According to Biotic Waste Management, one of the largest common biomedical waste treatment facilities in Delhi, Covid-19 waste generated last July was around 7.2 tonnes per day, which increased to 12.5-13 tonnes per day by the end of April 2021.
“We have a total capacity of 34 tons per day so while we have a margin, if cases keep increasing, then we will reach capacity,” said Vikas Gehlot, spokesperson for Biotic Waste Management, the common biomedical waste treatment (CBWT) facility which caters to north, north-east, south, southeast and New Delhi.
“For the first time, there is a slight worry that we may reach capacity, but overall waste management is better than last year, mainly because of guidelines that have categorised biomedical waste and ensured that food and general waste is not coming to us,” said an office bearer of SMS Water Grace Pvt Limited, another CBWT.
Data shared by the three municipal corporations shows that general biomedical waste collected spiked to around 3 tonnes in April, compared to only around 700 kg collected in March.
East Delhi Municipal Corporation collected 748.28 kg of hazardous waste in April, compared to 170.8 kg in March. The north civic body collected 2,776 kg of biomedical waste in April, out of which 959.1 kg was collected between April 23 and April 30, when the cases began rising at a rapid and unprecedented rate.
In south Delhi, too, between April 23 and April 30, biomedical waste collected was 291.7 kg.
Experts pointed out that the actual production of biomedical waste in the national capital is much higher than what is being collected by the civic agencies.