WORK is now underway to build a sanitary refuse treatment plant in Buñol (Valencia Province).

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the Valencia region had a severe deficit in this regard and was only able to process 46% of the residue known as ‘type three’ – infectious and hazardous hospital waste.

Needless to say, the COVID outbreak has worsened the situation to unimaginable levels, with disposable masks, gowns, gloves, syringes and other basic material piling up outside hospitals and health centres waiting for a slot at the two existing treatment centres in the Valencian Community – one in the Vall d’Uixo and one in San Vicente del Raspeig (Alicante).

According to the Generalitat, about half of the sanitary refuse generated in the region goes without treating and is stored at warehouses or shipped out to other parts of Spain.

Disposable syringes, masks and gloves are a major environmental problem (Photo by Cordon Press)
Disposable syringes, masks and gloves are a major environmental problem (Photo by Cordon Press)

In order to rectify this situation, and to meet the autonomous government’s aim to drastically cut refuse production, the new Buñol plant will be the biggest yet in the region and is set to enter service before the end of the month.

A vital piece of equipment has now been installed at the new processing plant in Buñol, namely the autoclave, used to sterilise used medical equipment.

At a cost of €450,000, the installations will have the capacity to disinfect 100 containers of 60 litres each of hazardous medical and biological waste per hour.

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