Cleaning and Waste Management in a Hospital

Cleanliness must be a priority where sickness and diseases are being treated. A hospital produces a lot of waste on a daily basis. Bigger the hospital, more the patient flow and more the waste. But do these hospitals have a specific protocol for handling this waste? Yes, Ministry of Environment and Forest notified the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules in July 1998, that it is the duty of every “occupier” i.e. a person who has the control over the institution or its premises, to take all steps to ensure that waste generated is handled without any adverse effect to human health and environment.


Biomedical waste is any waste generated during diagnosis, treatment or immunization of humans or animals or in research activities involving biologicals.

Not only hospitals but nursing homes, clinics, laboratories, blood banks also produce a lot of biomedical waste.


Firstly, they use the technique of segregation of the biomedical waste. Everything is segregated into different colored bags.

1. Yellow colored bags are for human and animal anatomical waste, like placenta or other body parts. Or infected waste, chemical liquid waste. This waste is treated by incineration.

2. Red colored bags are used for contaminated recyclable waste like catheters, urine bags, iv sets, tubing. It is sent for recycling.

3. Blue/ white colored bags are used for waste sharps like needles, syringes, blades, scalpels etc. It is sent for autoclaving or chemical treatment.

4. Black colored bags are for cytotoxic waste, like chemicals and drugs. It is sent to a landfill or chemically treated.


No biomedical waste should be stored for more than 48 hours. The disposal and collection team should have cleaning kits including face masks, head masks, shoe covers and hand gloves. Every hospital should have a specific plan of action for waste management and a committee that deals solely with waste management.

Disposal of biomedical waste is very important to prevent transmission of diseases and to avoid the adverse effects of it to the public. It is one of the most important jobs of a clinical facility, at par with treating patients.


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