In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai Municipality has developed a detailed plan for treating polluted waste, as per global environmental best practices, in coordination with the Waste Management Department, Dubai Municipality’s Crisis Team, Dubai Health Authority, and the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality said the medical waste treatment procedure is considered a vital stage in the sustainable waste management system. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Dubai Municipality manages medical waste taken from both public and private clinics, hospitals, healthcare centres and laboratories, and transports it directly to the Jebel Ali Hazardous Waste Treatment Facility affiliated to Dubai Municipality, in order to treat it on a daily basis in central medical waste treatment systems designated for this purpose. The Facility is equipped with the best international environmental systems to ensure the protection of the environment. Approximately 350 tons of this waste has been treated since the beginning of the crisis until the end of last April, at a daily rate of 5 - 6 tons.
Specific Treatment Procedures
Eng. Abdul Majeed Saifaie, Director of Waste Management Department at Dubai Municipality said that all medical waste is managed according to the highest standards of occupational health and safety. Medical waste contaminated with COVID-19 is sterilised upon arrival at the facility directly, and takes priority over the rest of the medical waste for immediate disposal. All equipment, vehicles and areas are completely sterilised to avoid any biological danger. This type of waste is received around the clock in three shifts per day.
Corridors have been created to sterilise employees, customers and individuals working in the field of biological waste transportation. The Municipality has contracted a leading medical waste treatment company to supply a highly advanced mobile medical waste station capable of receiving medical waste contaminated with all types of infectious viruses, including COVID-19.
This station contains modern and advanced systems to treat all types of gases and emissions generated from processing operations. In addition, all companies operating in the field of waste management and their customers have been circulated to provide special containers for collecting used masks, hand gloves and other personal protection.