Utah govenor signs medical waste incinerator bill

In an interesting approach to regulation and more generally the US move away from high temperature incineration of clinical and related wastes, Utah has given final approval to a measure blocking facilities burning infectious medical waste from being built within two miles of existing neighbourhoods.

The Environment Agency, as least its healthcare waste ‘specialist advisers’, have for some years seemed enamoured with US regulation and standards, and have been generally happy to follow suit. They have also demonstrated an unhealthy and scientifically unsubstantiated preference to high temperature incineration which left a suspicious cloud of smoke over their entire operation.

This is a plausible approach for the largely unpopulated wilds of Utah. To adopt this latest US bill would be entirely unworkable on the small island that is the UK.

Let’s prove that the we in the UK can think for ourselves, and lead in the EU with a mixed approach to management of this multi-fraction waste stream, to protect the environment and encourage development in energy and resource recovery through heat capture and materials recovery from all waste treatments. And let’s stop the deposit of sanitary/offensive wastes into sanitary landfill when far better alternatives exist.



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