Times of India reports clinical waste “recycling”

KOLKATA: Biomedical and hazardous waste is regularly being recycled and sold in open market despite there being specific rules for its segregation, transportation and dumping.

The blatant practice was confirmed after a KMC team raided six makeshift medicine “factories” near the Dhapa dumping ground and recovered a large number of syringes, needles, scalpels and gloves among other disposable items.

Following a tip-off, the civic solid waste management department conducted a series of raids between December 26 and December 28 last year, to collect six truckloads of recycled biomedical waste from the medicine stores. “We were taken aback to find such a large stock of hazardous waste in the backyard of Dhapa. We are set to intensify our vigil over the area to avert public health hazard,” a KMC solid waste management official said. These very recycled items were being sold back to lesser-known nursing homes, pathological labs and medicine shops, the official added.

Even the police allegedly had no information of the biomedical disposable items being recycled at a place off the Dhapa dumping ground. 

T K Mukherjee, advisor to the KMC health department, pointed out that recycling of biomedical waste, such as syringes, needles and scalpels, which were highly infectious, could lead to a major public health hazard. “This practice has to stop immediately or we can’t prevent an impending health hazard,” Mukherjee said.

Following the “discovery” at the “medical factories”, the KMC health department has written to nursing home, pathological lab and private hospital owners to prepare a daily estimate of biomedical waste they generate and how it is disposed of. “We are not worried about major healthcare institutes. We suspect a section of smaller nursing homes and labs are into such illegal business. We won’t spare them if caught red-handed,” said Atin Ghosh, MMiC overseeing the KMC health. The KMC health department will also write to the agencies that collect, transport and dump such waste.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.