Latest Bio Medical Waste Management rules - 2011

Ministry of Environment and Forests has revised the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules promulgated under the Environment Protection Act of 1986. The Rules now called the Bio Medical Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules 2011.

Few Stats:
  • According to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) gross generation of BMW in India is 4,05,702 kg/day of which only 2,91,983 kg/day is disposed, which means that almost 28% of the wastes is left untreated and not disposed finding its way in dumps or water bodies and re-enters our system.
  • Karnataka tops the chart with 62,241 kg/day of BMW.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala comes next with 44,392 kg/day, 40,197 kg/day and 32,884 kg/day of BMW generation respectively.
  • Around 53.25% of Health Care Establishments (HCEs) are in operation without the adequate authorization from State Pollution Control Board (SPCB)/Pollution Control Committee (PCC) which means that waste generated from such facilities goes unaccounted and is dumped without any adequate treatment illegally.

Major Difference between BMW Rules 2011 vs. 1998
Every occupier generating BMW, irrespective of the quantum of wastes comes under the BMW Rules and requires to obtain authorisationOccupiers with more than 1000 beds required to obtain authorisation
Duties of the operator listedOperator duties absent
Categories of Biomedical Waste reduced to EightBiomedical waste divided in ten categories
Treatment and disposal of BMW made mandatory for all the HCEsRules restricted to HCEs with more than 1000 beds
A format for annual report appended with the RulesNo format for Annual Report
Form VI i.e. the report of the operator on HCEs not handing over the BMW added to the RulesForm VI absent

The Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1998 contained 10 categories of wastes which have been reduced in the present rules to 8. 
The 2011 Rules have discarded Category No. 8 (containing liquid waste generated from laboratory, cleaning, washing and disinfection activities) and Category No. 9 (containing incineration ash).
 However, laboratory wastes listed in Category 8 has been included in the present Category 3. The current rules have also cleared the confusion over the colour coding of the containers used for disposal of BMW. The Schedule II of the 1998 Rules creates a confusion regarding the disposal of Category 3 and Category 6 wastes which could either be disposed in yellow or red coloured bags. Similarly, Category 7 wastes could also be disposed in red or blue bags. The present Rules have thus clarified the ambiguity and allotted one colour code to each category of waste.

Colour Coding and Type of Container for Disposal of BMW
Colour CodingType of container to be usedWaste Category Number
YellowNon Chlorinated plastic bagsCategory 1,2,5,6
RedNon Chlorinated plastic bags/puncture proof container for sharpsCategory 3,4,7
BlueNon Chlorinated plastic bags containerCategory 8
BlackNon Chlorinated plastic bagsMunicipal Waste

Apart from the various categories of wastes, Schedule II of the Rules has also incorporated the storage and disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated from the hospitals. The Rules expounds that the MSW such as paper waste, food waste and other non infectious wastes generated from the hospitals should be stored in black coloured bags/containers and disposed as per the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000.

Categories of Bio Medical Waste

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