Waste and Pathogens

There is growing awareness of the waste-pathogens nexus in municipal solid waste (garbage) management. Ecogensus strives to be on the forefront of advancing solutions to address the serious public health issues associated with unsustainable waste management practices.

Landfills Breed Disease

Landfills are zoonotic pathogen breeding grounds, providing food sources and burrows for animals that are natural reservoirs of these pathogens. When human activity draws these animals from their natural habitats (which are more removed from people, livestock and domesticated animals), the chances of ‘spillover’ increases – this is when the pathogens can make the jump from animals to people, resulting in potential new diseases.

Pathogens in Waste

Waste containing infectious agents must be decontaminated in a number of regulated situations, such as if it is generated in a hospital setting or if it's garbage being fed to swine (yes, you read that correctly). Yet waste is essentially exempt from these requirements if it is classified as garbage but headed to the landfill. Of course, it is well known that infectious substances are prevalent in garbage, hence the regulations in so many specific situations. Pathogens can be present in food waste, diapers, bandages, or other similar materials that are placed in garbage. In some cases, viable pathogens can be present on the surfaces of seemingly benign materials in waste too.

Ecogensus Systems

Ecogensus systems can be placed on a distributed basis, including in existing waste transfer stations. The systems are designed to heat the material uniformly (up to 200˚ C) and convert the waste to a fuel. Effectively, waste is then intercepted on a community level and converted to a fuel before ever leaving an area avoiding ever being landfilled.