The surge in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the city has also led to an increase in the quantum of sanitary and biomedical waste that is generated.
According to rough estimates, from an average 40 to 45 tonnes per day, over the past few weeks, it had increased by another 25 tonnes a day.
BBMP’s Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) D. Randeep told The Hindu that the civic body had floated short-term tender to handle the biomedical waste now being generated, especially from the various COVID-19 Care Centres (CCCs) and electric crematoria. The civic body will be opening the tenders next week.
As per the waste management rules, the sanitary and biomedical waste can only be disposed off through incineration. Following the outbreak of the pandemic last year, the civic body had enlisted four agencies to handle the biomedical waste. However, after the CCCs were shut when the caseload decreased, the tenders were also scrapped.
Mr. Randeep said the quantum of sanitary waste being generated by citizens had also increased. Often, this is was mixed with the household, domestic waste. “This is sent to the landfills, where it is mud capped, as per protocols,” he said.
Only agencies that are approved by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) may participate in the tender. Last year, the civic body paid rather high for the disposal of biomedical waste. Though the reference rate for disposal was ₹18 per kg, the civic body had paid the four agencies ₹58 a kg. “The agencies quoted high price owing to COVID-19. However, the rate included pick-up, transport, and incineration at the agencies’ plants,” Mr. Randeep said.
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