Overview of Bio-Medical Waste Recycling Plant
"Bio-Medical Waste" or BMW means any waste generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunisation of human beings, animals, or research activities. BMW has been categorised into four colour-coded categories (Yellow, red, white and blue) to ease the process of segregation at the source of generation and its collection storage and disposal afterwards. The occupier and the people involved in its processing must be aware of these categories. All related activities ranging from generation, collection, reception, storage, transportation, treatment, processing, disposal or any other form of handling of bio-medical waste need prior authorisation from the concerned SPCB/ PCC under BMW Rules, 1998 in accordance with the rules and guidelines issued by the Central Government or CPCB. Generators of BMW include health care facilities (HCF) like hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses, pathological laboratories, blood banks, Ayush hospitals, clinical establishments, research or educational institutions, health camps, medical or surgical camps, vaccination camps, blood donation camps, first aid rooms of schools, forensic laboratories and research labs. The transport, processing and disposal are done by specialised facilities known as Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facility (CBMWTF). These facilities do the collection, reception, storage, transport, treatment, disposal or any other form of handling of bio-medical waste from its source.
Disposal of Bio-Medical Waste at Common Treatment Site includes the following stages
- Collection: of Bio-medical Waste in leakproof closed vehicles.
- Incineration: Incinerable (or yellow category) waste goes to an incinerator while the flue gases are sent out through Air Pollution Control Devices.
- Autoclaving: autoclavable waste is sent for Autoclaving, after which the waste can either be shredded and sent to authorised recyclers or an Effluent treatment plant (ETP) and converted into ETP sludge which is stored in isolated tanks.
- Recycling: recycling is possible for a limited portion of Biomedical Waste like glass and plastic waste. This waste goes through chemical disinfection and is sent to authorised recyclers.
Responsibilities of Common Bio-Medical Waste Management plant
A registered CBWTF must adhere to the collection, transportation, tracking, handling, safety and compliance norms as per the SPCB/PCC guidelines. A few of such guidelines have been summarised below.
- Bio-medical waste generated from HCF must be segregated at the point of generation.
- Collection, Packaging and labelling should be done per the rules specified to ensure the safe transport of BMW to the CBMWTF.
- A dedicated Central Waste Collection Room for Bio-medical Waste must be present.
- Spill Management Procedures must be in place.
- Maintaining Specific Standard throughout the operation: Maintaining standards for Autoclaves, Microwaving, liquid waste, deep Burial, designs of concrete pits for waste sharps, and effluent treatment Plants.
- Follow protocols for Accidental reporting, Occupational Safety, Employee health checkups and regular staff training.
- Establish barcoding and global positioning system for handling of bio-medical waste within one year
- Maintain all records of waste disposal for five years.
- CBWTF Operators are required to submit an action plan, to the respective SPCB/PCC, for imposing suitable conditions while granting authorisation
- Every CBWTF must submit an annual report to the SPCB/PCC in Form-IV on or before the 30th of June.
- Assisting the occupier of the HCF and informing the authorities if it does not performs its duty
Documents required by a CBMWTF for Authorisation
- Application in Form-II of Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016
- Letter of Requisition
- Treatment, storage and disposal facility agreement copy
- Site Plan
- Affidavit Self Declaration for Ownership
- Affidavit/Self Declaration for Liquid Waste Treatment
- Copy of consent to operate order issued by SPCB
- Map with GPS locations of CBMWTF and area of coverage.
- Contingency plan of CBMWTF.
- Copy of the manifests of the lifting of waste
Registration Process for Bio-Medical Waste Recycling Plant
Documentation and Application Fee
Every operator handling bio-medical waste must apply in Form II to the concerned SPCB/ PCC along with the required fee.
Document Scrutiny and site inspection Authorities
Documents will be scrutinised by the SPCB/PCC to assess the capacity and capabilities of the CBWTF. A site inspection will be carried out, and an inspection report will be prepared.
Issuance of authorisation
The SPCB/ PCC will grant the authorisation in Form III after successful inspection and redressal of all issues. Authorisation will be issued within 90 days of submission of a completed application.
Need for Dedicated facilities for Bio-medical waste
Studies show that only about 10%–25% of BMW is hazardous, and the remaining is non-hazardous. The hazardous part of the waste presents physical, chemical, and microbiological risks to the general population and healthcare workers. A trained individual associated with handling, treatment, and disposal of waste can also be exposed to the hazardous nature if proper protocols are not followed. The generators of BMW may be capable of handling the waste. If the waste reaches the informal sector for processing, in that case, it becomes an issue of concern for the people who segregate this unsterilised waste with no gloves, masks, or shoes for recycling. This problem is further magnified by the presence of biological pathogens in such discards, which can multiply and cause infection to such scavengers.
Role of SPCB/PCC in setting up a CBMWTF
SPCBs prepare an inventory BMW generation at least once in 5 years w.r.t bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facility in its territory.
SPCB identifies the coverage area and is responsible for providing a suitable site in the identified coverage area for the setting up of a CBMWTF.
In the absence of interested parties, SPCB/PCC may invite health care facilities to form an association and develop its CBWTF.
The Role of CBMWTF in Bio-Medical Waste Management
BMW (Management)Amendment Rules, 2016, which presently deals with all related provisions of the BMW, has increased the applicability of the earlier rule and issued a detailed standard operating procedure for a CBWTF. The amended rules have improved the segregation, transportation and disposal methods to decrease environmental pollution. The BMW Rules, 2016, have provisions to ensure no pilferage of recyclables item or secondary handling and safe transportation from the HCFs to the common BMW treatment facility. Also, as per BMW Management Rules 2016, the general waste generated from the HCF must be disposed of as per Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, while waste EEE under schedule 1 is recycled as per the E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016. Therefore ensuring all applicable protocols at a pan India level requires a network of BMW management facilities throughout the country.
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