NESCOM hospital to have incinerator for hazardous waste

Modern facility will have capacity to burn 50 kilograms of waste per day


APP July 27, 2022

ISLAMABAD:

The National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM)’s Islamabad Medical Complex on Tuesday apprised the stakeholders of the environmental impact assessment report of the installation of a modern incinerator for the safe management of hazardous waste.

The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) organised a public hearing of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of the project chaired by EIA Director Ahsan Rafi Kiani and administrative heads of the NESCOM hospital.

The project proponent briefed the forum that some two kilograms (kg) of hospital waste was generated per bed in the hospital making it 120 to 130 kg of total waste from the entire hospital including 25 per cent infectious waste. He also said that the hospital already possessed an incinerator but was non-functional and the authorities concerned wanted to replace it with the most modern technology.

The project site was proposed within the hospital with no access to non-technical staff and would be developed on the build as the proposed option.

“There are different methods of managing and disposing of hospital waste. It includes incineration, steams autoclaving, microwaving and deep burial. Incineration is the best method to discard hazardous hospital waste as it is a cost-effective and efficient method.” During the incineration process, only two to three kg of ash was being generated out of 100 kg of waste burnt inside the waste burning machine, he added.

The project site, he said, would be an empty barren area with only hay and shrubs growing in the area and hence would cause less damage to ecology during construction.

The incinerator facility is comprised of the HT50 model with a capacity of burning 50 kg of waste per day whereas the entire project cost was Rs6 million. The incinerator would be run on natural gas as it generates less harmful emissions as compared to diesel and gasoline, he said, adding, “It will have an inbuilt wet scrubber to reduce dust and pollution.”

The infectious ash would be disposed of in an ash pit to be built along the incinerator with a properly lined pit with seepage-free construction, he added.

Responding to various public and stakeholder queries, he said the ash pit had a 3,000 cubic feet volume to cater for 10 years of capacity. “After the ash pit gets filled, it will be sealed with soil to avoid reuse of land and a separate pit will be prepared on the other location,” he said.

He underlined that a glass shredder would also be installed at the incinerator to shred the glass vials and then burn the waste. The wastewater treatment would be done properly through a septic tank built at the facility whereas proper technicians and dedicated incineration staff would look after plant operations, he told the public hearing participants.

To another query, he said the chimney length of the incinerator would be eight metres above the ground and was extendable up to 60 metres as per the requirement

Pak-EPA EIA Director Ahsan Kiani said the complete EIA report of the project was published on the agency’s website for public awareness.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2022.

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