Karnataka: Bar codes on biomedical waste bags will help track accurate disposal

A senior KSPCB official said there is a lack of coordination between the health department, city corporations and Pollution Control Board.
Representative Image
Representative Image(File photo | PTI)

BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has proposed that bar codes be put on all biomedical waste (BMW) bags, to ensure that an accurate amount of biomedical waste reaches the incinerators.

There are many loopholes in the amount of waste generated and how much reaches the processing units. At any given point of time, large quantities are dumped in landfills, by roadsides, on city outskirts and even in water bodies.

A senior KSPCB official said there is a lack of coordination between the health department, city corporations and Pollution Control Board. The exact waste generated and disposed of is not accounted for. There is no single-window system where details of health institutes are maintained. A single-window system has been created for clearing proposals to set up industries, but not for waste management and disposal.

“In case of BMW, we have proposed a mechanism where each waste bag will have a bar code, it will have details of the hospital, total number of beds, the incinerator which is attached to the hospital when waste was loaded in the transport vehicle. Details of the transport vehicle will also be noted, and each vehicle will be GPS-enabled to track its location,” the official said.

The official added that there are many healthcare facilities in the state which are not disposing of the exact quantity. Many health centres have expanded their infrastructure, but have not shared details of an increase in beds with KSPCB. There are many unregistered medical centres generating large quantities of waste. “All these need to be brought under one umbrella,” the official added.

WASTE DISPOSAL

  • 48,431 registered healthcare facilities in the state

  • 77,876kg generated per day, but 66,943kg treated per day in 25 incinerators

  • In Bengaluru Urban, 38,768 kg of BMW generated

  • To track vehicles and check pollution, Board is also setting up a command and control room at the head office on Church Street. Movement of waste transportation vehicles attached to KSPCB will be monitored live. Pollution level of all air quality monitoring centres, including mobile vehicles, will also be tracked live at the centre

(Source: KSPCB data)

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