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What to do with medical waste?

As a design student researching environmental policy and the possibility of sustainable design, I've become fascinated with the ideas surrounding cradle to cradle design, waste not being used as waste, but as business capital, and trying to investigate the possibilities and irregularities surrounding compensation when these theories are not applied and human and environmental damage occurs as a result.
My question surrounds the process of medical waste incineration. Less than 2 miles from my home town, a Scottish village, Healthcare Environmental have been granted planning permission to open a plant, the people attempted to stop this, however, were overpowered by the company's lawyers and it is, unfortunately going ahead.
What are your opinions on the use of incineration to destroy medical waste in general? What are your opinions on incinerating waste in such close proximity to local villages? Can you think of any way to use medical waste in another process?
Any opinions/thoughts/comments will be welcome.


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    Oct 12 2012: As soon as you call something "medical waste" you have abandoned intelligent ways to solve or even approach the associated ideas and problems. Calling anything a waste - hazardous, household haz, e-waste, bio-waste, radwaste etc. - in our society, presupposes a constellation of responses which dictate destruction. The very powerful Garbage Industry is delighted because this means they have one more profit stream as they scheme for a way to destroy, destroy. With the imprimatur of all society which joins in the chorus demanding destruction.

    What is required, in my analysis, is to back up and ask why this excess material, without a sponsor or owner or anyone who cares, even exists. Where does it come from and how was its history and owner responsibility expunged so that it no longer has any champion (usually meaning an owner who has a use for it). Our society bitterly resists any such analysis. Americans just adore garbage and will not put up with it being withdrawn (no, I'm not kidding or exaggerating).

    There is no time to explore this in depth here but this kind of analysis is fundamental and needs to always be the first response to finding some product which is no longer wanted. Just abandoning it to the lazy, irresponsible notion of "waste" leading to the drive to destruction is insane. No civilized society should put up with the acceptance of garbage for one second. But we are not in the habit of questioning our cultural assumptions. Our reaction is to snarl at the messenger and parade our assumed superiority, rather than being pricked into deep thought. An assumption that has become cultural is drenched in validation on every hand and seems unassailable. Thinking about the origins of unwanted goods fits this perfectly.

    And incidentally, McDonough does NOT argue for redesign or intelligent reuse. He accepts goods pretty much as encountered, slightly tweaks them, and tells industry what it wants to hear, thus his popularity.

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