Source: eKapija | Thursday, 04.10.2018.| 13:03
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Remondis to raise new facility for medical waste treatment in Zrenjanin – Expired medical drugs, lab animals and narcotics to be treated

Illustration (Photo: Cyril Hou/shutterstock.com)
Remondis Medison should soon launch a new facility for the treatment of medical waste in Serbia. As the sales manager at the company, Miroslav Poznic, says, new land of 11,000 m2 has been bought at the industrial zone in Zrenjanin, where a new facility for the thermal treatment of expired medical drugs will be installed.

Furthermore, the facility will also treat small lab animals and narcotics, which will largely solve the problem of those types of waste in Serbia.

The value of this investment, the capacity of which will be 1,500 tons annually, is EUR 1.6 million, and the opening should take place in about five months.

As Poznic announces, this will also create around 20 new jobs.

Unless properly disposed of and destroyed on time, medical waste can be a source of contagion and various infections.

Although 75% of medical waste is non-hazardous, when mixed with the hazardous waste, which comprises 25%, all medical waste becomes hazardous. In hospitals, municipal waste is often mixed with medical waste, which makes its classification even harder. That is why Serbia needs centers where such waste can be destroyed.

– After a proper selection on site and a temporary storage of waste, which the producer is obliged to carry out, waste is stored in secondary and tertiary packaging and special vehicles then collect it and transport it to our facility, where the final treatment is carried out through grinding and autoclaving. The end product is unrecognizable and non-hazardous – Poznic explains.

He says that, after the final disposal of treated medical waste, Remondis supplies the institution with an expendable material for the generated amount, namely, containers for sharp objects and special bags for other medical waste.

Illustration (Photo: Steve Reed/shutterstock.com)
State's role in waste treatment

Waste management is one of the burning issues in the country, and according to Poznic, the state needs to direct investors to other fields, as “we already have a medical waste center”.

– As the current capacity of all medical waste treatment operators is around 20,000 tons annually, and as around 5,000 tons are produced in all health institutions in Serbia, it doesn't make sense to bring and incite investors for the treatment of this type of waste. On the other hand, the state has serious trouble handling other types of waste, such as waste waters, batteries, oil, glass, so it would be logical for it to focus on bringing investors who would contribute to those areas – Poznic points out.

In his opinion, if the state properly coordinates and manages investments in environmental protection, an efficient system will be established shortly, where both the state and the investors are satisfied.

Another problem is the excessive issuing of permits and the discrepancy between the capacities and the amount of waste in the market, Poznic explains, “which leaves room for manipulation, corruption and pollution”. As is the practice in developed countries, it would be good to implement quotas proportional to the amounts of waste, he says.

Waste management in Serbia is regulated by law, but as there's a lack of facilities for the treatment of various types of waste, especially hazardous waste, it's debatable whether the regulations are adequate.

According to Poznic, representatives of all participants in the waste management system need to get involved in work group which deal with the implementation of regulations. This would provide the ministry with insight into various experiences and could incite further treatment of hazardous waste.

Remondis has a facility for the treatment of infectious waste with an annual capacity of 2,500 tons in Zrenjanin. It cooperates with 2,200 health institutions throughout Serbia.
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