Regional Health to utilize new technology to shred and sterilize waste

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A year after after Regional Health Rapid City Hospital was cited for disposing medical waste at the landfill, it’s now introducing a more than two-million dollar system to solve the dangerous problem.

After news broke last summer of regional, mixing medical waste in the trash, the hospital began searching for solutions.

“We looked at the old technologies that handles regulated medical waste in terms of incinerators and seam autoclaves,” explained Dave Ellenbecker, Vice President of Facilities Management.

But Regional chose a different route, they’re now partnering with Minnesota-based Clean Waste Systems for disposal.

The process shreds the medical waste, mixes it with a gas called ozone and sterilizes it. Clean Waste Systems says the process emits zero emissions.

“It becomes a confetti-like material, it reduces the volume by 90% so what you send to the landfill is 90% smaller than what you put in,” according to Ellenbecker, Regional can then throw away the trash at the Rapid City landfill.

The ozone treatment system processes all kinds of waste such as bio-hazards, contaminated waster and sharp instruments like scalpels and needles.

Regional also says the ozone system saves time and labor.

“It really takes out a lot of the human factor,” continued Ellenbecker “When you don’t have to separate waste streams, you’re engineering out human error.”

The hospital hopes to have the waste treatment up and running by the end of the year…

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News