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What is the Capacity of a Medical Incinerator?

Capacity of a Medical Incinerator

A medical incinerator is found at many hospitals and other healthcare facilities and is used to burn certain types of healthcare waste, including infectious or “red bag” waste. Many states have stringent regulations regarding what kind of waste a hospital can generate and how they must go about storing, transporting and disposing of it. Medical waste incinerators are the perfect solution for healthcare facilities that want to comply with these strict regulations.

Medical waste incinerators are designed to handle a variety of pathological and infectious medical wastes, as well as yellow or red bag waste, bandages, medical syringes, packaging and pharmaceuticals. They can reduce this waste to a sterile ash in just a few hours and have the capacity to handle thousands of pounds of waste per day. This means that you can save time, money and space by eliminating the need to autoclave or shred your waste.

The high temperatures of a medical incinerator significantly shrink the waste volume which allows hospitals to dispose of much more waste while using minimal space – a huge benefit for urban hospitals that already have very tight landfill restrictions. The incinerator’s emission control systems also eliminate dangerous toxins, particulate matter and smoke that would otherwise pose a health risk to workers handling or disposing of the waste as well as to the public at large.

What is the Capacity of a Medical Incinerator?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of hospital patients and visitors as well as an increase in the amount of medical waste generated. As a result, medical waste incinerators are currently in high demand from both hospitals and the private sector. FEECO has the ability to build both rotary and fixed-hearth incinerators and can deliver them in as little as two weeks.

Incinerating medical waste is a very energy-intensive process, as the water content in most medical wastes requires a significant amount of fuel to maintain combustion temperatures and destroy the material. This can lead to dioxin emissions, particularly if startup and shutdown procedures are not carried out properly. It can also cause the release of mercury, cadmium and 2,3,7,8-tetra-chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) precursors into the air as fly ash is released up the stack.

As landfills fill up and greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the need for alternative medical waste disposal methods has never been more critical. Until recently, most hospitals burned their hazardous waste on-site in medical waste incinerators. Gradually, healthcare providers began to realize that implementing sustainable changes such as switching to machines called autoclaves, which sterilize items through heated steam instead of burning them, were more cost-effective in the long run and better for the environment. In the meantime, a national nonprofit organization called Health Care Without Harm helped to organize and promote sustainable alternatives for healthcare facilities. Over the past few decades, hospitals have been slowly shifting to these more environmentally friendly methods. In fact, today only 57 of the nation’s 4,500 medical incinerators remain in operation, down from 7,000 at one point.


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