'New Kid on the Block' Makes Inroads into Medical Waste Management with Sights Set on Sustainability

MED-X Pty Ltd
Thursday, 27 January, 2022


Shred-X, a well-known brand in the secure destruction industry, celebrated 20 years of delivering certified, sensitive data disposal solutions to over 50,000 Australian businesses in 2021. A less familiar brand is sister-company, Med-X, an emerging clinical waste, sharps disposal, hygiene and washroom solutions company newly founded in 2017. However, in early 2020 amid rising cases of COVID-19, Med-X became recognised in the Australian healthcare sector as a reliable medical waste management provider for safe and compliant COVID-19 related waste disposal.

The pandemic brought forth a shift in focus for Med-X as the company’s Hygiene and Washroom key service wound down due to business closures and working from home measures, while its clinical waste arm accelerated. Australia’s healthcare system was facing an unprecedented demand for medical care and clinical waste management — the back end of the medical supply chain. The volume and rate of COVID-19 infected clinical waste generated by healthcare facilities surpassed the capacity of other medical waste vendors to manage, particularly those in New South Wales and Victoria.

Efficient medical waste management became a high priority challenge for many facilities within Australia’s aged care sector, and an emergency for some in Victoria. During the second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks, Med-X was called upon to assist in servicing a number of aged care facilities to meet the increased demand.

Med-X personnel were deployed to assist at three aged care facilities in Victoria and NSW, working tirelessly around the clock to remove the backlog of infectious material on site of our most vulnerable. Beyond Med-X strict compliance measures as a certified bio-waste handler, the company’s service personnel implemented additional safety protocols to ensure COVID-19 waste was safely collected, transported, processed and treated before disposal.

Van Karas, GM of Shred-X and Med-X described the company’s quick response and assistance in the infectious waste collection at the Victorian aged care facilities, “While they may not be frontline healthcare staff, our Med-X service personnel faced equally daunting situations, putting the health and safety of others before their own. Correct handling of highly infectious waste requires adherence to strict procedures and processing protocols. It’s not glamorous work but it is essential, and we are extremely proud of our team who stepped up in a time of crisis.”

The pressing issue of medical waste ending up in landfill was highlighted once again due to the pandemic with questions swirling around rethinking sustainable procedures within the industry and eco-friendly opportunities.

Med-X sister company, Shred-X was born of the paper recovery industry, and the company’s roots are firmly planted in sustainability and remain its guiding focus today. Staying true to its heritage, Med-X continues to ensure ethical disposal and wherever possible divert waste from landfill, finding new ways to transform waste into new products.

“We have applied the same foundational goals of sustainability and innovation to the medical waste industry through our Med-X Healthcare Solutions brand,” said Mr Karas.

“Shred-X and Med-X have continued to invest in technology and innovation that support the reduction of landfill and promote recycling, even during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Spotlighting the company’s goal to invest in robotic technology to encourage human contactless waste disposal and recovery, is one example of the company’s mission to preserve tomorrow, today for a sustainable future.

“Traditionally clinical and sharps waste have been problematic with landfill; however, Med-X is now investigating the recovery of small single-use containers by separating them at source and using automated mechanical separation at its medical waste facilities. Single-use containers will be milled following treatment and sent to local plastic moulding companies for reuse.”

In turn the clinical waste segment represented by single-use sharps would be almost fully recoverable and diverted from landfill. It is expected that the Med-X recovery system would reduce landfill volumes for medical waste by over 28%.

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