Facility converts medical waste to energy in California

Dec 9, 2017 | Waste Today Magazine

Aemerge RedPak, a manufacturer of technology for handling waste and producing energy headquartered in Hesperia, California, has announced the opening of its medical waste treatment facility that the company says destroys and sterilizes medical waste, converts it to clean energy and diverts up to 95 percent of treated waste from landfills. The new $55 million facility will create 30 jobs, Aemerge says.

“With no previous alternatives, California currently disposes much of its infectious medical waste by hauling it to incinerators across the country, which is not only inefficient, but also has significant negative impacts on the environment and surrounding communities,” Adam Seger, president of Aemerge RedPak, said during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility. “We are thrilled to offer RedPak as a safer, cleaner and more responsible solution for treating and disposing of medical waste.”

Since 2001, when California’s last medical waste incinerator was shut down in Oakland, approximately 720 million pounds of medical waste have been hauled to other states, including Maryland, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, North Dakota, Oregon and Utah.  Certain categories of medical waste, such as pharmaceuticals, trace chemo, pathological and anatomical, require high heat treatment and incineration out of the state’s borders was the only option.

Aemerge RedPak operates the only fully permitted “high heat” treatment facility in California for all categories of medical waste, including pharmaceutical, pathological, trace chemo, sharps and biohazardous materials. It treats all these forms of waste through a patented technology system called the Carbonizer.

The Carbonizer system is designed to process organic waste in a negative pressure, no oxygen environment with high heat. The treatment creates synthesis gas (syngas), which is captured and converted to clean energy, treated glass and metals that are recycled and carbon char that is repurposed as alternative fuel. Aemerge says 95 percent of waste treated is diverted from landfills through this process.

“Aemerge RedPak is going to revolutionize the way medical waste is treated in this country,” Mayor Paul Russ said during the ceremony. “We look forward to having that revolution start here in Hesperia.”

You can read the article from Waste Today Magazine by clicking here.