New Somerset Hospital (CEO: Dr. Donna Stokes)
Before the Newster system, the oldest hospital in South Africa, New Somerset Hospital used large cardboard boxes to transport the waste to an interim store area where it had to be kept in a well-ventilated, temperature-controlled room. According to Dr. Donna Stokes, CEO of the hospital, “The waste boxes had to be kept off the floor, which made the job of stacking them difficult.” A truck had to come every day to pick up the waste for incineration, which released toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and posed a risk of thermal burns. The Newster system has replaced this process, reducing the risks associated with the previous method.
Dr. Stokes also stated that “The Newster system provides a closed-unit solution that treats infectious waste from the moment it is generated to the moment it comes out of the system as no longer infectious.” This process has significantly reduced the cost of waste management at the hospital, which has resulted in a saving of R1.3 million per year when compared to the previous waste management system. These savings can now go directly to patient care, which is the core business of the hospital.
George Hospital (CEO: Dr. Michael Vonk)
When it comes to medical waste disposal, George Hospital in South Africa’s remote Garden Route District faced serious difficulty. The hospital had to travel 450 kilometres five times a week to deliver infectious garbage to a medical waste treatment plant in Cape Town. According to Dr. Michael Vonk, CEO of George Hospital, “It was not only inconvenient, but it also left a substantial carbon imprint. Sharps trash had to be incinerated as well, which had a detrimental effect on the environment and bottom line.”
Faced with this issue, Dr. Vonk and his team decided to implement the Proximity Principle of Waste Management by procuring and installing Newster medical waste sterilization treatment equipment on-site to deal with hospital infectious waste at the point of generation. Dr. Vonk explained that “The new equipment enabled mechanical waste processing by employing friction heat technology to completely sterilize it.” This solution not only solved the problem of waste management but also reduced the hospital’s carbon footprint and saved costs associated with waste transportation.