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  Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 149-150

Recommendations for COVID-19-related biomedical waste management in health care facilities

1 Department of Microbiology, HBNI, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Composite Laboratory, HBNI, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Medical Administration, HBNI, ACTREC-TMC, Plot No. 1 and 2, Sector 22, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission18-Jan-2021
Date of Decision05-Aug-2021
Date of Acceptance09-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication19-May-2022

Correspondence Address:
Prashant Bhat
Medical Administration, HBNI, ACTREC-TMC, Plot No. 1 and 2, Sector 22, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_84_21

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How to cite this article:
Bhat V, Chavan P, Bhat P. Recommendations for COVID-19-related biomedical waste management in health care facilities. Indian J Cancer 2022;59:149-50

How to cite this URL:
Bhat V, Chavan P, Bhat P. Recommendations for COVID-19-related biomedical waste management in health care facilities. Indian J Cancer [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Jul 7];59:149-50. Available from:

The advent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in health care facilities have important implications on infection prevention and waste handling in hospitals. Biomedical waste management (BWM) is a legal responsibility as much as it is a social obligation, and appropriate measures must be implemented to limit the transmission of infection. Biomedical waste, if not handled and disposed of properly, can lead to occupational and environmental hazards. Guidelines are provided by the World Health Organization and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for the safe collection, handling, and disposal of biomedical waste.[1],[2]

COVID-19 waste in health care facilities is mostly generated in the COVID/isolation wards, intensive care units, specimen collection areas, and diagnostic laboratories. Waste management challenges in health care facilities include collection, segregation, treatment options, and safety issues.[3] Waste must be segregated at the point of generation, and appropriate color-coded bags must be used for segregation as per the state/national guidelines. Sanitation workers involved in waste handling must be trained in the collection and handling of BMW and must wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Double-layered collection bags are recommended for the collection of COVID-19 waste.[4] This must be collected and transported in appropriately color-coded dedicated bins and trolleys that are disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite daily. All bags and bins must be labeled “COVID-19 waste.” General waste, such as used water bottles, disposable food plates, tetra pack cartons, waste paper, fruit peels, left-over food, is not considered as biomedical waste and must be disposed of as civil/municipal waste. This municipal solid waste is collected in double-layered bags and tied securely ensuring no leakage occurs. The bags are sprayed with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution before leaving the facility.[1] COVID-19 waste must not be mixed with general municipal waste. Attempts must be made to minimize waste generation by encouraging the use of reusable material that should be cleaned with proper precautions as per hospital policy.

As per the CPCB, plastic wastes such as nitrile gloves, goggles, face shields, plastic aprons, and so on must be collected in red color-coded bags/bins. All used medical masks, N95 masks, head caps, shoe covers, disposable linen gowns, and so on must be collected in yellow color-coded bags/bins. All sharps must be collected in puncture-proof sharps containers and discarded when they are three-fourth full. Laboratory waste such as viral transport media, swabs, vacutainers, pipette microtips, eppendorf tubes, and so on must be pretreated by autoclaving them before disposal. All waste bags must be tied securely and the outsides disinfected with 1% sodium hypochlorite before transport to a common waste collection facility. Spill management must be performed as per protocol. Incident reports must be recorded for all adverse events related to BWM. Records of all waste generated in the hospital and pretreated waste must be maintained.[5] All health care workers must be aware of the biomedical waste rules and regulations and must comply with the requirements. This will help minimize the chances of inadvertent transmission of infection to health care personnel through COVID-19 waste generated in the hospital.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Fan YV, Jiang P, Hemzal M, Klemes JJ. An update of COVID-19 influence on waste management. Sci Total Environ 2020;754:142014.  Back to cited text no. 3
lyas S, Srivastava RR, Kim H. Disinfection technology and strategies for COVID-19 hospital and bio-medical waste management. Sci Total Environ 2020;749:141652.  Back to cited text no. 4
Das A, Garg R, Ojha B, Banerjee T. Biomedical waste management: The challenge amidst COVID-19 pandemic. J Lab Physicians 2020;12:161-2.  Back to cited text no. 5


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