Half of bio-medical waste not disposed of properly: Study

Last Updated: Monday, April 12, 2010 - 15:09

New Delhi: Only half of the total
bio-medical waste generated in the country is treated
according to rules while the rest is dumped with municipal
solid waste, posing a risk to environment and human health,
according to a recent study.

Out of 42,0461 kg per day of waste generation, only
24,0682 kg is treated and as many as 14,959 hospitals have
been served show cause notices as defaulters, according to the
report prepared by Indian Institute of Management (IIM),
Lucknow.

"Presently 50-55 percent of bio-medical wastes is
collected, segregated and treated as per Bio-medical Waste
Management Rules. Rest is dumped with municipal solid wastes,"
it says.

Out of 84,809 hospitals, only 48,183 are either using
common bio-medical waste treatment facilities (which are 170
in number) or have engaged private agencies.

Giving details of the facilities at the hospital, the
study points out that there are 391 incinerators, 2562
autoclaves, 458 microwaves, 145 hydroclaves and 6047 shredders
in operation.

Generally bio-medical waste is classified into
infectious waste and non-infectious waste categories. If
infectious waste is not disposed off scientifically, it could
contaminate non-infectious waste, threatening local community.

The Biomedical Waste Management Act, 1998, mandates
hospitals to handle their wastes in an environmentally and
scientifically sound manner.

The IIM which conducted the study on behalf of the
environment ministry to evaluate the performance of the
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) points out that number
of Common Bio-medical Wastes Treatment Facility (CBMWTF) has
to be increased manifold.

The incineration of infectious medical wastes is
mandatory for hospitals in the country, but many hospitals
either do not have this facility or the machines are lying
idle.

"Presently there are 157 facilities which are not
adequate to handle all bio medical wastes generated. CBMWTF is
to be set-up under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode," the
report says.

Stressing that new technologies have to be promoted
for destruction of toxic bio-medical wastes, it says the
government is developing plasma technology for incinerating 50
tonnes per hour of biomedical waste.

With a rise in healthcare facilities and hospitals ,
the Central Pollution Control Board has set a target to treat
17,97779 kg/d of bio-medical waste by 2012 and adequate common
facilities to treat the total waste generated in each state by
2022, the study adds.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 12, 2010 - 15:09

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