According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India, the country generates approximately 1.48 million tonnes of healthcare waste per year. Registered healthcare facilities generate 4,057 tonnes of waste per day, out of which 2,919 tonnes of waste is treated while rest goes untreated on a daily basis.
A hospital in India generates around 0.5 to 2 kg of waste per bed per day with 70-80 per cent of that being general waste, 15-20 per cent is infectious waste, 5-10 per cent is pathological waste, and 0.5 to 1 per cent is chemical and sharp wastes. The waste management cycle involves collection, segregation, transportation, treatment and disposal of organic, recyclable and inert waste. Wastes can be used for land filling, recycling and composting apart from disposing it off through incineration. Currently, waste management in India commonly means dumping at landfill sites. Activities by Healthcare facilities represent 3-8 per cent of the climate change footprint in developed countries.
A highly effective healthcare waste management system with strong control and understanding of the entire process is required. Segregation in the waste management process would bring in various financial, health and environmental benefits.