#Providenciales, December 29, 2018 – Turks and Caicos – Season’s Greetings to the residents and visitors of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Director & Staff of the Environmental Health Department (EHD) along with the Executive Team of the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports & Human Services, are aware of the malicious attempts to discredit the work of the dedicated staff of the Environmental Health Department and would like to advise the general public of the following.
The images in circulation was taken by someone using the disposal site and does not reflect a true picture of the proper handling and disposal method. The images show the waste as it was recently dropped off to the disposal site. This waste was then placed in the hole, burnt and buried the same day.
What is considered bio-hazard waste?
Bio-hazardous waste, also called infectious waste or biomedical waste, is any waste containing infectious materials or potentially infectious substances such as blood. Of special concern are sharp wastes such as needles, blades, glass pipettes, and other wastes that can cause injury during handling.
What type of waste should be disposed of in a bio-hazard bag?
Only bio-hazardous waste should be placed inside red bags for disposal. Dispose of items such as plastic vaginal speculums, used specimen swabs, used glucose test strips, urine dipsticks, blood-soaked drapes and gloves, and anything contaminated with OPIM in a red bag.
What happens to needles after disposal?
In TCI the yellow bags are collected, place in a hole, burn and buried as part of the incineration process.
While some countries allow for disposal in the regular trash if the needles are in a puncture proof container with the
lid securely trapped on (duct tape is recommended). Here in TCI Medical Waste is collected separately. Sharp containers from Medical Facilities are usually sent to a medical waste disposal site where they are burned; however, TCI does not have a medical waste disposal site or an incinerator. Therefore, to ensure a safe disposal of the medical waste a separate pit is dug at the landfill and the waste is place inside of the pit, burn and buried on the same day. This process is known as the trench method was implemented in the Turks and Caicos Islands for more than fifteen (15) years.
The department and TCIG are looking at other disposal methods such as incinerators to address medical waste and other waste here in TCI.
For further information, contact the Environmental Health Department via telephone 3382143/44.
Press Release: Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services