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Blasting waste away safely

Hazardous hospital waste is being blasted with heat so that it can be disposed of safely.

Hospital bosses announced that a macerator has been installed at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital — which sterilises potentially dangerous waste with an environmentally-friendly steam treatment.

Biological and infectious materials as well as needles, syringes and disposable surgical equipment are now heated to 270 degrees — killing all pathogens and effectively sterilising the material while producing no emissions.

Previously, hazardous waste was burned in a specially designed incinerator, but the new system does not produce any emissions.

The “red bag” waste is simply placed in the body of the machine where a patented steam and maceration process renders the material sterilised at the end. The resultant material is fine confetti which is safe and can be disposed of as regular trash or recycled.

Bermuda Hospitals Board Facilities Manager Daniel Moore said: “The machine uses steam under pressure to sterilise the waste. It takes about 30 minutes for a 70-pound load of red bag waste to be processed and at the end the processed material is no longer recognisable as medical waste. It is a safe sterile confetti-like substance. The process is odour free and does not release any air emissions.”

BHB CEO Venetta Symonds added: “Investment in this new technology demonstrates BHB's commitment to the community and the environment. We are excited to be able to use a system that does not generate emissions and converts hazardous waste to a safe product, in a process that does not jeopardise the safety of our staff.

“We are also pleased to inform our neighbours that we have moved to this new system.”

Environmentally friendly: The Bermuda Hospitals Board new macerator

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Published December 11, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated December 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm)

Blasting waste away safely

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