Issue 3 : Waste Management

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Improper waste management exposes working staff, patients, and the whole community to dangerous infections and communicable diseases. Major impediments to proper waste management system are lack of proper waste segregation and recycling.


  • The World Health Organization site provided an introduction to safe waste management. It helped us in understanding the different processes involved from the origin of the waste till the disposal of the waste. It also provided insights into handling waste materials in case of emergency.
  • Hospital Waste Management in Florida by Kau-Fui Vincent Wong, PhD and Ramarathnam Narasimhan, PhD Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of Miami”. The principal objective of this project is to characterize the medical waste by actual hand separation, and theoretical studies for clean incineration with the aim of complying with the State of Florida's emission standards.


  • Time to turnover a room.
  • No: of injuries to patient/staff due to improper waste management.
  • Cost of waste disposal per patient
  • Which materials can be recycled versus what is currently recycled.
  • Sorting process - Level of automation possible/ Actual automation.
  • Maintenance and consistency of recycling process.

COMMENTS: Ackerman Lots of issues here. The problem is not "proper" waste management. There are all kinds of regulations and hospitals get fined a lot when they don't meet these regulations. The problem is that "proper" waste management is expensive, time consuming, inefficent, and environmentally unfriendly. This has a lot of consequences that can be measured including - time to turn over a room, injuries to patient's or staff from improper disposal of (insert material here), cost of waste disposal per patient, time for clean-up after proceudres, amount of recycleable or reusable items unaccounted for, environmental impact of waste disposal.


Hospital Waste Management in Florida

The World Health Organization site

Biohazardous Waste Management: What physician's need to know