High technology comes to Hazardous waste disposal – Case Study

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Courtesy of Waste Control Systems Inc

Skyrocketing hazardous waste disposal costs for the USC/ Division, of C.R. Bard, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts led them to a high technology solution. USC/, a medical products manufacturer that develops and produces angioplasty catheters, had seen its solid hazardous waste disposal costs rise to almost $500 per 55- ga/lon drum, excluding costs associated with inplant storage, handling, and paperwork.

The manufacturing lines at USCl's facilities incorporate RCRA-listed solvents in the production process. The waste stream (wipes, filters, and towelettes), a flammable and hazardous waste, accounted for more than 60 percent of USCl's hazardous waste volume. After researching various methods of hazardous waste volume and cost reduction, in-drum compaction was identified as the most effective solution.

A state-of-the-art in-drum hazardous waste compaction system manufactured by Compacting Technologies International {CTI) of Portland, Oregon was installed in June of 1992. Since then , solid hazardous waste volume and disposal costs have been slashed by 80 percent.

Compacting waste is certainly not a new idea, however, but CTI offers a high technology solution. All operating and safety features of the CTI PRO 8500 series compactor are governed by a microprocessor. The onboard computer senses when the compaction platen reaches a certain pressure and then instructs the motor to go into the preprogrammed hold-down cycle. This effectively destroys the memory or springback of the
waste stream, resulting in superior compaction ratios.

The CTI compactor has helped USCI both enhance its bottom line, while achieving a major reduction in potential liability. By shipping fewer drums, there are 'fewer bullets in the chamber.' In addition to the solid hazardous waste streams, the company now includes items that are legally accepted for landfill under federal and state law but are disposed of in a more environmentally sound manner through compaction and incineration.

The results from compaction can be impressive. In addition to many industrial firms and pharmaceutical companies, medical research facilities are using compactors to reduce the volume of research and low-level radioactive wastes.

Compacting Technologies is a multi-national corporation providing hazardous waste compaction systems including a patented process that maximizes compaction ratios. Compacting Technologies International, Portland, OR, 800-727-2067.

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