Medical Waste Found – Recently, when a local resident and reader of the Excelsior News, went to dispose of refuse at the dump site, as it becomes a good citizen, a shocking sight awaited him.

Medical waste, also called health care waste, had been dumped there. The waste might have been put out for and then loaded by the municipal solid waste team, while the latter was oblivious to the content of the black bags being collected. The true content was probably revealed only after dogs or scavengers had torn the bags apart. Whichever way the waste happened to end on the dump site, correct procedures for disposing of medical waste had clearly not been followed.

The accepted way of getting rid of medical waste nowadays is to burn it, or rather to incinerate it according to specific regulations. Unsafe disposal of health care waste may increase risks of needle stick injuries while unsuspecting parties, such as scavengers, may be exposed to other, otherwise preventable, risks. Health care waste entering the normal domestic waste stream will end up being disposed of at municipal landfill sites (as in the case mentioned above) or buried. Contamination of groundwater may then occur and may result in the spread of inter alia E.coli – something (the further contamination of our water) we in Mkhondo, can surely not afford.

Who would the culprits be and how are they going to be prevented from doing the same thing in future? If you are the guilty party, please think again about what the consequences of your actions can be before getting rid of hazardous waste in such a way.

The bags of medical  waste found at the local dump site
The bags of medical waste found at the local dump site