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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: Ken: As I hope my previous (following?) comment made plain, it is not important what name you attach to waste or what it consists of. That is a red herring. What is important is how it was designed, how the social assumptions of usage were designed and who can make money by the environmentally wasteful, resource destructive assumptions that are forced on us. That applies across the board. The first progressive thing you can do is to stop calling excesses, byproducts and unwanted products by names like waste, trash or garbage. Call them what they objectively are - temporarily unwanted products or excesses. Then apply intelligent thought, rather than animal rage. We are scientific, modern humans who think rationally about most things. Why turn off rationality when dealing with unwanted products?

    Be sure you get the distinction here - I am NOT talking about finding a USE for WASTE. That is invariably a failed idea. I am saying we should question whether anything should exist that was designed to become a product with no owner, no continued path for high level, high function reuse going on and on. Why is resource abandonment and destruction so enticing to us, our social assumptions and the marketers who came up with planned obsolescence? Let' stop it right now. The planet demands a better, scientific approach. See www.zerowasteinstitute.org.
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      Oct 12 2012: Please hit the reply button Paul, there is no way i could've replied within relative time to a persons liking without constantly checking back on the thousands of posts i've made, if this is the case if not, then please disregard what i've just typed and i fully understand the intention of the placement of the post, please don't take it in the wrong light.

      I whole heartedly agree and partially disagree but this is from personal experience from a different time and era.....a long time ago. I'm not a professional but had the honour of working in a surgical unit with a great team of health professionals, it rubs off on you in a pretty short time and witnessed the change over to use once only implements as opposed to using totally autoclaved tools (sterilized) though some still had to be autoclaved, the change gave rise to the reduction of the sterilization unit to outside contracting. Money.

      I don't know the current system but that is what i saw in my time and syringe tips are the most dangerous items and probably the number one infector when it comes to accidental pricking during disposal either before they are deposited in a bio hazard container to accidental spillage upon final disposal but i cannot say this is true, one would have to research the data so don't take my word for it. I trying to read through your site now, it looks good.

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