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A Green Processing System for Medical Waste

This guest post comes to us from David P. Tusa, CEO and President of Sharps Compliance Corp. (Nasdaq: SMED), a leading full-service provider of cost-effective management solutions for medical waste and unused dispensed medications generated outside the healthcare facility setting.

While disposal of sharps (used needles and syringes) at hospitals and other large healthcare facilities is highly regulated, medical waste disposal by the ten million people who self-inject at home for diabetes and other conditions is largely unregulated. The health risks and resulting economic costs of improper sharps disposal are immense, from needles and syringes washing up on beaches and possibly creating needlesticks, to needlestick injuries that can expose sanitation and other workers to infection risk. Despite laws in some states regulating disposal, much consumer- generated sharps waste ends up in overburdened landfills, adding to waste volume while being potential sources of toxins that leach into the soil.

Fortunately, there is now an environmentally sound innovation for the safe treatment of consumer generated needles and syringes. The new PELLA-DRX™ Green Waste Conversion Process is a patent-pending invention that offers a method for repurposing used needles, syringes and other sharps, into clean, compact pellets for use in energy-intensive industries such as cement and brick. None of the medical waste used for PELLA-DRX™ goes to a landfill. Instead it is repurposed into a raw material that becomes part of a new product that is used in the manufacture of industrial resources.

PELLA-DRX™ is not just a product; it is part of a three-step green processing system:

  • Sharps waste is sent for processing via a proprietary Product Recovery System™ consisting of government-approved containers and return packaging with pre-paid postage. These packages are sent via the U.S. Postal Service to a treatment facility.
  • All sharps waste received is disinfected with extremely high pressure and temperature in a process called autoclaving, to destroy any disease pathogens. The process is closely regulated to ensure thoroughness, and its high temperatures eliminate infection risk.
  • This material is shredded, quality-checked and compressed into clean, compact PELLA-DRX™ pellets in which medical waste is rendered unidentifiable – and kept out of landfills.

Other sharps and medical waste disposal methods simply collect medical waste, clean and dump all of it into landfills, with no volume reduction. The sterilizing, shredding compression process for PELLA-DRX™ renders the origin of the material indistinguishable. By creating useful products rather than harmful by-products, this cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally responsible process is a win-win environmental solution.

Photo Credit: -sel via flickr under a CC license

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