Structure Development for Effective Medical Waste and Hazardous Waste Management System

Structure Development for Effective Medical Waste and Hazardous Waste Management System

Nilgün Cılız (Boğaziçi University, Turkey), Hacer Yıldırım (Boğaziçi University, Turkey) and Şila Temizel (Boğaziçi University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9723-2.ch016
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Abstract

Management of medical and hazardous wastes is a serious problem especially for developing countries. People are not aware of possible threats and/or they are afraid of the cost of application. Rapid population growth leads municipalities towards proper solid waste management applications. In this study, data were collected from the Turkish Statistical Institute and a general framework was drawn for medical and hazardous waste amounts and disposal methods. Starting from this point of view, the authors analyzed both the Regulation on Control of Hazardous Waste and the Regulation on Control of Medical Waste applied in Turkey. Taking into account all of these factors, this chapter is intended to develop the medical and hazardous waste management system economically and environmentally including waste generation, collection, transportation, disposal and treatment activities. Additionally, it investigates the reasons for lack of proper application of the regulations in light of the statistical data.
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Introduction

Handling of medical and hazardous waste has been a serious problem for countries all over the world. Economically developing countries are facing the waste management issue more than developed countries. An effective waste management system necessitates special operations, which have to be subjected to wastes in order to prevent damages for both environment and human health. National policy, training of employee and increased public awareness are the fundamentals of medical and hazardous waste management system.

Unless the collection and disposal of medical waste are applied separately, transmission of diseases will be unavoidable. Additionally this situation causes some problems including economic and environmental issues. Therefore, to increase the quality of life, medical waste management system should be applied and shed light on the service manner in terms of technical, social, economic and environmental areas.

Likewise, both hazardous wastes; which affect environment, human health and other living organisms negatively in physical, chemical and/or biological ways; and hazardous waste management system are very important matters for developing societies to deal with. As a result, for the protection of the environment and sustainable development, integrated medical and hazardous waste management system should be developed and applied depending upon related regulations.

As a part of this study, related regulations, application requirements, sources of medical and hazardous waste, classification of waste, responsibilities of waste generators, municipalities and ministries are subjected. Moreover, all stages will be examined separately, starting from the generation to the disposal of waste. Within this context, the following topics will be referred: collection of medical and hazardous waste in a separate way, processes to reduce the amount of waste, temporary storage, transport and methods for disposal.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Refuse-Derived Fuel: A fuel produced by dehydration of solid wastes with special technologies. Combustible materials are preferable (i.e. plastics or biodegradable wastes) to ensure high quality refuse-derived fuels.

Waste Management: An approach that consists of all stages to process waste such as generation, prevention, characterization, transport, storage, treatment, handling, reuse etc.

Risk Assessment: Managers need to think about the factors that might cause harm to people and need to take some special steps to prevent them. This concept is risk assessment and to ensure health and safety of the business, risk assessment should be applied.

Solid Waste Management Hierarchy: A concept developed by United States Environmental Production Agency, which ensures ranking of all methods applied to the solid waste. The hierarchy consists of five steps, they can be sorted from most preferred to less as follows: source reduction and reuse, recycling or composting, energy recovery and treatment and disposal.

Public Health: A science and practice for protecting the health of a community. Possible applications can be mentioned as health education, control of diseases and monitoring environmental related problems.

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