Covid waste overflows

The accumulation of sanitary waste multiplies, overflowing the collection and treatment system.


A Spanish hospital accumulates 1400 cardboard boxes of dangerous biological waste - February 2021


In recent months, the use of discarded products by health centers has increased, which are pushing the selective collection systems and their treatment to the limit.


Taking into account there are effective (reusable) textile solutions that reduce the environmental impact by up to 80% - as are all Technotex products-, it is difficult to read with indifference the volumes of waste that are generated and published, of the different companies dedicated to the collection of biological waste, without raising the alarms or the awareness of those responsible for health centers:

  1. Cespa / Ferrovial plant, (Martorelles): 2019 = 1,200 tons; in 2020 = + 135% vs 2019

  2. TMA in (Terrassa): 2020 = 1,738 tons; + 140% vs 2019

  3. SOGAMA (Galicia): 2020 = 157 tons of sanitary waste

  4. Consenur, (Constantí): 2020 = 5,743; 74% vs 2019

* Sources at the end of the article


Some of the communities that have the greatest impact of Covid, such as the Valencian community in January 2021, are suffering an accumulation of high-risk products as those responsible for their collection and disposal are not sufficient.


According to Carmelina Pla, General Director of Efficiency and Infrastructure (Valenia), they have gone from managing 2 million KG of type III waste to 4 million.


These wastes must be collected in plastic buckets, of high resistance and insulation, but due to the large volume, health centers are forced to also accumulate them in cardboard boxes, a less resistant material, and in some cases outdoors, generating a public health risk.


One of the products that occupies the most space are single-use disposable products, such as protective coveralls and PPE, and they are paradoxically the easiest to replace with a reusable product.

The same has happened in other areas of Spain that have not been able to manage everything that has occurred, forcing referrals to other autonomous communities.





Waste accumulated in a health center


Some of them have even gone from managing waste with autoclaves at high temperature and pressure to eliminate pathogens and, once treated, sending them to authorized landfills, to using incinerators that generate a greater environmental impact.


Sanitary waste must be treated in accordance with the new implementing regulation 2020/1207 approved by the European Commission, which establishes the application provisions of the Regulation (UE) 2017/745 about Sanitari products, regarding common specifications for reprocessing single-use products.


Related News / Sources:

  • La vanguardia: Overflowing with covid waste

  • La vanguardia articulo 2: The mismanagement of covid waste: the other risk of the pandemic

  • El País: From Madrid to France: garbage infected by the virus saturates the Community

  • Seprona: 20 people investigated for irregular management of biosanitary waste from Covid-19

  • Las provincias: Infectious waste from hospitals doubles and reaches four thousand tons

  • La opinión de Murcia: The waste collection company from health centers, "overwhelmed"