Journal of Environmental Waste Management and Recycling

Research Article - Journal of Environmental Waste Management and Recycling (2018) Volume 1, Issue 1

An analytical study on medical waste management in selected hospitals located in Chennai city.

Sutha Irin A*

Assistant Professor, Department of Commerce, Faculty of Science and Humanities, SRM University, India

*Corresponding Author:
Dr. A.Irin Sutha
Assistant Professor
Department of Commerce
Faculty of Science and Humanities
SRM University, India
Tel: +9195660993500
E-mail: [email protected]

Accepted date: February 27, 2018

Citation: Sutha Irin A. An analytical study on medical waste management in selected hospitals located in Chennai city. Environ Waste Management and Recycling. 2018;1(1):5-8


The present paper aims to study the Medical Waste Management assessment, the process of managing the medical waste: management of medical waste, segregation, storage, and disposal of medical wastes in public and private hospitals in Chennai City. A structured questionnaire was circulated among 140 health workers at hospitals in Chennai with 70 respondents from governmental hospital and 70 respondents from a private hospital respectively. Simple Random sampling method was used in this study. The results reveals that the, health care facilities in private and governmental hospitals still struggle with unsuitable biomedical wastes management which has not received enough concern. In the surveyed hospitals, there is lack in implementing training courses about healthcare waste management. Hence, the Ministry of Health and health care institution and hospitals should give more consideration towards policies for proper management and hospital wastes disposal in order to develop medical waste management in Chennai City. The study was concluded with recommendations for improvements on biomedical wastes handling and treatment in order to render proper and adequate waste disposal system in health institutions.


Assessment, medical waste management, segregation, disposal, biomedical waste management


The treatment and disposal of medical waste from hospitals has been of growing concern in recent times. This is due to the hazardous nature of these wastes and the potential threat to spread deadly diseases to humans and other living organisms. To characterize and quantify these wastes, a study was carried out to ascertain the generation of biomedical wastes from hospitals. Medical care is very important for our life, health and wellbeing. But the waste extracted from medical practice can be harmful, poisonous and even deadly because of their high potential for diseases transmission. The concern for hospital waste management was increase in infectious diseases and indiscriminate disposal of waste in worldwide. Medical waste has been identified by the US Environmental Agency as the 3rd largest known source of dioxin air emission and contributor of about 10% of mercury emissions to the environment from human activities. In this last few decades the generation of biomedical waste has increased; management of medical waste continues to be a major challenge. Biomedical waste is generally extracted from hospitals, health care teaching institutes, research institutions, blood banks, clinics, laboratories, veterinary institutes and animal houses etc. As per Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016, Source:

G.S.R.343(E) whereas the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 was published vide notification number S.O. 630 (E) dated the 20th July, 1998, by the Government of India in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, gave a regulatory frame work for management of bio-medical waste generated in the country; And also to implement these system more effectively and to improve the collection, segregation, processing, treatment and disposal of these bio-medical wastes in an environmentally sound management and plummeting the bio- medical waste generation and its impact on the environment, the Central Government reviewed the accessible rules.

Bio Medical Waste handling is a dangerous waste action which requires a high standard of preparation. It calls for specific training that depends on the nature of the work in the hospital, the hazard and worker experience, and also the responsibilities of individual workers states Manyele and Anicetus [1].

Process of Managing the Medical Waste


The segregation process reduce the toxicity and the volume of the waste, it makes easier to transport the waste. Segregation process depends on the quantity, composition and the disposal.


The collected medical waste from medical centers, infectious, pathological waste and sharps will be placed in different containers and labeled biohazard, uniform color for each type of medical waste. The size of the containers depends on the volume of waste generated in the center.

Packaging and labeling

Packaging the medical waste in uniform color code bags and labeling the waste.

Common storage

Segregated medical waste stored in the common storage point.


The medical waste will transported from the common storage point to common Bio-Medical waste treatment facility storage point.


The process of incineration will destruct the waste by burning it at elevated temperature, which will remove the hazardous, reduce the value of the waste and convert to ash. Incineration process suits for pathological and sharp wastes. Auto claving process will kill bacteria and infectious material in the biomedical waste, it will be considered as noninfectious and go for landfill. The shredding machine is used to destroy waste such as syringes, scalpels, vials, glass, plastics, blades etc, it will shape or cut waste into small pieces, so that waste unrecognizable and safe to disposal recycling and landfill.

Literature Review

Hospital medical waste was collected by cleaning personnel who picked up the medical waste from completely different departments and transported it manually to a temporary storage area where the hospital waste was kept before being taken to the final disposal place as most of time general waste will be mixed with medical waste, and this area was poorly sanitized and not secure AL-khatib and Sato [2]. Acharya and Singh Meeta [3]. Stated steps for safe management of bio medical waste are handling, segregation, mutilation, disinfection, storage, transportation and final disposal. Rao [4], says that incineration, autoclave hydroclave are the technologies to reduce the harm of bio medical waste.Gupta and Boojh [5,6] said that segregation process helps to separate the infectious waste and non infectious waste, lack of separating technique increase the chance of mixing the infectious and non infectious waste, additionally Athavale and Dhumale [7] found lack of training among waste handlers and auxiliary staffs lead to mixing the collected infectious and non infectious waste together and the result of segregation is ultimately failed (Tables 1-7).


Research Work Empirical
Primary Data Collection Method Structured Questionnaires
Secondary Data Collection Method E-Journal, E-Thesis and Websites
Sampling Method Simple Random Method
Sample Area Chennai City
Valid Sample Size 140
Statistical Tools Used Frequency Distribution
Software SPSS Statistics 20

Table 1. Methodology.

Reliability Statistics
Cronbach's Alpha N of Items
0.947 25

Table 2. Indicating Cronbach’s Alpha as reliability tool to validate the data.

KMO and Bartlett's Test
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy. 0.867
Bartlett's Test of Sphericity   Approx. Chi-Square 3300.151
df 300
Sig. 0

Table 3. KMO and Bartlett’s Test.

Objectives of the Study

1. To know the socio demographic factors of respondents.

2. To find out whether the training program / course is conducted for all the staffs.

3. To know the medical waste segregation practices prevail in hospital.

4. To give suggestion to minimize the issues prevail in medical waste management.

Limitations of the Study

1. The sample for the study is restricted to Chennai City, Hence, findings cannot be generalized.

2. The size of the valid sample is restricted to 140.

Analysis and Inference

Background information about the study respondents

Demographic Variables Government Private Total
Gender Male 35 35 70
Female 35 35 70
Total 70 70 140
Field of Work Doctor 20 24 44
Nurse 30 20 50
Laboratory Technician 5 5 10
Quality Management 2 1 3
X Ray Technician 1 2 3
Pharmacist 4 7 11
Cleaner 3 5 8
X-Ray Doctor 1 2 3
Anesthesia Technician 1 1 2
Administrative 3 3 6
Total 70 70 140
Working Experience 1-3 Years 17 30 47
4-7 Years 33 24 57
8 Years & Above 20 16 36
Total 70 70 140

Table 4. Distribution of respondents based on socio demographic factors.

Is Medical Waste Segregated?

Based on Scale Frequency Percent
Strongly Disagree 10 7%
Disagree 50 36%
Neutral 25 18%
Agree 25 18%
Strongly Agree 30 21%
Total 140 100%

Table 5. Table Shows Respondents responses on Medical Waste are segregated

Training about Health Care Waste Management

Training Program Variables Government Private Total
Have you been Trained Yes 25 40 65
No 45 30 75
Total 70 70 140
Place of Training Received training in different places 30 25 55
Current working place 25 15 40
Didn’t receive any training 15 30 45
Total 70 70 140
Training Period Nil 15 30 45
1-15 Days 10 24 34
More than 15 days 7 8 15
1 Month 25 5 30
More than 1 Month 8 2 10
6 Months 5 1 6
Total 70 70 140
New Workers Trained Yes 25 20 45
No 35 35 70
Don’t Know 10 15 25
Total 70 70 140

Table 6. General Investigation in training Program.

Medical Waste Segregation Practice in Hospital

Segregation Practice Variables Government Private Total
Who Segregate Medical Waste Medical Staff 15 10 25
Cleaning Worker 25 23 48
Cleaning Worker and Medical Staff 10 27 37
Don’t Know 15 7 22
Not Applicable 5 3 8
Total 70 70 140
Place of Segregation At the beginning near the source 13 22 35
After waste is collected 35 7 44
Waste storage place in hospital 18 35 53
Don’t Know 4 6 10
Total 70 70 140
Are Container identified and distinguished Yes 25 33 58
Are waste sacks subjected to tear No 35 25 60
Don’t Know 10 12 22
Total 70 70 140
Yes Always 17 25 42
Are waste Sacks Fastened Properly Sometimes 26 13 39
Rarely 8 9 17
No 9 8 17
Don’t Know 10 15 25
Total 70 70 140
Yes Always 23 13 36
Sometimes 17 8 25
Rarely 18 6 24
No 10 27 37
Don’t Know 2 16 18
Total 70 70 140
Are their provisional measures to prohibit liquids running out from waste Yes Always 8 18 36
Sometimes 6 13 19
Rarely 13 23 36
No 28 13 41
Don’t Know 15 3 18
Total 70 70 140

Table 7. General Investigations on Medical Waste Segregation Practice in Hospital.

Suggestion and Conclusion

This study exposed that medical waste management has not received sufficient consideration in both private and governmental hospitals; hence there is inadequate and inefficient isolation, collection, transportation and storage of biomedical waste. The Ministry of Health should pay more attention towards policies for the disposal of wastes and proper management to ensure improvement and adequacy in the medical waste management practices. Moreover there is need to be incorporated into regular worker training, continuing education, and management evaluation processes for systems and personnel. Every health care facility should have a waste management unit to seriously handle the waste management practice. Cleaners, Nurses and sanitary workers handless should be properly trained. Sorting of wastes at source using the colour-coded system should seriously practice. Government should ensure that hospital facilities have good and functioning incinerators or provide a central incinerating facility where these waste could be taking to and treated before final disposal. Further study will be conducted based on storage issues and transport of Bio medical waste.