EP Health agrees to stop dumping medical waste in municipal landfills

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The Eastern Cape Health Department has agreed to stop dumping used medical gloves and cottonwool in Nelson Mandela Bay municipal landfills – following a series of threats and agreements between the two parties.

The Herald quotes Health Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo as saying that the department had previously not classified clean gloves used to put up a drip, or cottonwool, as medical waste. These single use items from hospitals and clinics were regarded as municipal waste and sent to municipal landfills. Since August, however, the municipality has been taking the department to task over the disposal of these items.

“We were threatened with prosecution and penalties,” Kupelo said. He said an agreement had been reached with the municipality. “The municipality will take over the disposal of medical waste from the current contractors when the contract expires.”

Kupelo said the department had now reclassified used gloves and cottonwool as medical waste and would no longer regard them as general waste, sent to normal landfills. ‘We have improved the protocols within our facilities,’ he said. In 2015, the metro refused to collect general waste from Livingstone Hospital as it was not properly segregated.

The Herald report (subscription needed)

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