Micro-Waste Corporation Installs Its Newest Micro-Waste® Disinfection System® (MDS®)
Treatment System at a Combined Two-Hospital Facility
Micro-Waste® installed its latest Micro-Waste® Disinfection System® (MDS®) treatment sytem at a combined two-hospital facility with over 660 beds. The new MDS™ medical waste treatment system, Model MDS-2481, which uses microwave-assisted moist heat disinfection as in its other model, provides a higher throughput and a higher capacity to meet the needs of hospitals' growth and expansion of its facilities.
The MDS® treatment system was designed and manufactured in the United States by Micro-Waste Corporation®. Prior to processing regulated medical waste (RMW), Micro-Waste® performed biological disinfection efficacy testing using a standard disinfection test protocol of commercial Bacillus atrophaeus [or Bacillus subtilis (Niger)] spores as generally recommended by the State and Territorial Association on Alternative Treatment Technologies (STAATT). Following employee training and with the testing complete, the system began full-time operation.
The system provides the capability for treatment of all regulated medical waste at the two hospitals. The capacity of the system is also sufficient to process the RMW from the other onsite clinics, physicians' offices and laboratories in accordance with state regulations. The system is expected to provide a total operating cost (including labor, utilities, repair, maintenance, and waste disposal) of approximately 8 to 10 cents per pound, much less than the typical commercial medical waste transport and treatment costs of 15 to 30 cents per pound. With this system, the healthcare facilities can maintain positive control of their regulated medical waste removing the necessity to transport untreated waste on the roads of the state.
To meet the requirements of the hospital, all activities associated with uninstalling the old ABB Sanitec, Inc. Model HG-100S and the installation of the new Micro-Waste® Disinfection System® had to be completed in one afternoon beginning at 12:00 pm. Micro-Waste® and its contractors met that goal with time to spare.
1. The morning of shipment and installation, the Micro-Waste® Disinfection System® prepared for shipment at Micro-Waste's® fabrication facility in Fort Worth, Texas, and placed by forklift on the trailer.
2. The Micro-Waste® Disinfection System® was transported by low-boy trailer.
3. With the crane available, Micro-Waste® provided the hospital a bonus by assisting in reorienting their existing cardboard baler to make the waste management area more efficient for the employees.
4. Crane placement and rigging began at noon and the lower throughput, 15 year old, but well-used ABB Sanitec, Inc. system was removed from the waste processing area.
5. The platform area was cleaned and prepared for the installation of the new Micro-Waste® MDS® treatment system. In 1993, in consultation with the hospital employees prior to installation of the original ABB Sanitec, Inc. system, Micro-Waste® designed the platform area to allow for eventual replacement with a larger system upon need with hospital growth, which eventually took place 15 years later. The long-term and strong relationship between the hospital and Micro-Waste® proved highly beneficial.
6. The Micro-Waste® Disinfection System® was easily installed with the crane. Given the weight and size of the system, it could have been installed with a fork truck, except for existing safety railing on the waste management area platform. The MDS® treatment system was set in the designed location for connection to imbedded power and water supplies. The system itself did not require attachment to the foundation.
7. The placement of the second half of the microwave treatment screw and its support stand were all that were required to complete installation, which was accomplished in less than 4 hours.
8. Micro-Waste® installed stainless steel OSHA handrails for employee safety while performing maintenance activities.
9. During functional and startup testing, a senior controls engineer monitored and adjusted the program logic in accordance with MDS® treattment sytem design requirements, and to ensure that the programmable logic controller (PLC) and overall system operation could be remotely monitored and modified by Micro-Waste® and hospital personnel in real-time. This remote feature was included to provide on-line troubleshooting capabilities by Micro-Waste® and hospital management of all PLC inputs, outputs, operational logic and system performance to ensure the high system availability expected of the MDS® treatment system for the hospital's 24/7 needs.
10. Micro-Waste's® microwave engineer verified proper tuning of Micro-Waste's® proprietary microwave waveguides during the functional and startup testing phase. These waveguides inject microwave energy into three different injection areas to ensure complete and thorough waste disinfection completely around the circumference inside the microwave treatment screw.
11. The MDS® treatment system includes eight (8) of Micro-Waste's™ proprietary 1.4 kW, 2450 MHz microwave generators. These microwave generators have individual PLCs for control and troubleshooting, and are manufactured in the United States.
12. The hospital supervisory personnel operated the system during system component functional testing and biological testing.
13. A certified floor scale integrated with the MDS® treatment system records the net weight and time of each load placed in the system for compliance with applicable regulatory requirements and to allow real-time monitoring of MDS® treatment system throughput and performance.
14. Hospital operations and supervisory personnel received training and operated the system during component functional testing and during biological efficacy testing.
15. Micro-Waste® performed biological testing by inserting standard commercial biological test samples below the shredder. Biological testing was performed in accordance with procedures established for more than 17 years for moist heat disinfection systems and in accordance with recommendations by the State and Territorial Association on Alternative Treatment Technologies (STAATT). Treated test samples were incubated with control test samples to ensure proper quality control of test samples and incubator operation.
16. A temporary open top container was installed to allow for functional testing of system components. Routine solid waste was used for functional component testing and during biological disinfection efficacy testing.
17. Following acceptable biological disinfection efficacy testing, the Micro-Waste® Disinfection System® began operation. Waste was discharged to a solid waste compactor for disposal at a local landfill in accordance with state and local regulations.
18. The waste from the Micro-Waste® Disinfection System® was generally unrecognizable, reduced in volume by approximately 80%, and disinfected in accordance with applicable regulations.
19. Remotely from the office intranet or worldwide via the internet, hospital management is able to monitor the Micro-Waste™ Disinfection System®, download data for regulatory reporting, make system changes, as well as actually operate the MDS® treatment system operator interface terminal for troubleshooting purposes. Micro-Waste® technical personnel have equal access through a virtual private network (VPN) to do the same to support hospital.