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Medical Waste Management

MedWaste - witherden medical waste

Multiple bins for sorting medical waste. (Photo: Stephen Witherden)

Poor medical waste management can put healthcare workers, waste handlers and the general public at risk.


Proper waste management and waste treatment measures can dramatically reduce such health risks. A variety of measures exist that can minimize environmental hazards, and minimize the risk of contamination of patients, health workers and the general public from infectious waste.

Additional Resources

These are links to external publications and Web sites that have information on issues related to providing reliable electricity and energy services at health facilities. USAID and Powering Health make no warrantee or guarantee regarding these external resources, and the organizations hosting these resources are solely responsible for their content.


Managing Health Care Waste Disposal: Guidelines

Managing Health Care Waste Disposal: Guidelines on How to Construct, Use, and Maintain a Waste Disposal Unit, IT Power India, Sep 2004, (PDF 2,730K)

This set of guidelines provide an integrated solution for waste disposal, and clear technical specifications and engineering drawings for each component of the De Montfort Waste Disposal Unit (WDU), while keeping in mind the limitations at different locations when suggesting solutions. In developing these guidelines, controlled testing field trials were conducted and relevant outcomes examined to incorporate design improvements.

Managing Health Care Waste Disposal: Manual

Managing Health Care Waste Disposal: Operator’s Manual, World Health Organization, Oct 2004 (PDF 885K)

This manual provides guidelines and explanations on the use of the Waste Disposal Unit (WDU) for operators, describing the components of the WDU, the tasks and decisions facing the operator, the procedures in loading and burning the waste, and the requirements for record-keeping. It also stresses a discipline of instructions – “best practices” to ensure the safety of operators, other personnel and the community at large, and to minimize emissions from the incinerator that are harmful to the environment.

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