Less Waste Handling
The autoclave/hammermill system may require double handling of the waste, increasing risk of sharps incidence. It may also require persons to manually unload the cart of treated waste into the hammermill component of the system.
The STI Waste Treatment System is entirely automated and will NOT require manual handling of any waste or waste bag during loading.
More Sanitary and Smaller Footprint
The autoclave/hammermill most likely does not shred the waste until the cooking cycle is done. At the end of the treatment cycle, the waste is moved into the shredding chamber for shredding and once again moved into the compactor. This setup requires a large footprint and requires a great deal of labor to make the system work. The hammermill will become soiled with blood, urine, feces, and other undesirable organic materials and may become a Vector for pests. This also presents problems associated with maintenance on the hammermill component of the system. The blood, urine, feces, etc. will become a growth media that would colonize organisms and will have to be surface decontaminated in some manner prior to working on the high wear components of the unit.
In the STI unit, the medical waste containers and their contents are shredded while steam simultaneously treats the waste in the shredding chamber and in a slow-moving auger below the shredder. All of the bags, sharps containers and their contents are completely shredded during the actual steam treatment in the STI system, thoroughly exposing all materials to the sterilizing steam. This prevents problems with organisms on the shredding chamber and limits exposure during preventive maintenance.
No Batching Required
The autoclave/hammermill operates in batch fashion. This means that once you have physically placed the medical waste into the unit, a door is closed and the user must wait for up to an hour for the contents to become hot, even if there is more waste to be treated. This causes storage requirements issues for the user and necessitates an operator return to load again later.
The STI Waste Treatment System is not a typical batch feed system, but rather a continuous feed system. Users are allowed to roll entire 1-cubic yard carts of waste into the unit (all models above the 300 lbs/hr unit), without having to wait for an hour at a time before introducing the next cart of waste. The unit dumps a cart, sets it back down, and the user may roll in the next cart of waste. In this fashion, our technology “waits” for the user; it does not make the user wait for the machinery.
No Additional Staffing Requirements
Many autoclave/hammermills require full-time staff to physically move the waste in and out of the autoclave and into the shredder and into the compactor. The operator may be required to physically pick metal objects out of the autoclaved waste prior to shredding of the waste.
The STI unit is entirely automated. The user rolls a cart of waste into the system and pushes one button. The system does ALL of the rest of the work. The user may walk away from the system and perform other duties. No FTE is required with the STI system.
No Additional Moisture Added to Waste
Autoclaves typically add moisture to the waste, making it heavy and wet, increasing landfill costs.
STI technology dehydrates the moisture from the waste and deposits shredded, dry waste into the compactor. Waste from the STI unit is lighter, and therefore, less expensive to landfill. There are typically no free liquids in the STI systems-treated waste residue.
Low Cost of Maintenance
The autoclave/hammermill requires a series of equipment and steps to treat the waste. This type of system has a high maintenance profile involving a high speed (1500-3600 RPM) very loud hammermill. Components wear very quickly and are prone to breakage if metallic objects come in contact with the high speed rotating blades. When this happens, it causes bearing failures and may even become dangerous if the unit becomes unbalanced. Blade changes in hammermills are relatively frequent and are labor intensive. Hammermill applications are also typically very loud and usually, require users to wear hearing protection when in proximity to the operation.
The STI Waste Treatment System process is sealed and self-contained. There is no need for anyone to manually move the waste from one part of the system to another part of the system or to pull metallic objects out of the waste prior to shredding. STI systems uses the heaviest duty and most rugged shredding units in the industry. The STI shredder is very slow speed; meaning wear and tear is very slow. Impact on the cutting blades is not a problem due to the slow speed. Balance of the cutting chamber is not a problem due to the heavy-duty nature of the system and due to the slow speed. No hearing protection is required with the STI equipment and a normal conversation may take place during operation without shouting.
Downtime to repair high-speed hammermill may be a chief concern as the autoclave/hammermill combination is prone to frequent downtime for blade and bearing changes.
Downtime with the STI equipment is infrequent and typically scheduled. STI units typically operate for 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 pounds of throughput prior to requiring any major maintenance.
High Operating Costs
The operating cost (downtime costs including maintenance) of the autoclave/hammermill system will be high due to wear and tear of the high-speed components.
The operating cost of the STI process averages around $0.015 per pound of waste processed. The major difference in operating costs is reliability. Autoclave/hammermill users may expend large amounts of money in on-going maintenance, which elevate their operating costs.
No Foul Odors
The waste that exits the autoclave/hammermill is hot, wet, and may have a foul odor.
Treated waste from the STI unit is hot, dry, and clean smelling waste. This is due to the patented system that allows for the addition of a tiny amount of sodium Hypochlorite prior to the steam treatment of the waste. Waste from the STI process will NOT become a Vector for rodents or insects and will not present the problem of foul odors.
No License Required and High Level of Sanitation
In many locations, a High-Pressure Boiler Engineer license is required. This person is typically highly trained and is certified to operate a high-pressure vessel due to the potential dangers associated these vessels.
The STI unit operates on low-pressure steam (less than 15 PSI) and consumes very small amounts of this steam. STI Waste Treatment Systems are capable of inactivating bacterial spores at 6 Log 10 or greater.