Life-MED Medical electronic Waste reuse project


Project summary:


The MED project deals with the management of discarded medical equipment and devices. The project addresses primarily the environmental problem. It provides a reduction in the production of waste from health care facilities and veterinary clinics through the application of an integrated system that foresees the preventive donation of biomedical equipment and devices to organizations and associations in EU territory.

At the end of the project Life-MED, the disposal of 100 ton of equipment will be avoided.

Ateliere Fara Frontiere (AFF) will apply in Romania and Eastern Europe the integrated system for medical equipment re-use launched on the Italian territory and Western Europe by experienced cooperatives CAUTO and Medicos Mundii Attrezzatura (MEMUA). AFF will benefit from the analysis on the state of the art in the management of divested medical equipment in relation to its specific geographical area, that will be conducted by the University of Brescia (UNIBS). It will be tutored by the cooperative Cauto and the cooperative Medicus Mundi Attrezzature within training activities and will benefit from the characterization activity implemented by UNIBS.


European context:


In European industrialized countries, a specific category of waste is represented by medical equipment that is often discarded before their end of usefull life (on average after 3 years) and mainly because they are obsolete.

An accurate assessment conducted in the field by the NGO „Medicos Mundi Attrezzatur”a has been able to establish that many medical electrical equipment disused are still properly functioning or can be restored easily, the point being that they have a significant economic value.

The Life Med project aims at studying and implementing a new integrated system of management and qualification of used medical equipment in order to minimize the amount of waste and to maximize their re-use.

The project is right intended to rationalize and optimize the processes of collection, classification, functionality of medical equipment to improve the overall environmental sustainability – including through correct management and proper disposal of the share of waste- and to calibrate the economic sustainability of the activities to be performed.


In Romania, on one hand, there is a very recent private hospitals boom, which services here are very expensive and only accessible to a financial elite; on the other hand, public hospital, and specially province hospitals lack of equipments in order to be able to provide the healthcare services within European standards of quality.

The re-use of discarded electronical equipment or spare parts will be made following an overhauling of equipment, a suitable qualification and its allocation to national and international organizations working in health projects. The different processes ranging from the characterization of devices, also considering possible danger, to qualification of reusable equipment, will be subject of technical analysis, including WEEE disposal.


Project period : july 2014 –june 2017


July 2014-april 2015: Market study and analysis by operational partners (Cauto, MEMUA, AFF), UNIBS and external experts

– April 2015-june 2017:  Contact with potential beneficiaries and customers in Romania and in neighbour eastern european countries, offer design, authorizations and certifications validation

The second hand medical equipment donations will be made by MEMUA until june 2016, when the AFF laboratory will be operational.

– January 2016- june 2017: Creation and management of the Bucarest medical waste recovery laboratory, which will become a new unit of Ateliere Fara Frontiere’s workshop,  that will dismantle and refurbish medical used equipment.

 – From june 2016 Ateliere Fara Frontiere will be available to manage WEEE medical equipment, in particular equipment falling under category 8 of Directive 2012/19/UE: MEDICAL DEVICES and to identify the destination plants of the various types of waste facilities for recycling, recovery or disposal. It will also arrange transport with suitable vehicles for both type and authorization.

The second hand medical equipment donations will then be done by MEMUA and AFF.

If the demand exists, AFF will also manage other medical waste (wheeling chairs, hospital beds, medical accessories, etc.)


Project website


Integrated system flow diagram


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