Trenton, New Jersey based TerrCycle, which focuses on difficult to recycle products, has added medical waste in the form of used sharps to its recycling program.
Utilizing EPA-approved sterilisation technology, the company explained that it has developed a system that provides contaminant exposure protection and high-efficiency material recovery.
The regulated waste division of TerraCycle has created a sharps container and shipping carton system available in a variety of sizes. The puncture-resistant sharps containers are approved for use by both UPS and the US Postal Service when shipped within the corresponding carton.
Sizes range from a 1.4-quart (1.6 litre) container for home use to a commercial 28-gallon (106 litre) system. Like its Zero Waste Box programs, the medwaste boxes are postage-prepaid—the customer simply fills the sharps container, boxes it and calls UPS or USPS for a pickup.
“This is an exciting addition to the regulated waste offerings at TerraCycle,” said Bobby Farris, General Manager of TerraCycle Regulated Waste, “We’re providing a real alternative to incineration for medwaste customers who want to see the materials recycled.”
The company noted World Health Organization figures which state that as much as 90% of all medical waste is incinerated, even though only 15% of it is actually considered biologically hazardous.
To protect the population and environment, the EPA has begun to promote the use of “Alternative Treatment and Disposal Technologies for Medical Waste.”
By utiliaing commercial steam disinfection (autoclave) of medical waste and then processing the sharps to separate metals, plastics and glass, TerraCycle said that it is able to reclaim valuable materials and divert waste from the landfill.
The system is claimed to provide better, more measurable elimination of biohazards and lessens the linear use of resources.
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