Daily Answer Writing And Mentorship Program


Q: Discuss the challenges and potential solutions in managing biomedical waste in the context of public health
and environmental sustainability. (15 Marks, 250 Words)

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Biomedical Waste is the waste generated during the research testing, diagnosis, treatment, immunization or
any other medical procedure of human beings or animals. As per the estimates of Central Pollution Control Board
(CPCB), About 656 tons of bio-medical waste (BMW) was generated in the year 2020.

Challenges faced in managing biomedical waste:
· Lack of Awareness and Training: Limited awareness of biomedical waste in Delhi hospitals leads to improper
disposal, risking infectious diseases.
· Inadequate Infrastructure: Insufficient infrastructure in West Bengal’s rural healthcare facilities hampers
proper biomedical waste disposal, causing environmental contamination.
· Inefficient Regulatory Framework: Weak enforcement of biomedical waste regulations in Tamil Nadu
healthcare facilities leads to improper waste management and hazards.
· Informal Sector Involvement: Informal waste pickers handling biomedical waste in Mumbai lack training and
protective equipment, risking their health.
· Transportation and Disposal Issues: Transportation challenges in biomedical waste management in Gujarat
lead to contamination and improper disposal, endangering environment, and health.
· Limited Treatment Capacity: Inadequate treatment facilities in Madhya Pradesh lead to landfilling of
biomedical waste, risking groundwater contamination and environmental degradation.

Potential Solutions:
· Strengthened Regulatory Framework: For instance, the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016, provide
guidelines for segregation, handling, and disposal of biomedical waste in healthcare facilities.
· Public Awareness and Training: Conduct awareness campaigns and training programs for healthcare
professionals, waste handlers, and the public. For instance, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
organizes workshops and seminars to educate healthcare workers on proper waste management practices.
· Improved Infrastructure: Investing in infrastructure for biomedical waste management, such as the
Integrated Waste Management Facility in Indore, ensures proper treatment and disposal.
· Integration of the Informal Sector: Formalize the involvement of waste pickers and recyclers in biomedical
waste management. The Saahas Zero Waste initiative in Bengaluru engages waste pickers in the collection
and proper segregation of biomedical waste.
· Enhanced Transportation and Disposal Systems: By improving transportation infrastructure and
implementing proper packaging protocols, such as GPS-enabled vehicles, Kerala minimized contamination
risks during biomedical waste transportation.
· Research and Innovation: For instance, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur has developed a
low-cost portable incinerator for the safe disposal of biomedical waste in remote areas.

For effective BMW management, the Supreme Court should mandate a national bar-coding system and dedicated
trash bins. Legislative support, non-PVC equipment, eco-friendly disposal methods, and careful handling are crucial
to prevent water contamination.