The Sterilis device uses steam sterilization and grinder technology to turn medical waste into a harmless confetti-like material that can be safely put into the general waste stream. Sterilis’ patented system is used in hospitals, dialysis clinics, surgery centers, dermatology and ophthalmology practices, and clinical labs.
About 3.4 million tons of medical waste is generated annually in the U.S. from healthcare facilities such as hospitals, according to Sterilis. The regulated medical waste industry continues to use a “haul and burn” approach, where the waste gets picked up from healthcare facilities by trucks that take it to an incinerator. These trucks produce carbon emissions and, when the medical waste is burned, it produces toxic emissions and toxic ash residue.
Sterilis’ system allows regulated medical waste to be treated on-site and on-demand at the point-of-care in about 60 minutes, the company says. Grinding the waste reduces the volume by 80%. The system includes software that tracks all regulatory data and stores it in the cloud, where it can be accessed and monitored at any time, eliminating the paper that is required by the “haul and burn” approach. The Sterilis system has three unique features. One is steam sterilization technology. Once waste is placed into the machine, it sterilizes the waste at 280 degrees F for 30 minutes. The sterilized waste is released into a grinder that turns it into a confetti material. The system includes predictive monitoring and one reporting technology. In addition, the machine is self-contained and portable, meaning it can be used in nearly any healthcare facility, including small rural offices.
The Wentworth Surgery Center in Somersworth, New Hampshire, installed the Sterilis device and uses it to dispose of biohazard and used needles. Rather than boxing and sending it to an incinerator, the Wentworth staff treats the waste onsite. It has reduced the facility’s waste costs by about 25%, Sterilis reported. In some cases, Sterilis has achieved a cost savings of more than 50%.