GWMC mapping healthcare facilities to quantify, collect biomedical waste

PANAJI: The Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) is in the process of mapping all the healthcare facilities that generate bio-medical waste in the state so that quantification of waste and collection logistics can be worked out.

The Corporation has appointed Delhi-based not-for-profit organisation Toxics Link for the three-year project, that will assess the quantum of this infectious waste generated in the state and suggest plan to set up a model system incorporating most advanced technologies.

The Corporation has set a deadline of August 31 to all public and private hospitals, diagnostic centres, pathology labs, dental clinics, veterinary and pet clinics to share their details with it.

The GWMC, which is a nodal agency for undertaking all the tasks pertaining to setting up biomedical waste treatment facility, has appointed National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) for carrying out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study which is a pre-requisite for setting up Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility (CBMWTDF).

The state will soon have CBMWTDF at Kundaim on public private partnership (PPP) basis for the management and handling of biomedical waste on 10,000 sq metres of land identified at Kundaim. This facility will have requisite equipment of desired capacities such as dual chamber incinerator, autoclave, shredder and effluent treatment plan for zero discharge.

As per new Bio Medical Waste Handling Rules, 2016, the biomedical waste needs to be disposed of within 48 hours hence for this it is important to ensure that waste can be transported from the source of generation to the treatment facility in minimum time.

According to Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB), there are 590 healthcare facilities which were granted authorisation for running the facilities but nearly half of them are either inadequately equipped for scientific treatment and disposal of biomedical waste or running the facility in its full capacity.

Daily, the state generates nearly 6000 kg biomedical waste but only 2660 kg is treated scientifically.

As per GSPCB report, 162 bedded and 85 non-bedded healthcare facilities that include clinics and pathology labs do not use their captive treatment facilities to their fullest though these healthcare facilities have capacity to handle 9135 kg of biomedical waste daily but only 2660 kg is being scientifically treated and remaining is either handed over to the municipal bodies or burnt in open and even dumped in mixed waste.

This shows that only 28 per cent of 9135 kg biomedical waste is treated and disposed daily by captive treatment facilities generated by the bedded and non-bedded private hospitals that include clinics and pathology labs. The Board had also slapped show cause notices on them for not submitting annual reports on waste generation and

treatment.

Interestingly, the Goa Medical College and Hospital, Bambolim had five autoclave units but only two are in operation but these machines are running to their full capacity and are unable to handle additional waste coming from government-run hospitals and from CCP in lesser quantity.

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