Waste baskets made of metal are preferable to wicker or wood for ease of cleaning, trash carts should have sets of containers wherein after collection of a dirty filled container, an empty clean container is replaced in its place. Two sets of containers for all areas permit washing, cleaning, drying and airing of containers which is not possible with a single set laminated heavy disposable paper bags or cloth bags are used in some modern hospitals but are quite high on costs. Receptacles meant for trash, paper, disposed dressings and bandages, or other flammable material should be of metal and kept covered with a tight-fitting lid. Timing of collection and removal should be convenient to all departments. It should be avoided during the normal hospital routine or while the patients are resting.
Collection and removal should be free from noise to avoid disturbing the patients. The method of removal has to be adopted to suit the layout of the physical facilities, but in majority of hospitals trash is collected at a central point on each floor and then removed from there for final disposal. Steps should be taken to keep the point of central collection clean. Trash in cans should be covered to avoid an unsightly appearance.
Waste disposal is a problem that is rapidly assuming alarming proportions. There is no epidemiological evidence to suggest that ordinary hospital waste is any more infective than residential waste.
There is also no epidemiological evidence that general hospital waste has caused disease in the community as a result of improper disposal. Therefore, identifying wastes for which special precautions are indicated is largely a matter of judgement about the relative risk of disease transmission. Bio-medical waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 have removed all doubts about these aspects. However, hospital wastes, for which special precaution appear prudent include microbiology laboratory wasting pathology waste and blood specimens or blood producing infected waste which, in general, should better be incineral or should be autoclaved before disposal in a sanitary land. All blood, suction fluids, excretions and secretions ol infective cases may be carefully poured down in a connected to a sanitary sewer. Sanitary sewers may also used to dispose of other infectious waste capable of being ground and flushed in the sewer. Disposal of hospital waste has public health implication as compared to such material from the community, because of the potentially dangerous nature of such waste as mentioned in the beginning of this section.
Whatever the method of disposal, it has to be carefully chosen am regularly supervised, all hospital waste may not fall in the “toxic classification, but the waste emanating from the obstetric units and labour suite, operation theatres, laboratory etc. can certainly be considered as hazardous waste, pointing to the danger to the environment and, thus, to public healthy safety and welfare. In principle, the mode of disposal of waste is to treat the waste appropriately at the source itself, and then ensuring its hygienic transportation to the site of final treatment and that during internal transportation of the waste within the hospital, it should not come in close vicinity of patients.