EMB hopes to find long-term solution

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag April 24,2015 - 10:29 AM

A forum is scheduled today with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-7) to resolve the issue of   uncollected infectious wastes of healthcare facilities in Metro Cebu.

Invited to the forum are  representatives of  hospitals, clinics, birthing homes and hospital waste collectors.

EMB-7 Director William Cunado said they aim to come up with a long term-solution.

“The forum is also an inventory. We will ask the medical establishments  their capabilities in terms of collecting infectious waste,” he told Cebu Daily News.

They will also be asked about their existing facilities, temporary solutions and  best practices in managing their infectious waste.

The problem arose when accredited service provider Pollution Abatement Systems Specialist Inc. (PASSI) was forced to temporarily stop servicing hospitals in Metro Cebu  in March 18  until it completed certain regulatory requirements of the EMB.

READ: Infectious hospital waste piling up in Metro Cebu

EMB-7 said it will ask  waste collectors in today’s forum to  present their technologies and facilities to the medical establishments.

The four service providers invited are PASSI,  Davao City Environmental Care, Medclean Management Solutions Inc and one provider from the City of Naga.

READ: EMB-7 issues discharge permit to private waste firm

Cunado said PASSI has already acquired its discharge permit, one  of the requirements for the issuance of  a Treatment Storage Disposal (TSD) permit.

He said it  has the same status with  Davao City Environmental Care. Both service providers are now processing their  online application for a TSD permit.

“After acquiring their TSD permit, our office can issue a transport permit. This means they can now operate, collect and dispose of infectious wastes from hospitals, clinics and  birthing homes.”

Earlier this week,  representatives from 37 healthcare facilities, worried about their uncollected wastes, sought the help of the Cebu city government.

EMB did not grant a transport permit to PASSI for alleged violations.

With the delay, local hospitals warned that their storage facilities could no longer hold the  infectious wastes from  delivery rooms, operating rooms, medical laboratories and extraction laboratories.

The waste includes used syringes, test tubes, blood, bandages and cotton balls.

PASSI, which has been operating for 11 years, stopped collecting waste from clients in March 18  for lack of a TSD certificate.

It  was also delisted from EMB’s accredited transporters of hazardous wastes as of February 28 this year.

The company  is now processing online  requirements for a TSD after which it will have to secure a transport permit.

The company was issued a cease-and-desist order last year for  failure to show proof as to where  it would dump the  hospital waste, said DENR spokesman Eddie Llamedo.

Engineer Cleofe M. Cortes, PASSI pollution officer, said the company uses  autoclave technology to treat infectious wastes in their facility in White Road, barangay Inayawan.

This technology uses heat and pressure to break down waste.

RELATED: Cebu City garbage problem looms

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TAGS: garbage, hospital waste, solid waste

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