CPCB revises guidelines for Handling, Treatment and Disposal of Waste Generated during Treatment/Diagnosis/ Quarantine of COVID-19 Patients

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The Central Pollution Control Board on 21st July 2020 has revised the guidelines for Handling, Treatment, and Disposal of Waste Generated during Treatment/Diagnosis/ Quarantine of COVID-19 Patients by suppressing its earlier guidelines issued on 10th July 2020.

The revised guidelines provide guidance on the segregation of general solid waste and biomedical waste from quarantine centers/home-care/healthcare facilities treating COVID-19 patients and to recommend on disposal of PPEs.

Key Highlights from the revised guidelines.

  • General solid waste comprising of wrappers of medicines/syringes, fruit peel offs, empty juice bottles or tetra packs, used water bottles, discarded papers, carton boxes of medicines, empty bottles of disinfectants, left-over food, disposable food plates etc., should be collected separately as per SWM Rules, 2016.
  • In order to minimize waste generation, as far as possible, non-disposable items must be used for serving food, which are to be handled with appropriate precautions and cleaned and disinfected as per hospital guidelines. If use of disposable items is inevitable, use bio-degradable cutlery. The wet and dry solid waste bags to be tied securely in leak-proof bags, sprayed with sodium hypo-chlorite solution and hand over to authorized waste collector of ULB’s on daily basis. Yellow colored bags should not be used for collecting general solid waste. Compostable bags should be used for collecting wet-waste.
  • Used masks, tissues and toiletries, of COVID-19 patient shall become biomedical waste and shall be segregated in yellow bag.
  • Segregation of biomedical waste and general solid waste should be done at the point of generation in wards / isolation rooms.
  • General solid waste (household waste) generated from quarantine centers or camps should be collected in bags, securely tied and handed-over to municipal solid waste collector identified by Urban Local Bodies for final disposal.
  • Only the used masks, gloves and tissues or swabs contaminated with blood / body fluids of COVID-19 patients, including used syringes, medicines, etc., if any generated should be treated as biomedical waste.
  • Waste masks and gloves in general households should be kept in paper bag for a minimum of 72 hours prior to disposal of the same as dry general solid waste after cutting the same to prevent reuse.
  • Discarded PPEs from general public at commercial establishments, shopping malls, institutions, offices, etc. should be stored in separate bin for 3 days, thereafter disposed of as dry general solid waste after cutting/shredding.
  • At Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), discarded PPEs containing plastic should be shredded and sent to SPCB authorised plastic waste recyclers, or may be converted into refuse derived fuel (RDF) for co-processing or energy recovery (in Waste to Energy Plants) or for road making.

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