Hospital Waste Management


BMW || Bio-Medical Waste Management

Hospital Waste Management || Waste Segregation


Medical waste:

Medical waste can be classified as,

  1. Non-infectious waste:
  2. Infectious waste:


Non-infectious waste

It constitutes a major portion of the entire hospital waste generated. It does not contain infection-spreading microbes, as it is not in contact with any body fluids.


Non-infectious waste is broadly classified into:

  1. General office waste:
    • Comprising wrapping paper. Office paper, cartons, packaging material including plastic sheets, newspaper and bouquets etc.
  2. Kitchen waste:
    • Includes left over food, swill, pearls and dirty water generated from the hospital kitchen. Kitchen waste is further divided into two categories:
      1. Biodegradable kitchen waste: Which includes peels of fruit and vegetable skins, left over food, tea dregs and other natural kitchen waste.
      2. Non-biodegradable waste: This waste includes wrappings, foil, plastic, paper and other material, which is essentially man made.


Infectious waste

  1. Used sharps and items that could cause a cut or puncture.
  2. Pathological waste including tissues, organs, blood and body fluids.
  3. Syringes, IV tubing, blood bags and other items contaminated with blood and body fluids.
  4. Items such as plaster casts etc. that may be defined as infectious waste only when contaminated with blood or pus. These are non-infectious waste, when they have had no contact with body fluids.



Hospital Waste Management Flow Chart / Algorithm.
Hospital Waste Management Flow Chart / Algorithm.

          Segregation is the key to any waste management scheme. Through segregation, different categories of wastes are sorted and placed in different containers or bags. Segregation should be carried at the point of generation to keep general waste from becoming infectious.

          Segregation comprises of separation of different streams based on the types of treatment and disposal practice. The waste of each category specified will be disposed off into separate receptacles. The bets way of segregation is color-coded system, where each receptacle has its own color.



Color code Container Waste category Treatment option
Yellow Plastic bags 1, 2, 3, and 6 Incineration / Deep burial
Red Disinfected container /

Plastic bag

3, 6, and 7 Autoclaving / Microwaving /

Chemical treatment

Blue / White translucent Plastic bag / Puncture

proof container

4 and 7 Autoclaving / Microwaving /

Chemical treatment and

Destruction and shredding

Black Plastic bag 5, 9, and 10 Disposal in secured landfill


Category Waste Treatment and disposal option
1 Human anatomical waste

(Human body parts)

Incineration / Deep burial
2 Animal waste

(Animal body parts)

Incineration / Deep burial
3 Microbiology and biotechnology waste

(Laboratory waste)

Local autoclaving / Microwaving / Incineration
4 Waste sharps

(Sharp instruments)

Disinfection / Autoclaving / Microwaving and Mutilation / Shredding
5 Discarded medicines and cytotoxic drugs Incineration / Destruction and disposal in landfills
6 Soiled wastes

(Items contaminated with body fluids)

Incineration / Autoclaving / Microwaving
7 Solid wastes

(Disposable items)

Disinfection / Autoclaving / Microwaving and Mutilation / Shredding
8 Liquid waste

(Washing, cleaning, disinfection)

Disinfection and discharge into drains
9 Incineration ash Disposal in municipal land fills
10 Chemical wastes Chemical treatment and disposal in drain for liquids and or landfill for solids.