- In an interview with Waste Dive, Boxborough, MA-based Sterilis Medical detailed its rollout of the Sterilis Device, a "self-contained portable machine" designed to treat regulated medical waste (RMW) on-site at point-of-care.
- The system enables healthcare providers — mainly at outpatient facilities like dialysis centers, nursing homes and clinics — to dispose RMW into the machine and activate steam sterilization using a touch pad. The machine then grinds the sterilized waste into bits which can be thrown into the regular solid waste stream.
- Sterilis CEO Bob Winskowicz notes the machine is the only one of its kind to utilize an internal water reservoir, eliminating the need to be connected to plumbing. This allows professionals to roll it from room to room within the healthcare facility.
In the era of services like Uber, Netflix and GrubHub, consumers and professionals are becoming more drawn to the concept of "on-demand." Across the waste industry some companies like Rubicon Global have capitalized on this concept, while others are slow to buy-in to new technologies. International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) President Antonis Mavropoulos has warned industry professionals that the waste and recycling world is bound to eventually be disrupted by technologies that could essentially "wipe out" businesses if the industry doesn't evolve quickly enough. Sterilis is a strong example of that theory.
While Sterilis's product is not threatening enough to "wipe out" companies like Stericycle, which collects various types of medical and hazardous wastes from healthcare facilities, it proves that there are new and innovative ways to handle this type of waste. Sterilis says it has 26 customers in a number of states, and this will likely increase if it continues to hold a unique standing in the marketplace.
Safe disposal of needles, syringes and other dangerous medical waste is becoming an issue for professionals across the industry, not just those dealing with healthcare facilities. Recyclers are seeing an influx of sharps entering facilities, often with traces of methamphetamines. Last summer the Mid Michigan Waste Authority launched a 'Be Smart with Sharps' campaign and it is intended that other cities and waste authorities will do the same.