HBW utilizes a commercial autoclave to treat approximately 80% of the waste stream it receives. The autoclave heats the contaminated medical waste (red bag and sharps) to 135 degrees C. and holds it under 40 lbs. of pressure until the material is rendered non-infectious. The autoclave is powered by steam generated by the Pyrolytic Destructor™ and the treated waste is eventually shredded and compacted before removal to the landfill.
On August 15, 1997 the USEPA published Standards for New Stationary Sources and Emissions Guidelines for Existing Sources: Hospital/Medial/Infectious Waste Incinerators (HWIMI), 40 CFR Part 60. These standards effectively caused the closure of most of the medial waste incinerators operating in the United States. While these new standards established the schedule for the phase out of medical waste incinerators, they did leave open a door for an alternative treatment process that is as effective as incineration. This process is pyrolysis. USEPA defines pyrolysis as follows: “Pyrolysis means the endothermic gasification of hospital waste and /or infections waste using external energy”. HBW was issued a non-covered resource permit for the Model 550 Pyrolytic Destructor™ and installation of the equipment was completed in March 2001. All air and efficacy testing has been performed and all test results validate the performance of the equipment. The Pyrolytic Destructor™ has proven to be extremely reliable, low in maintenance and reduces volume by 90%. The resulting carbon residue undergoes a TCLP test and deposited in the landfill. The Pyrolytic Destructor™ also has a cogeneration system that captures the heat given off by the process. This heat is used to create steam to create energy that is used within the plant to power other equipment.