Medical waste shredders fuel global expansion of BioSAFE Engineering

Hampton, NH, May 13, 2020

Hazardous waste specialist BioSAFE Engineering is a global leader in the design, supply and installation of medical waste systems for the world of healthcare. And when their solutions depend on the capabilities of an industrial shredder, UNTHA technologies now lie at the heart…

BioSAFE Engineering has amassed a strong reputation for working in the complex healthcare sector, and – armed with over two decades of industry experience – the team ensures every medical waste solution designed for clients, is tailored entirely to the organization’s needs.

Capable of shredding, sterilizing and disinfecting biohazardous and other hazardous materials as part of one continuous process, a system can achieve throughputs of 300-4,000 pounds per hour. And an UNTHA medical waste shredder first formed part of a system, back in 2013. The four shaft RS40 was integrated into one of BioSAFE’s steam sterilization treatment plants, designed to process ‘red bag’ hospital waste typically comprising of gowns, sharps and sharps containers (considered ‘yellow waste’ in countries such as the UK), plus laboratory waste.

This solution enables materials to be shredded down to a particle size of typically 40-60mm, as part of a 90% bulk volume reduction process. Once further treated, recyclables such as plastics can be extracted for recycling, with the remaining output sent for pyrolysis or safe landfill disposal. All routes avoid the need for incineration.

Fast forward to 2020, and BioSAFE has now integrated 25 four shaft RS40s into its medical waste management solutions. A medium-sized RS60 and a severe duty RS100 have also been featured when the client required an even tougher machine with greater in-feed and throughput capacity.

With equipment now deployed on a truly global scale, UNTHA has helped drive BioSAFE’s international growth. While 85% of the company’s business previously came from North America, between 2014 and 2019, it is estimated that half will be represented by clients in other parts of the world, by the end of 2021.

While no two BioSAFE solutions are probably ever the same, the systems are typically at least 50% more costeffective than anything else on the market – in part due to UNTHA’s own energy-efficient shredders. While the average cost to power conventional medical waste incineration systems is $0.30-$0.35 per ton, for example, a BioSAFE system can operate for around half of that cost.

Half of BioSAFE’s clients are hospitals, with the other half made up of waste management companies managing hospital trash. But every project is considered on its own merit.

Over the past six years, BioSAFE has advanced its engineering capabilities so that the team can also proficiently handle greenhouse genetically modified organism waste, gene-splicing waste, hemp and postnecropsy animal carcasses which can be shredded as part of a composting programme.

It is important to us that we work with a manufacturer that understands the complexities of medical waste shredding and can deliver technology robust enough to withstand the pressures of this complex – and often highly hazardous – waste stream. 
While other commercial shredders can’t stand up to what we need them to do, we’ve found UNTHA’s machines extremely reliable, with robust built-in foreign object protection that means downtime is minimal. When parts are required, they’re readily available which also helps maintain the continuity of clients’ operations. Consequently, UNTHA America is now our go-to partner when it comes to medical waste shredders.

"We’re currently working on a project to ship a shredder out to South Africa, for example, to help handle COVID-19 medical waste. We won’t be personally making the trip to commission the equipment, but we know we can rely on the shredder’s capabilities.

UNTHA’s global presence and local engineering expertise also gives us confidence as we pursue our global expansion strategy. The business case for our systems soon adds up. A large hospital in the USA invested in a $2m continuous treatment system and achieved an ROI in only five months! I’ve never known a payback period longer than 30 months.

We need configurable cutting concepts and adjustable screens, which UNTHA can ensure for us. They’ve also worked with our engineers to further improve the efficiency of the cutters during this aggressive shredding process, and we can protect the bearings from liquid ingress to minimize excessive wear and tear. In summary, they too are innovative and understand the need to modify the equipment to suit the performance requirements of each installation.

The biggest thing about working with UNTHA America – and their colleagues at the Austrian HQ – is how they have supported and worked with us, on this journey. They feel like a truly invested partner.”

BioSAFE’s Chief Operations Officer Roland Kallechy  

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