Due to the increasing costs of disposal of disposal at High Temperature Incineration facilities, coupled with a nationwide finite capacity and an increasing demand from our customers, we provide a different, cost effective and ethical treatment and disposal method for clinical waste through the use of Alternative Treatment.
After comprehensively researching all available Alternative Treatment technologies worldwide, we selected the use of Hydroclaves.
Hydroclaves, a hybrid autoclave which uses steam to sterilise infectious clinical waste, offer the best available treatment and disposal method, which is fully compliant with the stringent UK and European Community Regulatory framework.
Our dual Hydroclave Alternative Treatment facility, located near Maidenhead in Berkshire, is ideal for treating a range of infectious clinical wastes generated by NHS Trusts, hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dental practices, care and nursing homes, and veterinary practices, as well as numerous other healthcare related producers.
No, it is not true that all clinical waste needs to be incinerated. By encouraging our customers to segregate non-infectious and infectious clinical waste streams, we can treat a much larger proportion of this waste through disposal at Energy from Waste facilities or treat it via our Alternative Treatment Hydroclaves. Both of these solutions are more environmentally friendly and cheaper options.
Our Hydroclave Alternative Treatment facility provides numerous benefits and advantages to our customers when compared with other treatment and disposal methods for clinical waste.
The use of Alternative Treatment safely manages infectious and/or potentially infectious, orange bagged clinical waste; whilst providing both environmental and cost saving benefits.
The hybrid design of the Hydroclaves which we use in our Alternative Treatment process uses less water than other conventional autoclaves.
The Hydroclaves also use considerably less energy, and produce less CO2 than disposal through High Temperature Incineration, which offers a more sustainable route for the compliant disposal of infectious clinical waste which does not require incineration.
The Alternative Treatment facility which we use for the high temperature steam sterilisation of infectious clinical waste is located at our Knowl Hill operations, near Maidenhead in Berkshire. It is therefore in close proximity to our High Temperature Incinerator which is located near Slough.
This puts us in the unique position, as not only does it provide our customers with an Alternative Treatment facility for the safe disposal of infectious clinical waste, it also allows us to reserve valuable incineration capacity for clinical wastes such as yellow bagged clinical waste containing highly-infectious materials, sharps bins, cytotoxic and cytostatic waste, pharmaceutical and anatomical waste, which require a higher temperature for safe disposal.
We offer peace of mind through the continuity of disposal service provided by our Alternative Treatment facility, as we operate dual Hydroclaves. This means that if one vessel requires maintainance, we can keep the other operational, ensuring that you infectious clinical waste is treated compliantly and effectively.
The Alternative Treatment process that we provide uses Hydroclaves to process infectious or potentially infectious bagged clinical waste, typically contained in orange sacks.
These are loaded into an industrial shredder prior to the sterilisation process taking place. During the process of being shredded, the waste is mixed by powerful rotators, where it is broken into fine confetti-sized pieces.
Then the waste is conveyed into one of the two Hydroclave vessels via a corkscrew conveyor. Once the waste is in the Hydroclave vessel, steam fills the double-wall, or jacket, which surrounds the vessel, which in turn heats the waste up to a minimum of 121°C which renders the waste safe and non-infectious.
The vessel is then vented and the now sterile water within the vessel is drained. Steam heating and mixing continue until all of the liquid within the vessel has evaporated. This leaves a finely shredded dry waste called flock.
This residual flock is then sent for use as a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), where energy is recovered from the waste at an Energy from Waste facility in the form of renewable electricity.
- Capable of handling around a tonne of infectious clinical waste at a time (approx. 10-15 770 litre bins), waste is fed into an industrial shredder, where it is broken down into confetti-sized pieces no bigger than 50mm.
- A corkscrew conveyor sends the shredded waste into one of two Hydroclaves
- Unlike traditional autoclaves which cool and have to heat up again, the Hydroclave temperature is retained between 40 minute cycles at a minimum of 121°C, thanks to a unique steam jacket.
The Alternative Treatment process renders the waste safe, producing a finely shredded dry waste called flock, which can be used as a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for Energy from Waste facilities.