Government of India have notified the Biomedical Waste [Management and Handling] Rules, 1998 as amended in 2000 under Environment [Protection] Act, 1986. The Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board enforces this rule. The Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board has inventorised 317 Government Hospitals and 1835 private hospitals. There are about 92,000 hospital beds all over the State.

There are 10 categories of Biomedical waste as per schedule-I of Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. Health care facilities are required to treat the Biomedical wastes as per the methods prescribed in Schedule-I in compliance with the standards prescribed in Schedule-V. In this regard health care facilities are required to provide requisite treatment and disposal facilities either individually or collectively within the time frame prescribed in the Schedule-VI.

I. The common bio medical waste treatment and disposal facility consists of [as prescribed in the Biomedical wastes (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998 & 2000]. the following :-

* An autoclave with temperature & pressure maintained at 135 0C, 31 psi & 30 minutes cycle. In the initial 15 minutes, the temperature & pressure to be maximum to create a vacuum for full autoclaving with residence time of not less than 30 minutes to ensure full destruction of pathogens. Medical waste shall be subjected to a minimum of one pre vacuum pulse to purge the autoclave of all air. The autoclave should completely and consistently kill the approved biological indicator at the maximum design capacity of each autoclave unit.

* Incinerator for destruction of body parts/anatomical waste and pathological waste. Incinerator shall have two-chamber facility to attain a temperature of 1100 0C in the secondary chamber with proper scrubber facility and automatic stack monitoring facilities. The temperature of primary chamber shall be 800 + 50 0C. The secondary chamber gas residence time shall be atleast 1 second at 1050 + 50 0C.

* Compactor for compaction of the autoclaved waste to ensure atleast 50% volume reduction. Sanitary landfill for safe disposal of autoclaved and compacted waste with compatible liners and leachate collection facility. Shredder to shred the autoclaved materials. The facility also consists of vans with compartments for keeping the segregated waste and transporting it in a safe manner.

Effluent Treatment Plant
A fully equipped laboratory


II. Since biomedical waste incinerators cause emission and there are frequent public complaints from similar installations, the siting of biomedical waste facility becomes crucial. Individual treatment facilities within hospitals in corporations and towns are not advisable as the health care facilities are often located in densely populated areas and the population in the vicinity is at the risk of exposure to emissions and complaints. keeping environmental concerns in view, such facilities should be located atleast 500 m away from any habitations and water bodies.

So far 11 common facilities have been identified for the private sector health care units in the State at
1. Thenmelpakkam - Kancheepuram District
2. Chennakuppam - Kancheepuram District
3. Orattukuppai 1 - Coimbatore District
4. Sengipatti - Thanjavur District
5. Kandipedu - Vellore District
6. Thangavur - Salem District
7. Coonoor - Nilgiris District
8. Muthuvayal - Ramanathapuram District
9. Orattukuppai - 2 - Coimbatore District
10.Ettankulam - Tirunelveli District
11. Undurumikkidakulam - Virudhunagar District

The above eight facilities are under operation.
The last three are nearing completion.