Overview of HCWM technologies

Healthcare waste management technologies aren't just limited to the treatment step along the healthcare waste stream.

Use of appropriate containers into which waste is segregated is very important both to ensure further safe handling (internal transport, storage and eventual external transport to the waste treatment and/or disposal facility) as well as for identification purposes.

Making sure that protective equipment is provided to waste handlers is an extra measure that must be taken to minimize risks of injury and infection.

Transport vehicles both for on and off-site transportation need to comply with a set of minimum requirements.

At the level of treatment and final disposal technical options, the choice will be dependent on quite a number of parameters amongst which the setting (urban or rural), population density as well as transport issues that will typically be determinant in the choice between a centralized or decentralized system, etc.

Considering the fact that there is no universal treatment solution, final choice of the best available alternative is strongly dependent on both the type of waste that needs to be processed and the local conditions as presented in the treatment options ressources.

Parameters to assess

Here's a non-exhaustive list of points that should be checked into before selecting an option: [read more…]

  • quantities and types of waste produced daily/weekly;
  • availability of appropriate sites for waste treatment and disposal (e.g. space on HCF premises and distance to the nearest residential areas);
  • social acceptance of treatment and disposal methods planned;
  • possibility of treatment in a central facility or hospital with a HCW treatment system within reasonable distance;
  • existence of reliable transportation services and roads;
  • availability of human, financial and material resources;
  • existence of a reliable power supply;
  • overview of options used in the country;
  • environmental regulations including those derived from the ratification of global legally binding Conventions;
  • rainfall and level of groundwater (to take precautions against flooding of burial pits, or provide shelter for incinerators and other facilities)
  • etc…