The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Wednesday reminded the public as well as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, and even businesses and companies of the proper way to dispose of hazardous wastes amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The DENR made this reminder after hundreds of used rapid test kits were left scattered along M. Dela Fuente Street in Sampaloc, Manila on Tuesday evening.
DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda in an interview over DZBB said that there is a color coding scheme in disposing of hazardous wastes.
“Let me remind everybody that we have a correct process in disposing of our hazardous wastes. We can place it in a yellow bag or if not, in any trash bag and put a visible label on it,” Antiporda said.
Antiporda said yellow is the color for “hazwastes”.
If there is none, proper labeling would do by just identifying the trash bag content as a rapid tester, PPE (personal protective equipment), or face masks.
Those picking up the trash bags may also be properly informed that the content of the bag is considered hazardous wastes.
Antiporda said the DENR is discouraging scavengers picking up unidentified trash bags as they may be hazardous.
Those who will be caught improperly disposing of their hazardous wastes may be charged with violation of Republic Act 6969 or An Act To Control Toxic Substances And Hazardous And Nuclear Wastes, and may also be fined.
Antiporda said the Solid Waste Management Commission of the DENR now identifies hazardous wastes from households as “household healthcare waste”.
He added that the DENR is now planning to distribute yellow trash bins to be distributed in every barangay where people may throw their hazardous wastes such as used face masks.
Antiporda added that the DENR will be coordinating with the Manila city government in investigating the “scattered used rapid tests kits” incident. (PNA)
Photo Credit: www.denr.gov.ph