Sanitary/offensive wastes

Is this a waste stream appropriate for separate collection and disposal?

To date, the answer has been a resounding yes, though putting it into Tiger bags to land fill the waste is totally irrational when better options such as anaerobic digestion and biogas production exist.

But now, the relaxation – informal or otherwise – that allows Local Authorities to divert sanitary/offensive wastes to the black bag domestic waste stream seems inappropriate.  If statistics concerning waste production are important – often hailed as a key to the effective operation of the Environment Agency waste reporting to Government and the EU, as well as an effective tool in regulation – then the statistics are now lost.

More importantly, are the teams collecting domestic waste properly protected? The most basic tools such as gloves and overalls are available though supervision is poor and compliance even less so. I have yet to see a collection vehicle with a handwash station, and the use of alcohol hand rubs and wet wipes is rare.

It is OK to hide behind the requirement that these wastes will be risk assessed for any hazard of infection prior to disposal but that will be inadequate. So now some, though not all, Local Authorities have virtuallys ceased separate collection of santitaryoffensive wastes from domestic properties. Nurseries and nursing homes etc will soon follow suit, with huge and no doubt very welcome savings.

When infections occur, Norovirus and others will be common particularly during winter months, risk assessment will be lax or more likely non-existent. Not at all surprising, though this will place waste handlers at additional risk.

Who is to blame? On face value, those who fail to perform a suitable and satisfactory risk assessment, though if the truth be told almost certainly those who have drafted such a leaky waste framework that is ripe for manipulation.

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Your email address will not be published.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.