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COVID-19: Delhi’s Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities Under Pressure Due To Increased Load

Municipal corporations in Delhi are responsible for collecting COVID-19 bio-medical waste from houses of patients undergoing home quarantine which goes to the waste-to-energy plants for incineration

COVID-19: Delhi's Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities Under Pressure Due To Increased Load
Highlights
  • There is a lot of pressure on medical waste treatment plants: Amit Nilawar
  • The bio-medical waste treatment facilities are operating in three shifts
  • Delhi has three waste-to-energy treatment plants

New Delhi: The two common bio-medical waste treatment facilities (CBWTF) in the city are grappling with increased load due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with their operators saying the pressure is set to increase with rising cases. The two CBWTFs in Delhi are SMS Water Grace BMW Private Limited in Nilothi in west Delhi and Biotic Waste Solutions Private Limited in Jahangirpuri, with an operational capacity of 12 tonnes and 34 tonnes per day, respectively. Together, these facilities have been disposing of around 19 tonnes of COVID and 16 tonnes on non-COVID bio-medical waste per day, according to their representatives.

Also Read: Guidelines Issued For Handling Of Waste Generated During COVID-19 Patient’s Treatment

SMS Water Grace collects COVID bio-medical waste from government hospitals, including LNJP and Safdarjung Hospital, quarantine centres, isolation facilities, testing centres, dispensaries, private hospitals and laboratories in six districts of Delhi — west, southwest, central, Shahdara, east and northeast.

Biotic waste solutions covers north, northwest, New Delhi, south, and southeast districts. It collects COVID waste from AIIMS, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Lady Hardinge Medical College etc.

Municipal corporations are responsible for collecting COVID-19 bio-medical waste from houses of patients undergoing home quarantine. This waste goes to the waste-to-energy plants, which have incinerators with large capacities. Delhi has three waste-to-energy treatment plants, at Sukhdev Vihar-Okhla, Narela-Bawana and Ghazipur.
Amit Nilawar from SMS Water Grace said before the coronavirus, his facility had been operating at 50 percent capacity.

Now, it is operating between 90 percent and 110 percent capacity due to the additional COVID-19 waste, which has increased the risk of shutdowns. The incinerator is burning 13 tonnes of bio-medical waste (Covid and non-Covid)per day now against around six tonnes in the pre-coronavirus times. The machinery needs rest, he said.

Also Read: World Health Organisation Lauds India’s Effort In COVID-19 Fight, Urges To Focus On Data Management

Mr. Nilawar said the operation cost per day has increased manifold because of the “tremendous pressure” on the facility.

The plant is being operated in three shifts now as compared to two shifts earlier. We had 100 employees earlier. Due to the increased workload, we hired another 50. We have been providing personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, gloves, and masks to everyone, he said.

Besides alcohol-based sanitisers for employees, a large quantity of hypochlorite solution is needed to sanitise vehicles. According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s guidelines for collection and disposal of COVID-19 waste, separate vehicles are needed to transport COVID and non-COVID bio-medical waste. He said,

We need help from the Delhi government. It should make it compulsory for waste-to-energy plants in the city to dispose of our surplus waste.

PPE kits, masks, gloves, face shield, head cover, shoe cover, plastic bottles, sanitiser bottles and other such waste have high calorific value. It can be best used at waste-to-energy plants, can be autoclaved and shredded or recycled, Mr. Nilawar said. SMS Water Grace has urged the government to allow it to expand in a nearby plot and increase the capacity, considering the increased load due to COVID-19 waste. It has also demanded that the Directorate General of Health Services pay it Rs 50 per kg of COVID-19 waste as the “facility is struggling to meet the expenses”. The demands are being looked into at the appropriate level, according to a senior government official.

Vikas Gehlot of Biotic Waste Solutions said the facility had been treating 14 tonnes of bio-medical waste per day before the coronavirus outbreak. “Now, we are disposing of around 22 tonnes of waste (12 tonnes COVID and 10 tonnes non-COVID) per day,” he said. The facility has requested the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to transfer waste to waste-to-energy plants for two-three days so that it can carry out preventive maintenance. The pressure is going to increase as the number of cases grow, he said.

Also Read: World’s E-Waste ‘Unsustainable’, Says U.N. Report Citing China, India And U.S.

World

24,20,23,922Cases
20,36,06,535Active
3,34,95,808Recovered
49,21,579Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,20,23,922 and 49,21,579 have died; 20,36,06,535 are active cases and 3,34,95,808 have recovered as on October 21, 2021 at 4:33 am.

India

3,41,27,450 18,454Cases
1,78,831 733Active
3,34,95,808 17,561Recovered
4,52,811 160Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,27,450 confirmed cases including 4,52,811 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,78,831 and 3,34,95,808 have recovered as on October 21, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,96,645 1,825

29,333 1,075

64,27,426 2,879

1,39,886 21

Kerala

48,79,790 11,150

83,333 2,476

47,69,373 8,592

27,084 82

Karnataka

29,84,484 462

9,103 26

29,37,405 479

37,976 9

Tamil Nadu

26,90,633 1,170

14,058 268

26,40,627 1,418

35,948 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,61,810 523

5,566 88

20,41,924 608

14,320 3

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,058 11

112 6

16,87,048 17

22,898

West Bengal

15,82,813 867

7,491 63

15,56,315 795

19,007 9

Delhi

14,39,466 25

310 12

14,14,066 37

25,090

Odisha

10,36,532 559

4,387 106

10,23,849 451

8,296 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,735 34

185 3

9,91,979 36

13,571 1

Rajasthan

9,54,393 1

38 0

9,45,401 1

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,340 14

176 9

8,16,077 22

10,087 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,709 9

82 3

7,82,104 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,116 15

133 7

7,60,934 8

10,049

Bihar

7,26,036 3

30 12

7,16,345 15

9,661

Telangana

6,69,556 191

3,968 28

6,61,646 162

3,942 1

Assam

6,07,427 308

3,610 25

5,97,859 282

5,958 1

Punjab

6,02,113 32

232 16

5,85,331 15

16,550 1

Jharkhand

3,48,486 25

142 14

3,43,209 11

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,773 8

176 1

3,36,199 6

7,398 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,299 78

800 3

3,26,070 80

4,429 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,936 110

1,394 46

2,16,815 64

3,727

Goa

1,77,706 47

597 23

1,73,755 70

3,354

Puducherry

1,27,521 42

461 29

1,25,208 71

1,852

Manipur

1,22,970 71

1,360 2

1,19,706 66

1,904 3

Mizoram

1,15,207 741

10,263 505

1,04,548 1,243

396 3

Tripura

84,351 2

95 7

83,440 9

816

Meghalaya

83,158 79

761 21

80,958 58

1,439

Chandigarh

65,312 2

24 1

64,468 3

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,043 12

138 7

54,625 19

280

Sikkim

31,800 17

175 6

31,232 22

393 1

Nagaland

31,659 18

255 8

30,728 10

676

Ladakh

20,886 3

34 0

20,644 3

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676

2 2

10,670 2

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 1

7,510 1

129

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