Types of medical waste
These types of waste come from laboratories, hospitals, healthcare centres, clinics and other medical facilities. They can be divided into various categories:
- Bacteria, viruses, pathogens
- Clothing, dressings
- Human remains
- Used medical equipment, gloves, masks, aprons
- Radioactive materials, waste from X-rays
- Animal remains (veterinary waste)
The problem – and the solution
These waste materials require extremely sensitive treatment, owing to their hazardous nature: bacteria may be present, equipment may be contaminated with pathogens, the waste may be radioactive, etc. They must undergo special treatment in accordance with their type, and under conditions of total safety.
Examples of pre-treatment include exposing the material to steam at high temperatures, or boiling it in water.
Rotary kilns are normally used to treat these types of waste, as they are designed to treat a wide variety of solids. If the amount of waste to be incinerated is relatively low, static kilns may also be used.
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