Created in 2003, Gadere operates in Ecuador since the end of 2005. It is the company that the authorities indicate as “the authorized manager” when talking about hospital waste. It has its plant in Petrillo. Its president, Edgar Pinzón, explains to this newspaper what is the role of the company in the city and takes advantage, also, to clarify that it is not the only manager that exists in the market, although, by figures, it is shown that, instead yes, it is the main one.
Was there an agreement with any public entity to operate in Guayaquil?
We are a private company that specializes in proper management of special and hazardous waste. In the local legal framework, this work is the responsibility of the generator. We offer them the service and compete in the free market. There are other managers. Gadere is not the only one or has any kind of concession with anyone.
How many companies have contracts for hospital waste in this city?
Between 1,500 and 2,000 health institutions (almost the total of those existing in the city). From a one kilo generator to hospitals of 500.
Can you name some?
Kennedy, Alcívar and Solca Clinics, and El Niño, Guayaquil and University Hospitals. These large ones represent only 20% of waste. Most of these are generated by smaller establishments.
How long does the company take to treat the plant in Petrillo on a daily basis?
About eleven tons.
And what is the cost of the service offered?
That depends on the generation and type of waste. The establishments pay monthly an average of between 80 cents and a little more than one dollar per kilo.
How often do you deliver the treated material to the landfill?
Everyday. Except on Sundays. It is a continuous cycle. It does not stop.
Guayaquil has an inactive treatment plant (which cost 2.6 million dollars). The Municipality and the Ministry of Health endorse the operation of it. What do you think?
Both entities have their arguments. I do not see the reason why you cannot find a solution. Of course, the waste plant has a very small capacity (just 1.5 tons per day, when Guayaquil generates around 15).
Have you never received the offer to operate the plant?
Formally no. However, it is necessary to understand that to treat waste of this type, a machine like this is not everything. There is also incineration and crushing. All technologies are important for the different types of waste generated.
What can enter a plant of this type?
Gloves, gauze, cotton … The thickness of the absorbent material. But they should not enter, for example, liquids, fluids, human parts, it will cost much to sterilize. An autoclave like the one that exists will not do anything to a chemical reagent, nor to syrups or pills, which must be destroyed with a crushing process. It is not technical, ethical or aesthetic to mix all the waste in a single machine.
What are the critical points you find in the issue of hospital waste?
The law empowers companies to treat their waste, but it is difficult for them to apply all types of necessary treatments. (I)