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Chandigarh hospital violating rules of biomedical waste disposal

The red bags are supposed to contain contaminated waste generated from disposable items, such as tubing, bottles, intravenous tubes and sets, catheters, urine bags, syringes and gloves.

punjab Updated: Feb 06, 2018 17:43 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh hospital,biomedical waste,waste disposal
Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, is using yellow, black and blue bags for disposal of waste, while Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016, mandate use of yellow, red, white and blue bags.(HT Photo)

Nearly two years after the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016, made it mandatory to segregate untreated biomedical waste into four types of coloured bags for disposal, Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, has yet to adopt the model, creating a vicious circle of risk of infection.

While the rules, notified by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change on March 28, 2016, mandate the waste be segregated into yellow, red, white and blue bags at source itself, the hospital is using yellow, blue and white container and not the red bags.

The red bags are supposed to contain contaminated waste generated from disposable items, such as tubing, bottles, intravenous tubes and sets, catheters, urine bags, syringes (without needles and fixed needle syringes) and vaccutainers with their needles cut) and gloves, and the yellow bags should have human and animal anatomical waste, waste contaminated with blood and other body fluids, expired medicines, chemical waste, discarded linen, and clinical laboratory waste.

Over 400 kilograms of yellow bag waste is burnt at the incinerator on GMSH-16 premises daily.

The blue bags are meant to be used for broken or contaminated glassware and metallic body implants, while the white bags, which should be puncture and leak proof, should be used for needles, syringes, scalpels, blades, or any other contaminated sharp object.

This method of segregation is meant for better disposal of waste and safety of workers dealing with it. Further, each kind of bag has different method of disposal. “The yellow bags are burnt in incinerators the same day, while the waste collected in red bags is autoclaved and shredded and then sold to registered recyclers,” said a scientist from the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee.

“The waste in blue bags should be disinfected and then sold to registered recycling companies, similarly sharp waste, collected in white, is also autoclaved, shredded and sent for disposal to iron foundries,” he said.

Dr Vandana Gupta, medical superintendent, GMSH-16, said, “We have placed orders for the required bags.”

“Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, and PGIMER are following the Bio Medical Waste Management Rules. GMSH-16 is not following them, we will issue instructions to the hospital on Tuesday,” Santosh Kumar, director, environment, Chandigarh, said.

Biomedical waste ending in dustbins

While not following waste segregation norms, GMSH-16 is also not properly disposing of the waste. Even as shredded and glassware waste is to be sent to registered recycling companies, the hospital is discarding the waste in municipal corporation (MC) dustbins.

“The hospital neither has any place to store the shredded waste nor is it aligned with a company to buy it. Hence, staff disposes of the waste on their own,” a worker engaged in management of biomedical waste said, adding that the glassware waste was thrown in MC dustbins, where garbage lifters take it away.

While not denying the illegal disposal of waste, Dr Vandana Gupta, medical superintendent, GMSH-16, said they were looking for vendors to dispose of the shredded waste. However, she claimed that the waste was disinfected before disposal.

Over 400 kilograms of yellow bag waste is burnt at the incinerator on GMSH-16 premises daily. It includes over 150kg waste from GMSH-16, over 200kg waste from GMCH-32 and nearly 75kg waste from health dispensaries.

First Published: Feb 06, 2018 14:02 IST