Songjiang firm develops smart solution to process clinical waste

A smart solution to process clinical waste with zero human contact has been developed by a Songjiang company; it’s the first such system in China.

After the smart system is installed inside a garbage incinerator, a series of procedures, including unloading medical waste from the original vehicle, storing, transporting, weighing and discharging the waste, and cleaning, disinfecting and returning the trunk, can be processed automatically provided a worker stays in the central control room and operates the system.

The non-contact solution to deal with hospital waste reduces the risk of humans contracting diseases through garbage processing, especially amid the current novel coronavirus pandemic.

The solution, developed by Shanghai Foresight Smart Tech Co, a Songjiang company, has already been applied in Shanghai Laogang Solid Waste Landfill’s first medical waste processing project.

“Medical waste includes disposable medical products like cotton balls and gauze. It also includes medical products contaminated by patients and other disused medical specimens. China has listed medical trash as one of the most dangerous waste,” said Ye Xiao, a project manager of Foresight.

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested cities’ ability in dealing with their own clinical waste generated from treating patients and pandemic control and prevention.

“The coverage rate of exclusive medical waste processing plants in China is still low. Shanghai has only one such waste processing plant and it takes a long time, big investment and careful site selection to build new plants,” said Ye.

The company had to solve the problem of how to process medical waste more safely and efficiently and at a lower cost based on the current resources.

Finally, the research team at Foresight came up with an idea to install a smart system in the present municipal solid waste incinerator.

“We decide to add our smart system into the current existing incinerators through slight renovation of the incinerators or embedding the systems. Then the incinerator can deal with both medical waste and municipal solid waste,” said Ye.

Shanghai’s emission standards rule that an incinerator has to keep the amount of medical waste it deals with daily within 5 percent equivalent of the municipal solid waste it processes daily.

To allocate the proportion precisely, Foresight has also added a weighing function into its garbage processing procedures.