Author: Chung, Cheuk-ming Derek
Title: Hospital and clinical waste management and disposal in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2000
Subject: Hospitals -- Waste disposal -- China -- Hong Kong
Medical wastes -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Pages: v, 90, [26] leaves : col. ill. ; 31 cm
Language: English
Abstract: This dissertation focuses on the development of hospital and clinical waste (HCW) management and disposal strategy in Hong Kong over the years. It also attempts to make some assessment on the risk and safety aspects relating to HCW. All aspects of the HCW issue will be investigated and discussed, so as to help to formulate an effective HCW management and disposal strategy for Hong Kong to meet the future demand. For this purpose, the author has conducted extensive literature search and field visits to collect the necessary information. Interviews with personnel from various levels of the medical field have also been carried out to collect their views and opinions. During the past three decades, Hong Kong has experienced a rapid growth of population. People living standards have improved a great deal, and the economy has been flourishing. The subsequent increase in social, industrial and commercial activities help produce many environmental problems, such as HCW, which the community can no longer ignore. The issue of the Waste Disposal Plan for Hong Kong in 1989 marked the intention of the Hong Kong Government to tackle the HCW problems. The proposed construction of a centralized incineration facility was intended to cope with the disposal need of a large amount of HCW generated daily. It was also intended to introduce associated legislation to monitor and control the disposal processes such as segregation, packaging, marking, labelling, transportation and storage of HCW. Unfortunately, the construction of the centralized incineration facility was shelved in 1996 because of the objections from the medical sector and the local residents. The latest move made by the Government is the proposed modification of the incinerator in the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre at Tsing Yi Island to make it suitable for the treatment of HCW. The scheme is likely to commence in the year 2001 after the completion of a EIA study. However, it is considered that a comprehensive and effective HCW management and disposal strategy should be given more priority than the mere provision of a single treatment facility. Such a HCW disposal strategy should be able to address every aspects of HCW management including generation, segregation, packaging, collection, storage, transport and final disposal. A study on the latest technology relating to HCW disposal is necessary. Nowadays, more emphasis is being placed on the waste minimization, reuse and recycling. The HCW management practices being adopted by other developed countries, such as the United States, could also be used for our reference. The environmental impacts arising from the disposal of HCW should not be overlooked neither. After reviewing the current situation of HCW problems in Hong Kong, it is proposed that the HCW management and disposal strategy shall comprise of setting up of a standardized HCW categorization system, implementation of legislative control over the HCW disposal and treatment, establishment of a HCW management plan comprising a comprehensive waste minimization policy in hospitals, construction of centralized/regional incineration facilities and adoption of alternative treatment methods for HCW. Evaluation of the proposal, with both the economical and environmental factors being taken into account, is also made. It is believed that the proposal shall be able to address the problems of HCW and establish a long term development framework for HCW management and disposal strategy in Hong Kong.
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