The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important for healthcare facilities to properly manage and dispose of their waste. However, solid waste management has also become an enormous challenge, as most workers are required to wear facemasks, face shields, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE), thus producing more waste.
Now, to handle infectious waste more efficiently and protect the lives of your workers amidst this crisis, you should implement a more suitable waste management programme. Basically, this should include measures, such as proper segregation using the right PPE material bin and innovative waste treatment methods.
Challenges Associated with COVID-19 Waste Management
While the government has introduced some initiatives to promote proper COVID-19 waste disposal procedures, it is still observed as inadequate in some situations due to certain reasons.
The common challenges faced by healthcare facilities today are:
- * Increased amounts of PPE waste being generated
- * Delays in recycling activities
- * Improper waste segregation
- * Interruptions of waste management services
- * Insufficient capacity to handle the treatment of the current waste
On a positive note, you can help overcome these challenges by ensuring that your facility has the right waste management programme in place. Just having a disposable PPE bin at the right places goes a long way in achieving this goal.
Creating a Waste Management Programme for COVID-19
For starters, you should consider both short and long-term actions that are associated with implementing an effective waste management system in your facility. Carry out a quick survey to determine how much waste you produce every day, so you will determine how many pieces of PPE material bin you should have. Moreover, you should maintain awareness among your staff members about the importance of segregation and recycling.
Here are the key priority areas that you should focus on to improve healthcare waste management in your facility:
As you promote the use of PPE by your workers, you should also increase awareness about used PPE disposal through proper segregation. You can do this by using coloured bins or labelling your containers according to the type of waste. Separate waste materials that can be reused or recycled.
Take extra care when moving the infectious waste from inside your facility to the collection area. For example, avoid collecting used PPE at the same time as you collect general waste to avoid contamination.
Your collection area should also be secure and away from public access.
Most preferably, you should partner with a specialised and licenced waste service provider to transport your waste from your facility to the treatment site.
In case you have your own treatment site, make sure to follow proper methods to eliminate infectious waste to minimise your impact on the environment.
Of course, you should also require the use of PPE and social distancing among your treatment facility workers to mitigate the risk of virus infection.
Choosing the Best PPE Bin for Your Facility
As previously implied, an effective COVID-19 waste management system starts with having a PPE material bin. Here’s how to choose the right one for your facility.
Size and Location
You will be able to determine the right size that you should get for a PPE bin by knowing the amount of waste your facility produces on average every day. The area where you place it will also matter. In a way, your bin should be of the right size, so it will not look out of place.
The material of a bin for all used PPE greatly contributes to how eco-friendly your business is. Between metal and plastic, the latter would be friendlier to the environment, as it can be recycled. Aside from that, it is relatively light, making it easier to handle and move.
Colour and Features
As much as possible, you would want your waste bin to blend with the existing theme of your facility’s interiors spaces. It should also have some extra features for better usability. For example, one with cinches ensures that the liner will stay in place, preventing waste materials from spilling inside the container.
Proper management and disposal of COVID-19 waste using recommended protocols is important for healthcare facilities, especially when you are operating in an area that is highly affected by the pandemic. Thus, you should make sure you have the right PPE material bin in every corner of your facility and has the right system in place for collection. This way, you are minimising the potential for virus exposure not only to your staff members but also to other people using your facility.
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