Due to the spread of COVID-19 around the world, governments in a number of countries are focused on improving the disposal of medical waste. The topic of disposal of medical waste in hospitals and clinics is a major part of the debate.
Medical waste is one of the most hazardous forms of waste, especially if it is not treated properly before disposal. Medical waste disposal services deal with disposal of consumables such as used gloves, protective equipment and, of course, biological waste. Medical waste can be infectious, toxic and radioactive and its recycling is a difficult task that carries enormous risks.
There are many materials that cannot be disposed of in landfills or conventional municipal waste disposal facilities because they require much higher temperatures and more time to destroy pathogens that may have contaminated the materials. In addition, health workers and health care personnel at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic must be protected from the effects of infectious medical waste through proper medical waste disposal systems.
Medical waste to be recycled by medical waste disposal services can be divided into 3 classes:
Class A: low-hazardous waste that is not contaminated with biological fluids from patients. The same category includes decommissioned hospital equipment, food waste, gowns, boot covers, gloves not contaminated with hazardous substances.
Class B: this category includes potentially infected waste that may have been contaminated with patients’ biological fluids: organic and inorganic surgical waste, masks.
Class D: the most dangerous medical waste, disinfectants, cytostatics, syringe needles, ampoule glass, pharmaceutical waste – drug containers, expired drugs, or something else. By contacting professional medical waste disposal services, you automatically solve the question of waste disposal.
Medical waste disposal scheme
Medical waste must be collected and disposed of according to its hazard class. Non-hazardous recyclable materials can be disposed of at municipal solid waste landfills.
Collection of medical waste is carried out in special strong, elastic and 100% tight two-layer packages. Each class of medical waste has its own color and labeling.
Medical waste disposal services various methods and equipment can be used for disposal of hazardous:
After disinfection, medical waste is disposed of by burial or incineration in special furnaces. Some recyclables can be sent for recycling.
Currently, companies providing medical waste disposal services are looking for innovations. Plasma gasification is well suited for the destruction of medical and hazardous waste. These include residues from existing medical waste incinerators. Residual ash and contaminants from medical waste can be mixed with higher energy fuels. Plasma gasification then converts these materials into inert ceramic slag. The advantages are obvious: it is possible to produce energy, in addition, air pollution is greatly reduced.
Proper disposal of medical waste through sustainable sanitation systems is an essential part of pandemic planning and recovery all over the world. If we trust this task to the professional medical waste disposal services which can do it right during COVID-19, it will be much easier to deal with the next outbreak.