Clint Chan Tack

2 hours ago

File Photo: Minister for Planning and Development Camille Robinson-Regis. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

THE Ministry of Planning and Development is conducting a national study on the disposal of domestic health waste.

In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said that this national online survey was launched on September 1 in coordination with the Basel Convention’s Regional Center for Education and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

The ministry said: “The result of this survey is to fill gaps in the national waste management system in order to minimize the risks for hygiene and health workers as well as the general public, avoid negative effects on the environment and optimize a national waste system.”

The ministry said that the responses to the survey will be kept strictly confidential and anonymous. While there are national guidelines for the disposal of biomedical waste from home health care, the ministry said, “There is currently a loophole in the disposal of this waste stream as there is no established system in place.”

As a result, the ministry went on to say, domestic health care waste can mix with household waste and end up in the municipal solid waste stream, which ends up in landfills in the surrounding area. “

The ministry added that the Covid19 pandemic had raised new concerns “which are increasing the generation of this type of household waste, making the situation worse”. The ministry said the data from this survey will serve as a basis for identifying the strengths, needs and barriers to address in filling these gaps in line with best practice approaches.

The Minister for Planning and Development, Camille Robinson-Regis, stressed the need for this national research in the context of the government’s goal of putting the environment at the center of social and economic development. Robinson-Regis said this project will help Trinidad and Tobago achieve the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 12, “Responsible Consumption and Production”.