About the concept of Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF)

A Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment Facility (CBWTF) is a set up where biomedical waste, generated from a number of healthcare units, is imparted necessary treatment to reduce adverse effects that this waste may pose. The treated waste may finally be sent for disposal in a landfill or for recycling purposes. Installation of individual treatment facilities by small healthcare units requires comparatively high capital investment. In addition, it requires separate manpower and infrastructure development for proper operation and maintenance of treatment systems. The concept of CBWTF not only addresses such problems but also prevents proliferation of treatment equipment in a city. In turn it reduces the monitoring pressure on regulatory agencies. By running the treatment equipment at CBWTF to its full capacity, the cost of treatment of per kilogram gets significantly reduced.

The common bio-medical treatment facilities are also required to set up based on the need for ensuring environmentally sound management of bio-medical waste keeping in view the techno-economic feasibility and viable operation of the facility with minimal impacts on human health and environment.

CBWTF, as an option has also been legally introduced in India. The Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling)Rules, 1998, gives an option to the Bio-medical Waste generator that such waste can be treated at the common bio-medical waste treatment facility. The Second Amendment of the Rules in June, 2000, further eased the bottle neck in upbringing the CBWTF by making Local Authority responsible for providing suitable site within its jurisdiction.

The concept of CBWTF is also being widely accepted in India among the healthcare units, medical associations and entrepreneurs. In order to set up a CBWTF to its maximum perfection, care shall be taken in choosing the right technology, development of CBWTF area, proper designing of transportation system etc. to achieve optimum results. These key features of CBWTF have been addressed in the IMAGE plant with utmost care &perfection.


The wastes produced in the course of health-care activities carry a higher potential for infection than any other type of waste. Inadequate and inappropriate handling of health care waste can have serious public health consequences and a significant impact on the environment. Safe and reliable methods for their handling and management are therefore essential, wherever they are generated.

Thus the management of health care waste should be put into a systematically multifaceted framework. It should become an integral feature of health care services.


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of Bio Medical


The Ministry of environment, of the Government of India promulgated the Bio Medical Waste(Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. These rules apply to all hospitals, clinics andveterinary institutions animal house, pathological laboratory, Blood bank etc. who generate,collect, receive, store, transport, treat, dispose or handle biomedical waste in any form.

As per these rules it shall be the duty of every occupier of an institution generating biomedicalwaste to take all steps to ensure that such waste is handled without any adverse effect to humanhealth and environment. This includes hospital, nursing home, clinic, dispensary and veterinaryinstitutions.

Quantity of Bio-Medical Waste

There are more than 1.5 Lakh patient beds available in Kerala, including Government & Private Sector. The waste generation rate in health care establishments ranges between 0.5 and 2.0 kg bed per day. The solid waste from the hospitals consists of bandages, linen and other infectious waste (30-35%), plastics (7- 10%), disposable syringes (0.3-0.5%), glass (3-5%) and other general wastes including food (40-45%).Thus the quantity of Bio-medical waste generated in whole Kerala is estimated to be around 50— 60 tons per day. The IMAGE Plant (CBWTF) at Palakkad presently has the capacity to treat about 80 tons of Biomedical waste per day.