Every year, 9 million people self-inject with syringes for medical conditions, producing 3 billion used syringes–and that doesn’t include the needles used for illegal drugs. Instead of sending the syringes to landfills, Sharps Compliance wants to turn medical waste into PELLA-DRX, a pellet-like material that can be used in energy-intensive industries like cement, lime, and steel.
Sharps’ waste conversion process shreds and sterilizes used needles, syringes, lancets and repurposes them into compact pellets that can be integrated into, say, the cement used to build a high-rise building. The company expects that PELLA-DRX pellets will stop all of its processed medical waste from ending up in landfills. And since Sharps relies on established mail carriers to deal with the waste, emissions from specialized medical waste disposal vehicles are eliminated. Still, we have to wonder: Do the emissions from the PELLA-DRX waste conversion process outweigh emissions from medical waste disposal vehicles?
PELLA-DRX is far from Sharps’ only medical waste management solution. The company also offers a biohazard clean up kit and disposal system, a disposal by mail system for public needles, and massive medical waste containers. But PELLA-DRX brings the medical waste disposal lifecycle full circle–needles sent back to Sharps by mail can be turned into pellets that are used in the production of other materials, and so on. We’re just happy that biohazardous waste will no longer lie in our landfills.