Covid And Waste Management

Covid apart

Covid-19 pandemic is one of the most deleterious period one could ever remember of, now with the second wave of covid-19 in India, everyday we come across newspaper with news of cases and stories that make us numb. In the current time, we can say that we are much well educated by the health and prevention aspects of coronavirus, but another important aspect of the same issue has remained untouched and thus uneducated. The “Covid 19 waste management and disposition” aspect. Before really covering up this aspect in the article, we’ll educate ourselves as why this aspect is so important and what can we suffer from if we avoid the latter.

With the on set of Covid, India generated over 18,000 tonnes of Covid related wastes which includes PPE, Gloves, face masks, head cover, plastic coverall, syringes and other medical equipments. Overall these wastes are adding upto the ongoing waste management problem of India, but as an optimistic citizen we should focus on solutions and ideas that can help India fight this battle.

First we need to analyse the actual origin of waste, most of Covid related wastes are generated from hospitals, home quarantine centres, and other sectors like hotels, salons and shops.
It’s most appropriate that we start good waste management process through its very first step thus, it is suggested that wastes should get properly segregated at source, medical sectors are much awared of segregation of Covid waste but they lack action whereas non medical sectors like general public are uneducated about the same, they need to understand what goes in Yellow bag and general waste, Mixing general waste with medical waste can add the load to CBWTF incinerators which can make situation more tough thus the only solution to it is proper awareness about waste segregation at source to its maximum extent.
Further, we can also use the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to reduce waste burden . For example – encourage PPE material that have easily available recycling options, encourage reusable alternatives without compromise on safety, encourage appropriate use of PPE based on exposure of health care workers. To overcome all aspects of these problem as a good citizen we should keep the following points on mind-

  1. SEGREGATE WASTE – PUT COVID RELATED LIKE GLOVES, SHOE COVER, HEAD COVERS BED SHEETS AND PPE IN YELLOW BIN
  2. TRY TO USE SUCH PPE KITS WHICH HAVE RECLYABLE OPTIONS OPEN UP
  3. CUT THE ENDS OF MASKS BEFORE DISPOSITION
  4. PUT INFECTED MASKS / GLOVES IN PAPER BAG FOR MIN 72 HOURS OF QUARANTINE BEFORE DISCARDING SAME AS GENERAL DRY WASTE.
  5. SHARP WASTE LIKE METALS ARE TO BE PUT IN WHITE DUSTBINS.
  6. SPREAD AWARENESS ABOUT PROPER SEGREGATION OF COVID WASTE TO YOUR MAXIMUM REACH.

Every problem has a possible solution, with this view, Let’s fulfill all our responsibilities as a good citizen, and let’s try to keep ourselves as well as nature well through our actions.

Samradhi Goyal
Author: Samradhi Goyal