Review on Available Technology for Co-combustion of Medical Waste in WTE Plants
Kartik Kapoor (Waste Management Consultant, UN Habitat), Hedwig Vielreicher, Shauny Qu, WtERT Germany
Hospital and medical wastes are disposed in tens of thousands of dedicated incinerators or are autoclaved to destroy pathogens and then landfilled. However, over a hundred cities which have waste to energy (WTE) power plants fueled by municipal solid waste, use these plants to co-combust medical wastes. This report identified forty one such plants, located in a dozen nations, which in total co-combust about 90,000 tons of medical waste annually. The medical waste represented an average of 2.4% of the total amount of wastes combusted in these WTE power plants.
Generally, the medical wastes are collected at the point of origin in puncture resistant, leakproof and sealed containers which are transported to WTE plants and are mechanically conveyed to the WTE furnace.