The purpose of this article is to introduce the application of Terragon Environmental Technologies’ (Terragon) Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) for the destruction of infectious waste streams in response to the global SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic.
MAGS is available as a practical, efficient, and effective on-site medical waste destruction tool for operation within buildings (i.e. hospitals/clinics). MAGS can also be containerized for rapid deployment and flexibility to suit various situations (emergency response, military, remote communities, etc…) where neither fixed infrastructure nor mature contractor capabilities exist.
Infectious Waste Pandemic Context
Infectious biomedical waste is now omnipresent, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified that the collection, disposal, storage, and transportation of waste contaminated with blood and other bodily fluids of infected persons represent a high transmission risk for the disease. In a viral pandemic, a much larger percentage of waste can be considered infectious waste requiring sterilization. Given the community prevalence and contagious nature of COVID 19, infectious waste is no longer just found in hospitals. It is prevalent in our homes in the form of used tissues, used personal protective equipment (PPE) amongst other contaminated material which end up in the trash. Within formal hospitals, emergency hospitals and clinics, global volumes of biomedical and infectious wastes are increasing exponentially as medical systems become overwhelmed with COVID 19 hospitalization. Medical use of PPE such as single use gowns, latex gloves and face masks have drained global supply on one end and overwhelmed waste management on the other.
COVID-19 waste situation
In Hong Kong, up to 7.4 million people wear single-use polypropylene masks daily for protection. Widespread use of PPE is now polluting public spaces and waterways.
In Wuhan, China, there was a sudden six-fold increase in the volume of infectious waste, resulting in the deployment of 46 mobile waste treatment facilities.
Quebec Hospitals have seen a 10-fold increase in medical PPE use. “What we used in one year, we’re using in four weeks” – Quebec Health Minister, Danielle McCann
MAGS for the Urgent Treatment of COVID-19 Infectious Waste
In Canada, and the world at large, there is a pressing need for a safe, reliable, flexible, portable, ecologically-friendly way to dispose of infectious waste that annihilates viruses and other pathogens on discarded materials at the source of their disposal and requires no sorting, pre-processing, or excess handling. Terragon is capable of responding to this urgent need by offering its deployable, Containerized Micro Auto Gasification (MAGS).
MAGS is a thermal waste destruction system, based on gasification technology, suited for the on-site treatment of combustible waste, including infectious waste. MAGS accepts a variety of materials- including biomedical hazardous waste, pharmaceuticals, contaminated packaging, contaminated masks, amongst other waste streams.
MAGS may be installed within buildings (i.e. hospitals) or otherwise can be containerized for rapid deployment and flexibility to suit various emergency response situations. For more information, please click here.
MAGS is a practical, on-site solution for waste elimination. Some of its benefits in response to COVID-19 crisis, and future potential pandemics are:
- Ability to be used onsite for the treatment of biomedical, pharmaceutical, and hazardous waste
- Containerization within one standard 20-ft container for easy deployment and installation
- No requirement for pre-treatment, shredding or autoclaving of waste (i.e. whole bags of waste are fed to the system with no manipulation of the waste)
- Processing capacity of 500-1,000 kilograms per day
- Extremely clean emissions allowing for placement anywhere (i.e. no visible or harmful emissions)
- Avoidance of residual liabilities created by waste storage and transportation
- Elimination of spill risk created by transporting hazardous or pathological waste over long distances
For more information on MAGS as a Medical Waste Appliance, please see the following web pages: