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Mumbai: Bio-medical waste generation sees dip after 4 months

Civic officials have attributed the decrease in bio-waste generation to the steadying numbers of Covid-19 cases in the city. BMC officials said that one of the reasons for this is the decreasing number of new Covid cases and patients at Covid care centres.

Written by Laxman Singh | Mumbai | Published: July 29, 2020 3:45:39 am
covid-19 in mumbai, bmc, covid biomedical waste, covid bio medical waste in mumbai, mumbai covid waste, indian express news Till date in July, BMC has collected a total of 1.92 lakh kg of bio-medical waste. (File)

After an increase in the generation of bio-medical waste across the city over four straight months, the daily average in July fell by 38 per cent over the high of the previous month, going by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) data.

So far this month, the civic body has collected a daily average of 13,700 kg bio-medical waste from Covid care centres and hospitals, a steep fall from the daily average of 22,023 kg in June. Till date in July, BMC has collected a total of 1.92 lakh kg of bio-medical waste.

Data with Solid Waste Management (SWM) department shows that June saw the city generating 6.60 lakh kg bio-medical waste, the highest since March when the Covid outbreak hit Mumbai, with a daily average of 22,023 kg (22 mt) as against the pre-pandemic daily average of 12,000 to 14,000 kg.

Civic officials have attributed the decrease in bio-waste generation to the steadying numbers of Covid-19 cases in the city. BMC officials said that one of the reasons for this is the decreasing number of new Covid cases and patients at Covid care centres.

At active Covid Care Centres (CCC2) across the city, where symptomatic patients are brought for isolation, 67 per cent of 5,068 beds are vacant as of July 25. Comparatively, in the last week of May, CCC2 active facilities had 5,179 beds of which only 35 per cent of beds were vacant.

“Since last one month we have seen a dip in Covid-19 cases and also daily, there is an average 1,000 to 1,200 cases. The recovery rate is more than 70 per cent and the doubling rate is 69 days so patients are less, because of which bio-medical waste generation has gone down,” said a BMC officer.

Until July 27, Mumbai had reported 1.10 lakh Covid-19 cases and 6,129 deaths.

There are 21,812 active cases in the city. But the number of daily cases has fallen in July as compared to June.

In March, when the first case was reported in the city, 3.48 lakh kg bio-medical waste was generated with an average of 11,230 kg daily. While in April it was 12,675 kg, in May it increased to 17,631 kg and June saw the biggest jump with 22,023 kg daily. For this month, until July 15, the daily average fell to 13,725 kg.

SWM officials said bio-medical wastes include syringes, medicines, used masks, gloves, urine bags, body fluid or blood soaked tissues or cotton, PPEs used by staff working on Covid-19 duties. All of these Covid-19 waste is being collected in yellow bags with biohazard signs on them. “All bio-medical wastes from Covid care centres and hospitals are taken to a treatment plant near Deonar dumping ground. There, by incineration and autoclave it is disposed of. Also, non-Covid wastes from Covid care centres like food are buried deep in a separate area at Deonar dumping ground and sprayed with sodium hypochlorite,” said a senior officer from the SWM department.

Earlier, civic body had faced problems in disposal of bio-medical waste as generation was higher than the plant’s capacity. The plant at Deonar which is being operated by SMS Envoclean has capacity of treating 15 metric tonne and after an increase in bio-waste generation civic officials had written to the firm to enhance the capacity.

Currently, city is generating about 4,500 metric tonne waste daily.

According to the data, about 82 metric tonne of bio-medical waste and municipal solid waste (MSW) are generated daily from Covid care centres and quarantine areas like sealed buildings and containment zones. Data shows that K-west ward (Andheri, Jogeshwari) and M-west (Chembur) ward generates a maximum of 9000 kg BMW and MSW each ward, following 6000 kg in P-north (Malad).

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