Remondis Medison in Serbia has acquired a new, 11,000-square meter piece of land in Zrenjanin’s industrial zone to expand its medical waste treatment facility by building a facility for the thermal treatment of expired drugs, the company’s sales director, Miroslav Poznić has said, eKapija reported.
In Zrenjanin, Remondis has an infectious waste treatment facility with a capacity of 2,500 metric tons annually, which serves 2,200 health care institutions in Serbia. Non-hazardous waste accounts for 75% and hazardous for 25% of overall medical waste collected, but hazardous and non-hazardous mixed together become hazardous waste. At Remondis’ facilities, medical waste is treated through crushing and autoclaving (sterilization), Poznić says.
Apart from the thermal treatment of expired drugs, the new facility’s operations will include the treatment of small laboratory animals and narcotics. The investment in the new facility, with an annual capacity of 1,500 metric tons, is valued at EUR 1.6 million.
Poznić also said that the existing capacities of all medical waste management operators in Serbia stand at around 20,000 metric tons annually, while all health care institutions in the country generate around 5,000 metric tons of waste per year. It is therefore illogical to bring and stimulate new investors in the country for the treatment of this type of waste, according to Poznić.
Stara Pazova municipal assembly opposed to medical waste treatment facility
Under public pressure, the Stara Pazova municipal assembly in late September unanimously adopted a conclusion opposing the construction of a facility for the storage and thermal treatment of medical waste, VOICE reported.
The conclusion was adopted after an announcement of a public presentation of a zoning project for the facility was published in July. The conclusion is not binding, with the final decision to be adopted by the Vojvodina urban planning and environmental protection secretariat and the line ministry. Belgrade-based Remeo would be the investor in the proposed project.
In March 2017, Serbia-based Sinofarm and China’s Gient signed an agreement to set up a joint venture to collect and treat medical waste. The investment was originally planned in Stara Pazova but was given up almost a year later amid a public outcry driven by environmental campaigning.
Sinofarm has not abandoned the plan to build the facility as such and has acquired land spanning 1.4 hectares in Ruma’s industrial zone for RSD 8.5 million (around EUR 70,000), VICE recalled.
However, Ruma’s residents are against Sinofarm’s plan to build a facility for the treatment of medical waste in the town’s industrial zone, with over 5,000 signatures collected to back a petition against the project amid fears the facility would pose a health threat and an environmental hazard.