"De Montfort" medical waste incinerators

"De Montfort" incinerators

Field experiences

"We have built 9 medical waste incinerators at our hospitals in India of the design developed by Prof. J. D. Picken of the De Montfort University.

These incinerators cost us about US$1,000 each to build. This is about 1/10th the cost of commercial incinerators available, all of which use large amounts of external fuel or electricity.

The design and building technique need to be followed precisely for success, and we have found it important to train one person to oversee the building of all of the incinerators.

When operated correctly they are very effective in reducing medical waste to clean fine ash while putting out very little visible smoke. They only need renewable fuel (wood, coconut husks, heavy garden waste, paper and other dry household waste, etc.) to start and, once up to operating temperature, the medical waste itself becomes the fuel to drive the incineration process. It is actually amazing to see.

Careful adherence to the design and careful operation are keys to making this simple, yet effective, incinerator work very well."

T. A. M, July 2002

Human and resource problems encountered on the field

A few of the most common issues are:

1. Lack of awareness / training (both of medical staff and incinerator operators)

2. Limited (financial) resources that can have a negative impact on maintenance.

3. Incorrect sitting of the incinerator (too near to hospital wards or housing).

4. Construction issues (see here)