Scheduled Waste / Hazardous Waste Management During The Covid-19 Pandemic

The impact of COVID-19 is transforming the way we live from day to day. While national and local responses are mainly concerned with saving lives and the economy, hazardous waste management is equally important for reducing long-term dangers to human and environmental health. The appropriate handling of hazardous waste generated by these operations is becoming a growing issue. Disposal of hazardous wastes is one of the most important methods for preventing other infectious diseases and should not be neglected, but in the current epidemic, disposal presents unique challenges.

 COVID-19 has had a significant impact on various aspects of our society, especially on waste management. Because waste management in developing nations is often not conducted in line with international regulations, there has been a rise in the quantity of potentially contaminated waste, necessitating extra, careful handling and treatment procedures. The waste generation industry that is most affected by Covid-19 is the disposal of clinical waste. The generation of clinical waste during the outbreak of the pandemic rose drastically.

Clinical waste is listed under Scheduled Waste by the Department of Environment Malaysia in the first schedule. According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 patients’ clinical waste should be safely collected in designated containers and bags, treated, and then safely disposed of or treated, preferably on-site. If waste is carried off-site, it is critical to understand where and how it will be handled and removed. Everyone who handles healthcare waste should wear appropriate PPE (boots, apron, long-sleeved gown, thick gloves, mask, goggles, or a face shield) and practise hand cleanliness after removing the PPE.

With the recent discovery of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019, the necessity of appropriate waste management services has become even more sought after. Governments have taken some steps, but they are still insufficient. On the flipside, knowledge of the potential damage from clinical waste has to be instilled, not only among governments, medical professionals, and medical waste handlers, but also, the general public.

5 Practices That You Must Know On Waste Oil Management

Waste lubricating oil is the most significant liquid hazardous waste in Malaysia. Instead of discarding the oil, it is good to know that it can be distilled and used again. Here are some useful tips for your waste oil management:

1. Properly storing waste lubricating oil for collection and recycling

The first step in proper oil disposal is to properly handle waste oil in the right container. The most reliable approach is to transport the oil in its original tanks. The storage container should also be tightly sealed to avoid leakage that might endanger the environment. The used oil should be properly moved into the storage container to avoid spillage. Once the storage unit has been tightly sealed, it should be clearly labeled. Examples of containers are IBC tanks and metal drums.

 2.  Do not pour it into the drain, sink, or into the river nearby.

It should be properly stored and labeled as stated above with the objective of later disposing of it correctly, sending it for recycling, or using the services of a professional.

Depending on where and how the waste oil was made, there are various legal criteria. Waste lubricating/hydraulic oils are classified as hazardous waste and can be subject to additional regulations criteria. In Malaysia, waste lubricating oils are mostly classified under scheduled waste code SW305.

3.  Waste oil should be packed properly and stored in a proper storage

Since you will be unable to dispose of the waste oil on the very day you replace it from your machine, do ensure that it is kept in a safe place so no one without the right information will be able to access it, particularly if children and pets are present. To avoid confusion, waste oil should not be stored in the same place as unused oil, particularly if it is stored in regular fuel storage.

4.  Call the experts to manage your waste oil properly

Not every waste generator has the right to dispose of their waste. If you do not have the consent of the Department of Environment Malaysia to dispose of waste oil, you can still contact a local waste oil collection company. The majority of waste oil disposal firms have the required equipment and facilities to ensure safe and effective waste oil disposal. When applying for such programs, the level of expertise and cost should be considered.

5. Only authorized transporters are reliable to transport the hazardous waste to the recovery facilities

Waste generators should always take note that unauthorized transporters shall put your company into trouble. Besides, oil filters, oily rags, and waste oil cans are often accepted by certain scheduled waste collectors.

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