common methods of disposal for medical waste include autoclaving, irradiation, incineration, and chemical decontamination. Autoclaving and irradiation are used for sharp objects such as needles and chemical decontamination is used for fluid waste. However, while they do decontaminate the items, these processes leave the medical waste intact. Incineration is the only proven method that actually eliminates as much as 99% of the waste.
What is Medical Waste Incineration?
Medical waste incineration is the process by which medical waste is incinerated and converted to ash. The thermal oxidation process effectively eliminates pathogens and destroys viruses such as COVID-19 and Ebola by heating the waste to temperatures in excess of 1,000°C. While medical waste incineration is typically used for Category A and B medical waste, which includes infectious substances and pathological items that can cause serious harm if an individual is exposed to them, many types of waste can be incinerated, including fluid which would normally be chemically decontaminated.
Why Incineration of Waste is an Environmentally Sustainable Option
As landfills around the world continue to fill it is important to look for opportunities to reduce waste. Incineration is the most effective method to reduce waste by eliminating it up to 99%. Items such as disposable face masks are not typically incinerated, however, with the sheer number of masks and other PPE (personal protective equipment) being used during the current pandemic, incinerating those items would not only keep the virus from spreading through that waste, but also reduce the space that masks and PPE would normally take up in landfills. Medical waste incinerators also produce no carbon monoxide emissions which add to their environmental appeal.
How Waste Incinerators Provide Versatility
Medical waste incinerators are available in a range of capacities that can process a few pounds of waste to thousands of pounds of waste. These units are also able to be transported from site to site and only require an electrical and gas connection to operate. They are extremely cost effective and easy to maintain, featuring IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities with remote monitoring and an adaptive maintenance program.
As one of the industry’s leading pollution control equipment manufacturers with 40 years of experience, Baker Furnace works closely with customers to design a waste incineration system that meets their specific needs. Connect with us on social media, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to keep up with our company news and industry updates.