EcoWaste Coalition Calls for Action vs. Hospital Waste Dumping

Quezon City. A waste and pollution watchdog today called for public vigilance against hospitals that continue to dump mixed discards in municipal dumps in violation of the law.

The EcoWaste Coalition urged the public to report any incident of dumping of untreated infectious, pathological and hazardous waste from hospitals and other health care facilities to public service radio or television programs or newspapers to ensure much-needed disclosure in the mass media of such public health hazard.

“While we believe that hospitals in general are conscious of their social and environmental responsibility, we regret to say that some healthcare institutions still practice the bad and toxic habit of dumping highly infectious wastes and sharps in municipal waste dumps,” lamented Rei Panaligan, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“The disposal of used syringes and untreated infectious waste through open dumping or open burning increases the risk of spreading disease-causing pathogens as well as the formation of toxic environmental pollutants such as dioxins,” Panaligan added.

The group cited the indiscriminate dumping of used syringes, intravenous tubes, anatomical or pathological discards by five of Cebu’s major hospitals in the Inayawan dumpsite as documented by Channel 7’s “Imbestigador,” exposing child and adult scavengers to sharps and very infectious garbage.

Channel 2’s “The Correspondents” and Channel 7’s “Emergency” have also in the recent past produced documentaries on the health and environmental problems associated with the improper disposal of hospital discards, the group recalled.

“We strongly urge the public to approach their favorite radio or television programs or write to their favorite newspapers as issues and complaints that get media attention tend to get speedy action and result,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

The group made its plea for the ecological management of discards in all public and private hospitals and allied facilities as the nation observes on July 17 the 5th anniversary of the phase out of medical waste incinerators under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The CAA bans the incineration of municipal, medical and industrial waste and promotes the use of “safe non-burn technologies” for the treatment of the infectious and pathological portions of the health care waste stream.

While outlawing incineration that emits poisonous and toxic fumes, the same law directs local government units to implement in their respective areas a comprehensive ecological waste management, including waste segregation, recycling and composting.

“The illegal and toxic practice of dumping and burning medical discards has to stop,” the EcoWaste Coalition emphasized.

“For the sake of the people’s health and the environment, we urge our hospitals and all other health care institutions to seriously implement health care waste management system and collaborate with local government units to put in place an ecological system for managing their discards to prevent and reduce health and environmental hazards,” the EcoWaste Coalition stated.

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 320, Eagle Court Condominium, Matalino St.
Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 9290376

1 Comment

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