Challenges in waste segregation in resource limited rural hospitals

Challenges in waste disposal and treatment process in a common biomedical waste management facility

Challenges in waste disposal and treatment process in a common biomedical waste management facility

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Volume and scale

There is defined amount of waste to be segregated and handed over to the common treatment facility which is similar for all levels of hospital. Eg: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary set up. It also includes private and government hospital. It is a challenge to fit all size in one. Managing these fluctuations efficiently requires flexibility in collection schedules and capacities.

Global pandemics or widespread health crises can significantly increase the volume of biomedical waste, putting additional stress on waste management facilities. Facilities need to be prepared to handle surges in waste during such events. Covid was one such example where huge waste was generated due to high utility of PPEs, so peak period can place a huge burden on CTF.

Public perception

Communities near hospitals are concerned about the presence and segregation of biomedical waste and its facilities installed in their vicinity due to fears of contamination and transmission of infection related to health risks. Public perception can lead to opposition, making it challenging to establish and operate BMW facilities.

Emergency response or preparedness

Collection personnel must be prepared to respond to emergencies, such as spills or accidents during transportation. Having robust emergency response plans in place and ensuring that collection staff are trained to handle unexpected situations is essential.

Timely collection

Timely collection is crucial to prevent the accumulation of biomedical waste at healthcare facilities. Delays in collection can pose health risks to staff and patients and may lead to non-compliance with regulations. Health care facilities are placed and spread across different locations, requiring efficient routing and scheduling for waste collection. Managing logistics to ensure timely pickups while minimizing travel time and costs can be a logistical challenge.

Monitoring, training, and enforcement

Larger sector of population on BMW training and monitoring their activities daily. Challenge to monitor BMW disposal process of common treatment facility as functioning begins late evening and continues till early morning.

Facility is situated at a distance away from the city zone, where monitoring becomes a challenge.

Only one facility handles waste for all the health care organization within 75km which leaves no choice for the organization to select their vendor.

Health care organization beyond 75km to the vicinity of BMW facility must discard BMW on their own.

Technology and infrastructure

Regular upgradation of treatment facility with newer technologies which can be expensive but can handle waste in more appropriate and easier way. It would also prevent outdated infrastructure which may lead to inefficient turn over.

Costs and financial constraint

Every BMW cover must be purchased from the same vendor right from the point of segregation to the storage in health care facility common storage area which incurs a huge cost constraint for the organization.

To establish and maintain a biomedical waste facility involves significant costs, including infrastructure development, technology acquisition, staff training, and ongoing operational expenses. Securing funding and managing costs effectively can be challenging.

Waste treatment residue

Byproducts or residue generated after treatment requires appropriate disposal. It requires a big space for safe disposal for environmental safety and may also involve huge cost.


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