Illegal medical waste storage facility uncovered | Infrastructure news

An illegal medical waste storage facility has been uncovered in Bloemfontein. Two individuals, including a prominent pathologist, have been arrested in connection.

The medical waste found at the site ranges from anatomical to pharmaceutical waste products. The quantities that were found on this site raises serious concerns in relation to the environmental compliance profile of the health care risk waste sector and the Green Scorpions are on high alert.

According to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the quantities found on the illegal site raise serious concerns about the service providers that are being appointed by health care facilities to remove and safely dispose of their waste.

This is the second unlawful storage facility that has been uncovered in the last three months. The first was in the Capelo Industrial area in KwaZulu-Natal, which was issued a Compliance Notice by the DEA, after which the waste was removed and disposed of lawfully. The criminal investigation is almost complete and will soon be handed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.


Zero tolerance approach

The department has taken a zero tolerance approach which will now be expanded to include criminal prosecutions of the generators of this waste, including prominent private health care facilities.

“These facilities can no longer hide behind the excuse that their service providers assume responsibility for the disposal of waste,” says Albi Modise, spokesperson for the DEA. Modise urges the public to report any suspected unlawful health care risk waste storage facilities to the national environmental crimes hotline on 0800 205 005.

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