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The Bloody Serious Project

It’s time for change!

We took a close look at all the recycling initiatives launched elsewhere in the world.  What we want isn’t new, it’s already done in United Kingdon and Canada for example. We talked to them about the results, what went well, and more importantly what could have been done better.

Green sign

The idea became a reality after Dutch legislation was amended to give preference to recycling over incineration. This was the green sign for us to order the Bloody Serious line from our machine builder. Then. Corona! Bittersweet, it delayed the delivery of the recycling line, but bought us time to explore our ideas further, to do some more research.

Synergy though partnership

We initially wanted to go for plastics from residual hospital waste only. After all, these did not need decontamination to be recycled. However, people were reluctant: what if infection was still present? You can never be too careful! A train of thought that has been around for years among health care staff. Behaviour, which even with scientific evidence, is difficult to change.  In our search for decontamination answers we run into Blue2Green. Next to their knowledge on decontamination, they have the expertise on internal logistics, movement of waste and pyrolyse -a chemical recycling method- if the material is not suitable for mechanical recycling.

Together, we have the right synergy , a line that will decontaminate, grind, wash, dry, shred, screen & sort on pure polymers and pelletize.  This line will be up and running, ready for the first loads as from Q2 in 2023. From waste to new raw material all in one location!

How does it work?

1

Collection of waste

This step, the transportation of medical waste from your hospital to our plant has a large share of the total CO2 emission. We collect and transport as wisely as possible, we optimise the routing, cooperate with local partners and use sustainable means of transport to minimise the CO2 impact.

2

Decontamination

We will collect and process plastic medical disposables listed as infectious and non-infectious hospital waste. Both types are processed at the same location, but each have their separate recycling line. Infectious waste will undergo a decontamination first, to ensure infectious substances are destroyed. Special microwaves and steam ensure that the waste is completely decontaminated before it is recycled. After decontamination all material is washed, dried, shred and screened on type of polymer. Medical waste arriving at our recycling site is immediately tagged so that we can follow it the whole process. The line is build in cooperation with our partner Blue2Green.

3

Recycling

All materials are recycled to raw materials. All will be washed, dried, shred and screened on type of polymer. All polymers are sold to end producers, and will enter a direct supply chain to replace virgin polymers.

4

The numbers tell the tale

Reduce, reuse, recycle; sustainability should be applied throughout the chain. That is why we carry out a study on the mix of polymers in residual and special hospital waste before starting. We need this information to make an estimate in raw materials to be obtained, and thus to calculate the CO2 reduction. But also to advise your procurement department. Which items can be processed well, which items are better not to buy? Together we look at whether there are ‘greener’ alternatives on the market. The greener you buy, the higher the recycling percentage!

The numbers tell the tale.. A medical disposable database

Mix of polymers

In order to set our recycling machines, we need to know the mix of polymers in your scraps! And are they pure? We can recycle and screen all pure polymers from PE to PP, from PVC to PET. However, when different layers of polymers are combined into one foil it’s a recycling no go! Do you know your mix?

Type of plasticizer

Yes.. DEHP is still used in blood bags. This is a special request by farma to preserve extracted blood for as long as possible. Most of the items are made by a save, non-hazourdous plasticizer. But still, we need to be certain!

To WIP or not to WIP

Do you tag a certain disposable as infectious or non-infectious and what do the other hospitals do? Perhaps we can set some new ground rules based on the status quo?

Transparancy

What producer produces in respect with the GREEN DEAL? What product is made to be recycled afterwards instead of being burnt?

We have recently started with our first investigation & collaboration with Flevoziekenhuis in Almere.  We advise our Dutch readers to read our latest blog about it.

Flevoziekenhuis & Bloody Serious | Deel 1