3-months’ worth of clinical waste found unprocessed outside disposal unit

Cyprus seems to be in another mess, this time with its business and practical arrangements for clinical waste disposal.

Authorities said on Thursday they had launched a probe into the improper storage of more than 100 tonnes – more than three months’ worth – of highly hazardous medical waste outside the Kofinou premises of the disposal contractor for state hospitals.

Officials on Wednesday caught employees of the company red-handed loading the waste onto a truck to be transferred to an unknown location and called in the police to guard the unit to make sure no hazardous material exited the premises.

According to the head of the agriculture ministry’s department of environment, Costas Hadjipanayiotou, officials from his service discovered over the past few days large volumes of  infectious clinical waste stored improperly in the outdoor area of the processing unit in Kofinou, without having any prior notification that there was a technical problem with processing and that it was being stored without proper treatment.

The volume of stored untreated waste, he said, was very large in comparison to the quantities collected daily from state hospitals.

“State hospitals contribute 1.2 tonnes of waste per day, that is, around 30-35 tonnes per month. The accumulation of waste in the plant is more than 100 tonnes, meaning about three months of clinical waste,” Hadjipanayiotou told the Cyprus News Agency.

This waste must be immediately managed, he said.

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