Given the world’s rapidly growing population, the medical waste management sector shows a lot of promise, so Peter Xiaoquan-Chen of Harden Shredding & Recycling Technology told Recycling International at the recent IFAT trade show in Munich. He cites figures saying that more than 2 million tons of medical waste is generated all around the world every year.
There are many different ways to treat the dirty and often hazardous material, including autoclave sterilisation, chemical disinfection, or incineration. The last step, however, is not always necessary as the material may be clean for reuse.
Harden delivers double-shaft shredders especially made to handle this type of ‘tough’ processing task. Our equipment can shred the waste into uniform sized particles, even smaller than 50mm,’ says Xiaoquan-Chen, who is Harden’s global sales manager. Being able to process the material down into such fine fractions is key to improving the efficiency of incineration, he explains.
Harden’s medical waste crusher has ‘great’ sealing and corrosion resistance. ‘Our cutter blades are made of top quality German alloys to ensure high impact strength,’ Xiaoquan-Chen adds. In fact, the shredder was designed to handle even stainless steel surgical instruments, together with prosthetics, small medical appliances, and various kinds of medical plastics like latex gloves, IV bags, contaminated containers and syringes. The shredder’s blades are placed in such a way that the crusher does not get jammed.
Healthy business prospects
The worldwide medical waste management industry will be worth almost US$ 30 million by 2025, according to Data Bridge Market Research. Last year alone, the sector averaged over US$ 19.5 million. The market will witness a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% in the forecast period 2018 to 2025.
Even just talking about medical packaging (plastic containers) shows a profitable business case for recyclers; the market was valued at nearly US$ 2 million in 2017. This niche will also grow approximately 5% during the next couple of years.