Apex Medical Waste Service, Inc.
Stevan Butcher, President
Brighton, CO • 303-840-2332


You might say that Steve Butcher is the third generation in the waste business, but Apex isn’t anything like his grandfather’s business. Butcher’s maternal grandfather was in the solid waste business, and Butcher’s father continued the tradition. Butcher worked in the family business for a while, but then Silicon Valley and high tech called him away.

But that foray only lasted a short time, and when Butcher was laid off, he thought, “Now I’m going to do what I want to do.” He decided upon medical waste as his specialty because, “Not a lot of people understand the business or know about it,” and decided that Colorado was the place to be as there was only one other provider in the area.

After a few years of collecting and hauling waste to another location for processing, Butcher has just built his “showcase facility” with state-of-the-art processing. “Everything is coming into place,” he said.

Unlike traditional medical waste processing where the material is steam sterilized as-is, Butcher has installed a machine that grinds the material before it is steamed and feeds it via an auger that turns the material so there are no pockets that remain unprocessed. The machine feeds the material directly into a trash compactor.

The end-result material resembles automotive fluff, is safe for handling, and the volume is reduced by 85 percent. And additional benefit is that if any patient data gets tossed into the mix, the grinding process eliminates the possibility that it could be retrieved, making it HIPPA compliant.

The process is safer for employees, as well. The incoming waste containers feed into the machine without a need for dumping or handling beyond flipping the cover open. Landfill employees face less risk as well, since needles are no longer intact. And because of the automation and volume reduction, it’s quite cost effective.

Butcher is so confident in his system that his conference room has a window that looks out onto the processing floor. “We have nothing to hide,” he said. “We’re proud of what we do.”
Indeed, he says that the material that goes to the landfill is “cleaner than household waste,” and the air that is emitted from the machine is so well filtered that it’s cleaner than what we normally breathe.

“Our customers are selling the business for us,” Butcher said, noting that much of his 25 to 34 percent yearly growth comes from word-of-mouth. “We are what we say, and we say what we do,” he said.

As far as the future, Butcher has had some interest from people who are looking at the waste as a usable product, which would eliminate the need for landfilling the 1.5 to 2 million pounds that he’s estimating will be processed at the plant each year. That’s definitely at the “cutting edge” of medical waste processing.

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