'All of Us Are in for a Long Haul': NewPort Beach's OnSite Waste Gears Up to Help Free Hospitals of Hazardous Waste

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

'All of Us Are in for a Long Haul': NewPort Beach's OnSite Waste Gears Up to Help Free Hospitals of Hazardous Waste

As the country prepares for mass COVID-19 vaccinations, OnSite Waste Technologies is expecting a spike in demand.

The Newport Beach-based company's device quickly sterilizes needles and other biomedical waste, a process that can take clinics and nursing homes over a month as they ship off the hazardous materials to one of the country's several dozen incinerators.


The company saw demand jump as the pandemic left nursing homes and assisted living facilities with piles of waste. Their orders rose 500% between May and July compared to the same quarter last year.

"Waste was storing up in those facilities and they weren't letting the hauling services come in," said Brad Barnes, the startup's co-founder and CEO.

Armed with a $3.5 million Series A round led by Mark IV Capital, the company is readying to ramp up production of their printer-sized device. It sterilizes biomedical waste products like personal protective gear by heating them up to 400 degrees for 90 minutes. The process gets rid of all viruses like COVID-19, bacteria and other spores, allowing the the old products to be disposed of in a trash can.

The company, which launched last year, currently rents its hardware to long-term care facilities and clinics for infusion therapy and male testosterone replacement in 41 states. Barnes said it took a total of three years to receive regulatory approval, which varies for each state.

Offices can run about 200 needles through the sterilization machine during each three-hour cycle. After the machine heats this so-called "red-bag" waste and lets it cool, it's safe enough to throw away with normal trash.

Barnes said switching to his technology can save businesses up to 60% in costs compared to paying for the traditional method of medical waste disposal. It also reduces a company's risk to exposing healthcare workers to infectious diseases.

"If nothing else, it shortens their liability time," he said.

In the last four months the startup has grown its team by 40%, Barnes said, and they're looking to increase it by another 40. The latest round bumps the startup's total funding to $8.5 million.

With roughly 40 million people living in California alone, Barnes is eying opportunity. He sees mobile vaccination units, for example, as potential customers across the country.

"What we see ahead of us is 10 billion new injections that were never expected or planned that'll take place in the next couple of years," he said. "All of us are in for a long haul."

California's acting state public health officer said earlier this week that, while a number of doses might be available by the end of the year, widespread vaccination probably won't be ready for "many more months."

**This story has been updated.

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March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups
March Capital founder Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

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Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

The Three Best Ways to Work With Your Startup Board

When launching and running a startup, your board of directors is one of your most valuable assets. If you already understand why you need a board and how to structure your board, it may be tempting to think you can cross that item off the list. But building a board is just the beginning. Now you’ve got to get down to business—together.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M
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