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Utah Hospital Saves Money And The Environment By Treating Its Own Medical Waste On Site

BLANDING, Utah, Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While consumer advocate Erin Brockovich and the northern Salt Lake City, Utah community of Foxboro loudly protest the human health and environmental hazards of a Stericycle medical waste incinerator in their backyard, the rural community of Blanding in southern Utah quietly disposes of its own medical waste - quickly, cost-effectively and without harmful emissions to the community in which it operates.

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Located near two Native American reservations and Four Corners, and at the gateway to more state and national parks than anywhere else in the U.S., Blue Mountain Hospital in Blanding, Utah, recently installed an onsite medical waste treatment system manufactured by SteriMed® Medical Waste Solutions. This medical waste processor is a clean-air hybrid technology appliance that converts medical waste into ordinary trash using a biodegradable, disinfectant-based process. The SteriMed® System 70 -- comparable in size to a small, walk-up, self-service photocopier -- simultaneously shreds and disinfects medical waste using an environmentally-friendly, EPA-registered disinfectant called SterCid®. The room-temperature process creates no toxic output. After treatment of the medical waste, the resulting solid waste material is disposed of alongside regular trash in accordance with solid waste regulations. The end product, called Ploof , which looks like confetti, is reduced to 10 percent of the volume of the original waste, and is completely safe for disposal in the community landfill. This volume reduction also significantly reduces the hospital's solid waste landfill footprint.

Most of Blue Mountain Hospital's annual 12,000 pounds of medical waste comes from its dialysis center, labor and delivery ward, laboratory and surgical center. The waste consists of plastic tubing, artificial kidneys (dialyzers) which have been contaminated with blood and plasma, glass and plastic vials used for blood and lab sample collection, syringes, sharps (needles) containers, tissue and other organic material resulting from surgical procedures.

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