Hazardous waste management leader A-Thermal Retort Technologies specialises in thermally treating and managing hazardous and toxic waste. Managing director Nicolas Eleftheriades explains how A-Thermal now offers two new services for their valued clients: a zero-to-landfill solution and thermal treatment for bulk flammable liquids, all while continuing to ensure a hazardous waste thermal destruction efficiency of “greater than 99.9%”.
A-Thermal has been a leader in the destruction of pharmaceutical and industrial chemical waste for more than 21 years. Our excellence in these fields has seen us maintain our ISO 14001 certification since 2009,” says Eleftheriades.
“In addition, the well-being of our staff, and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and service delivery resulted in A-Thermal achieving its coveted ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 certification in March 2016.”
A-Thermal is also a signatory of the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) Responsible Care® initiative. This international voluntary programme raises standards for the transportation, management and handling of hazardous materials, winning greater trust from the public. A-Thermal is a processing facility that operates 24 hours a day. Process safety is of paramount importance to a successful operation. This drives A-Thermal’s subscription to and maintenance of CAIA’s high process safety standards.
“A-Thermal’s values align with CAIA’s in that both organisations seek to improve the quality of human life and the economy, without harm to people, property or the environment,”
Developed by Eleftheriades’ father, the late Dr Christos Eleftheriades, A-Thermal’s thermal desorption plant based at the company’s Olifantsfontein facility uses pyrolysis technology that is capable of achieving a 99.9999% destruction of all hazardous waste.
“Our company has completed an exciting project that will see us produce a carbonised residue by-product from the various and variable forms of hazardous waste processed at our facility, which we believe to be a world first. The carbonised residue has similar properties to coal and can be used as an alternative form of fuel, essentially making A-Thermal a zero-landfill treatment and waste management facility,” says Eleftheriades.
“Secondly, a new addition to our product line we completed as a service to customers is the Aurora Calorific Converter. This new feeding system allows for the safe treatment of any and all flammable liquids. This is aimed at bringing relief to our customers who are now faced with more stringent landfill restrictions regarding liquid wastes with high calorific value.
“A-Thermal focuses on the safe disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes. Additionally, the business has been inspired by the Department of Environmental Affairs’ adoption of the European Union’s waste hierarchy, to incorporate other forms of waste diversion, like recycling, wherever possible. We focus less on minimisation and reuse, as this is extremely difficult to do when managing hazardous waste,” he adds.
Through technology partnerships with companies like Carbo Consult, Cecor, Coal and Waste, Energia and Waste Resource Management, A-Thermal is able to offer a complete solution for managing waste from all industries.
The company’s service offering includes: chemical waste destruction, pharmaceutical waste destruction, medical waste treatment, on-site waste management, land remediation, recycling and disposal of general waste, hazardous and general waste transportation, supply of waste packaging, waste management training, environmental consultancy services, and tyre waste management.
“We’ve come across some extremely tough waste streams over the years and we’ve never shied away from a challenge. When we are confronted with unusual waste to be disposed of, we partner with clients, working with them until their needs to dispose of waste in a legally compliant, environmentally friendly manner are met,” says Eleftheriades.
Managing the multiple challenges of hazardous waste to satisfy safety, environmental, and regulatory directives requires an experienced partner with a proven track record in all relevant areas. From on-site pick-up to final treatment or disposal, it is important that the person or company responsible for creating that waste complies with the relevant norms and standards.
“As a hazardous waste treatment facility, caring for the environment is a key priority in all our operations,”
Future-proofing the environment
A-Thermal saves its clients time and money by providing a solution that promotes business sustainability through long-term risk management. “We remove and assume liability so that any company we partner with, or offer our waste treatment services to, can be assured that their waste is treated correctly and its destruction is verified by third-party-accredited laboratories.
“Further, because A-Thermal’s compliance meets global standards, clients will not need to continuously keep up with the latest legislation changes to be compliant. They can rest assured that we are continuously working to protect the environment and our future. All clients receive certificates of destruction, and A-Thermal can be audited by the client. In addition, our resident pharmacist gives clients expert technical support for medical and pharmaceutical waste products, and oversees the destruction of pharmaceutical waste,” says Eleftheriades.
“At A-Thermal, we permanently destroy toxic and hazardous waste, completely removing the danger that waste poses to human health and the environment,” he concludes.