DENR sets healthcare waste management amid COVID-19
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is concerned about the increasing generation of healthcare wastes particularly due to the Covid 19 pandemic that just came about in late 2019. As such, the healthcare waste management project was approved for funding by DENR’s partner Global Environment Facility (GEF) for $4.65 million. The healthcare waste management work will involve four components. The first is the reduction of unintentionally-produced POPs’ (persistent organic pollutants) release to the environment. Management of mercury-added products and mercury wastes from the healthcare sector will also be addressed as these can have important adverse effect on human health once released to the environment. “We need to strengthen the management of non-pathological infectious healthcare wastes generated from the healthcare system brought about by Covid 19. These wastes should be properly treated and disposed of to prevent further spread of the virus,” said DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director William P. Cuñado. “The project will also demonstrate a low cost and non-combustion treatment of wastes suitable for small scale and remote hospitals. This will be implemented in a cluster of healthcare facilities. The project upgrade the capacity of waste service providers with best available technologies, techniques, and practices. It will also link local governments to public and private investments. DENR is mandated to reduce the use and release to the environment of mercury under its obligation as a party to the Minamata Convention.
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