"Please submit COVID-19 hazardous waste to the Environment Service or Sanitation Service to be collected at disposal and collection facilities or depots,” Achmad Gunawan, director of hazardous waste management verification at the ministry, urged during an online discussion on the management of COVID-19 medical waste, originating from here on Tuesday.
COVID-19 quarantine facilities managed by health service partners should have such depots, he advised.
"Such a depot is very necessary, as it helps many parties, especially the isolation and self-quarantine facilities that can deliver the medical waste to this depot. From the depot, it could later be taken by a third party," he said.
Besides, medical waste collected at the depot can also be handed over to hospitals that already have hazardous and toxic waste processing facilities, he added.
The ministry has left the handling of COVID-19 medical waste to the discretion of hospitals that own incinerators, but are in the process of applying for a license to use them.
During Tuesday’s discussion, the ministry's director general of waste, hazardous and toxic waste management, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, said that local governments could use contingency funds for COVID-19 medical waste management.
Medical waste generated when handling COVID-19 patients must be dealt with immediately, she said adding, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry cannot resolve the issue by itself.
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