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What to Do with Healthcare Waste?

The increase in modern medicine has brought so much convenience to the lives of many. The progress has been remarkable; however, this success leaves behind a dilemma on proper waste disposal of healthcare waste. Healthcare waste is the waste that came from healthcare facilities and laboratories. These include needles and syringes, expired and infected medicines, and infectious litter such as used dressings, blood, and bacteria samples. The proper disposal of this waste has been a dilemma for some countries in the world since medical waste carries potential risks when it is incorrectly disposed of. Also, it can cause bigger environmental problems and put the community at risk for diseases. According to the recently introduced, Sustainability in Action:

Best Practices of Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Asia Members and other Countries here are the proposal on how to implement sustainable waste disposal:

• Plan. Proper waste disposal in every healthcare facility such as hospitals and laboratories always starts with proper and stable planning. In this phase, the facility management will introduce the approach. Also, most importantly in this stage, the management should be able to sort out what waste and how much they usually generate.

• Minimize. While it is impossible to make this happen without compromising the health of the patients, it is advisable to use greener and environmentally safe alternatives such as non-mercury thermometers.

• Segregate. This task should be handled well by the person creating the waste; thus, proper waste segregation should be controlled by color-coded and properly labeled containers.

• Dispose of. To avoid potential health dangers caused by medical waste, it is important to follow certain procedures before waste disposal. Treatment processes should be done first such as using disinfectants and steam sterilization.