Waste Management – SWM Rules, EWM Rules, etc

[pib] Regulation of Bio-Medical Waste


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Biomedical waste

Mains level : Treatment of Biomedical waste


The State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) / Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) have recently published the details of State/UT-wise quantum of bio-medical waste generation (during 2016-18) in the country.

Bio-Medical Waste

Biomedical waste/hospital waste is any kind of waste containing infectious materials.  It may also include waste associated with the generation of biomedical waste that visually appears to be of medical.

  • Hospital waste refers to all waste, biological or non‐ biological that is discarded and not intended for further use.
  • Bio-medical waste means any waste, which is generated during the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities pertaining thereto or in the production or testing of biological and including categories mentioned in Schedule I, of the BMW rules, 2016.

Who deals with Bio-medical wastes in India?

  • Central Pollution Control Board has been following up with all SPCBs/PCCs to ensure effective management of biomedical waste in States/UTs.

Collection and disposal

  • The collection and disposal is treated and disposed as per the specified methods of disposal prescribed under Schedule I of the Rules.
  • Bio-medical waste generated from the hospitals shall be treated and disposed by Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility.
  • In case there is no common facility in the reach of a healthcare facility, then such healthcare facility should install captive treatment and disposal facility.
  • There are 200 authorized Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities (CBWTFs) in 28 States for environmentally safe disposal of biomedical waste.
  • Remaining 7 States namely Goa, Andaman Nicobar, Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim do not have CBWTFs.


As informed by CPCB and as per Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, Bio-medical waste is required to be segregated in 4 color coded waste categories.

  • Common methods of treatment and disposal of bio-medical waste are by incineration/plasma pyrolysis/deep-burial for Yellow Category waste;
  • Autoclaving/microwaving/chemical disinfection for Red Category waste;
  • Sterilization and shredding, disinfection followed by burial in concrete pit/recycling through foundry/encapsulation for White Category sharps waste; and
  • Washing, disinfection followed by recycling for Blue Category glass waste.

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