To improve the system of safe bio-medical waste collection and disposal in the city, at least 100 clinics will now be involved in an experiment that includes sending missed calls to the service agency to take the trash from their doorsteps.
Passco Environmental Solutions Ltd, appointed by the Pune Municipal Corporation in 2005 to collect, transport and dispose biomedical waste (BMW) at Kailash crematorium, will now undertake a door-to-door collection from the registered clinics on a trial basis.
At least three tonnes of bio-medical waste is generated daily in Pune and 1.2 tonnes in Pimpri-Chinchwad. All this is incinerated at the facilities at Kailash crematorium and at Moshi.
The waste is collected daily from 450 collection points by seven dedicated collection vehicles equipped with electronic weighing and bar code reading facility. “Manual interference is avoided in these operations. The entire operation is automated,” said Dr N D Thakur, in charge of the bio-medical waste collection and disposal programme in the PMC.
According to Pradeep Mulay, founder of Passco, a total of 614 nursing homes, 18 blood banks, 284 pathology laboratories and 2,826 dispensaries are registered with them to dispose bio-medical waste. “We have a fully-computerised set-up and an interactive website. Doctors can also track our vehicles on their mobile phones or laptops to find our exact location before picking up the waste,” said Mulay.
According to Passco officials, the need for introducing the missed call facility was felt after they observed that several doctors did not send bio-medical waste for disposal since the collection points were at a distance from their clinics. “At times, there has been a delay as the staff from the clinic do not come to the collection points with the bio-medical waste. So, as an additional facility, we are now asking the clinics to give us missed calls so that we can collect the bio-medical waste right at their doorsteps,” Mulay said.
On a trial basis, the facility will involve only 100 clinics since Passco has to assess the cost effectiveness of the scheme. Mulay said the city would be divided in 12 areas for the purpose. “This is for our convenience as then we can provide service to the clinics in one particular area on the designated days,” he said.
“Biomedical waste is extremely hazardous. If not managed properly, it can lead to serious health and environment problems. This is waste generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals by health care and research facilities. It includes discarded sharps, blood, unwanted microbiological cultures, needles, scalpels and such. Apart from incineration, autoclave method is also used to dispose some of the bio-medical waste,” Mulay said.