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New sharps disposal process eliminates medical waste in landfills

Company’s disposal system is based on the ‘disposal-by-mail’ model


Photo Sharps Compliance Inc.

Sharps disposal is an environmentally unfriendly process.

Many public safety agencies contract with sharps removal services that provide a disposal container which they pick up, for a fee, on a monthly basis, whether or not the container is full.

After the disposal company picks up the container, they sterilize the material in an incinerator and whatever is left usually ends up in a landfill. Altogether, this system costs much in fossil fuel and space in the ground.

Sharps Compliance Inc. is working to clean up this process.

Sharps’ waste disposal system is based on the “disposal-by-mail” model. Instead of a service that picks up your container every month, Sharps sends your facility a container that you fill as needed. Once it’s full, you send it back in the box in which it was sent, postage included.

This saves on gas, and with this system you will only use as much container as you need, rather than getting your partially full container picked up every month. These factors alone go far toward “greening” the sharps-disposal process.

But Sharps’ real innovation occurs after the material has been sterilized. The company has developed a “waste conversion process” for converting medical waste into a raw material.

Instead of sterilizing sharps and adding the leftover material to a landfill, their process sterilizes the material, shreds it, and pelletizes it, producing an end product called PELLA-DRX. The product is combustible, and can be used in place of fossil fuels like coal in manufacturing industrial resources like concrete.

“It’s a zero landfill process,” Jeffery Miglicco, Inside Sales Manager at Sharps, said. “It’s green, it’s used as needed, and it’s all done by the mail.”

Miglicco explained that because the systems must be certified to go through the mail, Sharps’ containers are thicker and sturdier than traditional sharps containers.

By going through the mail, using only as much container as necessary, and reducing land fill waste, Sharps Compliance’s process makes great strides towards greening the sharps disposal process.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Sharps is a full-service provider of management solutions for medical waste and unused dispensed medications generated outside the hospital and large health care facility settings. You can find them on the Web at

Drew Johnson was the editor of EMS1, and his contributions to the EMS1 editorial lineup focus on new EMS products, services, and technologies. A native of Oklahoma, Drew has previously written for both print and online media outlets on a wide range of topics, including finance, education, real estate, and politics.