Waste Management

Considering the deficiencies in the sound management of Bio medical Waste and handling of Mercury containing equipments, CISSA has initiated a programme of training all the staff in the healthcare system in Kerala in managing these wastes. Hospitals are also persuaded to dispense with Mercury used apparatuses and equipments.

Simultaneously we have also initiated a programme of imparting awareness on management of E waste among various stakeholders. A state wide school level programme of educating school children about management of E waste has also been started by CISSA.

Mission:

  • Mercury Waste Management
  • Biomedical Waste Management
  • E-waste Management

Biomedical Waste Management & Mercury Waste Management

Bio-medical waste constitutes an estimated two percent of municipal waste in the urban areas of India. Though the BMW Rules have been in force for the last many years, there is very low compliance level. Sensing a pressing need to get all the stakeholders together to address the concerns at a common platform, CISSA and Toxics Link,  Delhi have joined together to organise a seminar on Issues and Challenges in managing Biomedical waste. CISSA has also initiated a programme of training all the staff in the healthcare system in Kerala in managing biomedical  wastes.

Mercury is one of the most significant environmental offenders widely used and associated with the healthcare. CISSA has been actively involved in the campaign to phase out mercury from the health sector. Hospitals in the state have  been persuaded to dispense with mercury based apparatus and equipments. CISSA and Toxics Link have jointly organised a series of training programmes to make health care workers aware of the potential health and environmental risks of mercury and to train health care workers in  mercury spill management.

E-waste Management

Safe management of waste in an organized manner with sufficient resources and sustainable recycling technologies and effective legislations and monitoring mechanisms are needed to address the problem of the e-waste. Even though many States have initiated various steps in this regard, Kerala is yet to gear up its initiatives. A National Level workshop titled Roadmap for Sound Management of E-waste in Kerala primarily intended to have a serious discussion on the status quo and measures for improvement of the situation in the State was jointly organised by CISSA and Toxics Link. As follow up to that a state wide school level programme of educating school children about management of E-waste was also started.

Seminar on E-waste management & citizen responsibilities

The rapid development achieved in the field of information technology, the quantum of e-waste being generated in Kerala, has sky rocketed in the last decade and is assuming humongous proportions. E waste is growing at 3 times the rate when compared to other solid wastes. Seminar on E-waste management & citizen responsibilities conducted at the Priyadarshini Planetarium, Tvm jointly by Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) and Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) in association with Clean Kerala Company Ltd, Nehru Yuva Kendra and National Green Corps (NGC) on 11th August 2015, highlighted the hazards posed by the ever growing E-Waste in the state and tried to identify remedial measures. Teachers from selected schools and Nehru Yuva Kendra volunteers participated in the seminar. The seminar became a platform to discuss about the need of proper disposal of e-waste. The deliberation during the seminar was focused on the role of schools in the state to tackle ‘E-Waste’. Further campaigns in schools will follow. Shri. Kabeer B. Haroon, Managing Director of Clean Kerala Company Ltd in his keynote address pointed out that Government has already given order to Clean Kerala Company to collect all the e-waste from Govt offices. He also said that the public should develop a positive attitude towards waste management and towards the clean environment. Shri. Pramod G from Clean Kerala Company Ltd, Ms.S Sreekala from Kerala State Pollution Control Board and Shri VSS Nair presented papers on e-waste management and its hazards. Dr C Suresh Kumar, General Secretary, CISSA, Dr NS Pradeep, Scientist, JNTBGRI & Secretary, CISSA and Dr KG Ajit Kumar, District Co-ordinator, NGC & Secretary, CISSA also spoke on the occasion.

School Students’ Sensitisation Programme on E-Waste Management

 ‘Catching them Young’, the oft-repeated adage, has found a new meaning with the joint initiative of Toxics Link and CISSA  to inform, educate and make aware the school children of Thiruvananthapuram district on the many facets of E-waste management.

Since almost all the stakeholders have identified lack of awareness and information as the hurdle in developing a sound system for E waste management, this programme aims to bridge that gap by addressing a very important audience group viz. the School students. It is more relevant considering the fact that the Students can act as effective change makers and can influence the behaviour of their elder family members.

It has been decided to hold a one day sensitization programme in each selected school which will include talks, presentation, film shows, quiz programmes etc. In the first phase the programme was limited to 50 schools in Thiruvananthapuram District.

The School level Programme kicked off with a colourful workshop on July 2 at the Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram. Thereafter the programme was arranged in fifty more schools.

State Level Workshop on E- Waste Management

 CISSA in association with Toxics Link- a Delhi based Environment organization, has organized a   Multi Stake Holder Workshop on E-waste Management on 8th August 2013 at  Park Centre  Technopark, Trivandrum.

 Experts from Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi, Toxics Link, Representatives of manufactures like Dell and Panasonic, Senior officials from various State Pollution Control Boards and representatives of e waste recycling companies have participated in this workshop.

 The Workshop has adopted the following recommendations

  • Inventorization study- The State agency to do e-waste assessment to assess the amount of E-waste generated in the state. The civil society organisations can help the agency in doing the study. This is mandatory under the E-waste Rules, 2011 and will also help in understanding the scale of problem and major generation points.
  • Compliance system- SPCB to draw up a list of Producers operating in the state and check if all of them have set up take back systems in major generation points.
  • Public Awareness- State Pollution Control Board to create awareness: extend the school education program to wider region and audience. Also, issue public advertisement, highlighting the hazards and importance of recycling.
  • Bulk consumers Notice- SPCB can send notices to hospitals, hotels, educational institutions, large companies, all government departments directing them to dispose off their e-waste according to the Rules.
  • Monitoring of authorised facilities- The state agency should check if the authorised facilities have adequate equipments, space and occupation health and environment safety controls in place.

Training of medical staff in Biomedical Waste Management  and hazards from Mercury

 Introduction

Mercury is one of the most significant environmental offenders widely used and associated with the healthcare. Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), Thiruvananthapuram and Toxics Link, a Delhi based environmental organization have joined together  to organaise a series of training programme on biomedical waste management and  phasing out mercury from the health care sector in Kerala. To start with a training programme was organised in 5 hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram District.

Objectives of the training

 The objectives of the training program were to

  1. Increase awareness on biomedical waste management among health care workers.
  2. Make health care workers aware of the potential health and environmental risks of mercury.
  • Train health care workers in mercury spill management
  1. Initiate an action program to phase out mercury from the health sector.

About training programme

Training programme consisted of two sessions –Biomedical waste management and problems of mercury in health care. The training programme on biomedical management primarily focused on the importance of effective segregation of biomedical waste at source. The training on Mercury illustrated the hazardous aspects of the Mercury in the health sector as well as in the society and need for phasing out Mercury.

 Seminar on Issues and Challenges in Managing Biomedical Waste and the Phasing out of Mercury from the Healthcare Sector in Kerala

Bio-medical waste constitutes an estimated two percent of municipal waste in the urban areas of India. Though the BMW Rules have been in place for the last 13 years, there is very low compliance level.  There are various challenges in the implementation of the system, like lack of capacity among generators and regulators, inadequate infrastructure, finance etc.

Kerala is a state with considerable medical infrastructure and has managed to provide and maintain high quality medical care. The advent and surge of medical tourism has also played its part in bringing the medical infrastructure of Kerala in the spot light. But when it comes to managing the waste produced from these healthcare facilities, the State is lagging behind and this presents a serious situation.

Sensing a pressing need to get all the stakeholders together to address the concerns at a common platform, Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA), Thiruvananthapuram, and Toxics Link, a Delhi based environmental organisation have joined together to organise a seminar on “Issues and Challenges in managing Biomedical waste and elimination of mercury from the healthcare sector of Kerala” at Mascot Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram, on 28th November, 2012. The Kerala State Pollution Control Board and Federation of Hospital Administrators (Kerala Chapter) have also associated in the organisation of the Seminar.

The seminar was inaugurated by Shri. K.  Muraleedharan, Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly. He said that in a scenario where waste management has turned out to be the most debated topic in Kerala, the issue of biomedical waste management assumed utmost significance. Pointing out that as many as ninety five percent of private hospitals successfully undertake the management of biomedical waste, he said that the lack of will has come as a bane in this area in Government hospitals. The issue of phasing out of mercury also needs major awareness programmes and training has to be imparted to those involved in waste management, said Shri. P. Sreekantan Nair, Director in the Department of Environment and Climate Change who delivered a special address in the inaugural ceremony. Shri. K Sajeevan, Chairman,  Kerala State Pollution Control Board also spoke on the occasion. The technical sessions were handled by Padmasree Dr K Marthandan Pillai, Shri. V. Rahul Thampi, Programme Officer, Shri. J Chandra Babu , Sr. Environmental Engineer, Central Pollution Control Board, Dr. S K Jawahar, President, FHA-K, Ms. Gladius, Senior Engineer, KSPCB, Ms. Kankana Das , Programme Officer, Toxics Link, Shri. G Pramod, IMAGE, Dr. Sreejith N Kumar, Dr. Roy K. George, Dr  M .K Gangadharan, Dr. R. V. Asokan and Shri. V.S.S Nair.

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