Infectious waste hit new high in 2021

Infectious waste hit new high in 2021

The volume of potentially infectious waste handled by the Pollution Control Department last year was 87% higher than in 2020 due to surging Covid-19 infections, its chief told media yesterday.

Speaking during a press briefing, Atthapol Charoenchansa disclosed that rubbish needing to be treated with extra care had reached 90,000 tonnes.

In light of this, the Health Department has drafted a set of new waste management laws while the Pollution Control Department will issue fresh guidance to the public on how to separate and dispose of face masks and ATKs safely.

Mr Atthapol said a total of 24 million tonnes of general refuse had been processed last year, a 1% fall. Of that, 8 million tonnes had been sorted and reused, and 9 million tonnes were managed with due care, but 6.69 million tonnes had passed through the system without appropriate supervision.

The slight fall in overall waste could be attributed to travel restrictions which deprived the country of visitors and work-from-home policies that while reducing the overall total also caused a spike in the disposal of single-use plastic containers.

Hazardous waste, meanwhile, amounted to 669,518 tonnes, mostly electrical appliances and electronic devices (65%) with batteries, chemical containers and spray bottles accounting for (35%).

The government will set up more hazardous waste disposal points in communities and provinces and try to push through a number of new laws governing the care of electronic waste.

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