The South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) formally commissioned a new $9 million state-of-the art incinerator at the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday, several months after the old one collapsed.CEO of the SWRHA Anil Gosine welcomed it, saying the last one was 30 years old and had no longer met international environmental standards, including those of the World Health Organisation.
Gosine said the environmentally-friendly M1000 Medical Waste Incinerator was designed and built in France to meet European standards, which had higher parameters than those which obtained in T&T."It is capable of destroying 250 kilogrammes of waste material per hour and will be put to use immediately," Gosine said.
"Aside from reducing the sheer amount of quantity of solid waste by roughly 90 per cent, the incinerator is also used to manage certain materials that cannot be disposed of properly. With a daily destruction capacity of 2.5 tonnes, the incinerator here at the SWHRA is the only one of its sort in public health in Trinidad."Gosine also said the incinerator is the only system able to eliminate highly infective micro-organisms which other processes cannot destroy.
"This includes biohazard waste, including medically used trash contaminated with blood or other infectious materials like needles, syringes or similar objects," he said.He noted that incineration of biohazard waste requires an operating temperature in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius, for which the old incinerator was not designed. The SWRHA's chairman, Dr Lackram Bodoe, said the unit was another example of the authority's commitment to patients, staff and other stakeholders.
He also said the new incinerator is fully automated, with a monitored air-scrubbing and emission system that exceeds European standards and has benefits over other types of waste-treatment systems."We are also doing our part to minimise damage to the environment," said Bodoe.He praised Water Tech, the company that handled the procurement and installation of the incinerator, for completing the project within the budget and the specified time frame.