IWWG Task Group on

HOSPITAL WASTE

TG Leader: Susanne Mahnik


Background

Generally, it is the task of medical institutions to protect the population’s health. Therefore no negative environmental effects or any hazards to the people working and living in the environment should be caused by the services they provide. But the higher medical standards, which require the use of more one-way products, and a large number of laboratory analyses, have contributed to produce large amounts of hospital waste that has to be sorted, collected and directed to proper reuse and disposal. The different waste fractions range from simple waste paper through hazardous chemicals to infectious and hazardous materials. Waste management in medical institutions requires many different individual measures and decisions to ensure economic and environmentally-friendly operations.

The idea for the Task Group emerged from an acknowledged need among participants at the Workshop on Hospital Waste during the Sardinia 2007 Symposium.

Aims

The Task Group on Hospital Waste aims to coordinate interdisciplinary research on the appropriate collection and disposal of waste from medical institutions. It is intended to provide an intellectual forum to discuss problems of the past, and create solutions for the future. The Task Group should include both academic and industrial researchers and scientists, joining scientific research and practical experience. Member expertise will encompass a broad range of disciplines, including waste management, hygiene in medical institutions, microbiology, chemistry, waste technologies, environmental law and waste law.

The main aim of the Task Group on Hospital Waste will be an international and interdisciplinary exchange in the collection, the disposal and the management of waste from medical institutions.

Activities / Topics

The activities will concentrate on the following:

  • Creation of a database on the ‘‘state of the art” (legal base, waste amounts, ways of collection in hospitals and disposal of clinical waste, etc.) in the different countries.
  • Finding of basic differences and needs in the varying countries, which the task group should deal first with.
  • Perception of potentials for optimization and derivation of selected projects, elaboration of the projects in the different countries and combination and publication of the results.
  • The Task Group will provide a forum for members to discuss and exchange ideas, generate hypotheses, and jointly consider and relate results and findings from diverse projects.
  • By fostering international and interdisciplinary communication and pooling data, research advances can be accelerated, and future research requirements identified and synthesized more effectively.
  • As research efforts are coordinated and new results are generated, the Group will serve as a clearinghouse and point of contact for those seeking information on waste management from medical institutions. Furthermore, collaborations from within the Group will be published in international journals, so that ready access to information is available to the research community.

Structure and mode of operation

The task-group meetings are held at least once a year either during the Sardinia Landfill Symposium, the Hazardous Waste Conference or an extraordinary meeting is hold in a member country.

Group activities are coordinated by the task group leader and communication between members is conducted mainly via email. The group welcomes new members provided that candidates have proven expertise in one or more of the above-mentioned fields.

TG Leader and contact person

The Task Group is chaired by Susanne Mahnik, from the company ‘‘VAMED-KMB”, based in Vienna, Austria. Previously she worked as a scientific employee at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna from 2003 to 2005.

She is head of the Department for Environmental and Hazardous Goods Management, with a main focus on the Vienna University Hospital, but also other medical institutions in Austria. She is member of the Austrian Association for Environment and Hospital Waste Management and gives lectures on waste management in medical institutions and hazards of hospital waste waters due to pharmaceutical residues. She specialises in all aspects of Hospital Waste Management and hazards due to pharmaceuticals in the environment and is the author of several articles in English and German.

Dr. Susanne Mahnik - Leader of the Hospital Waste IWWG Task Group

 

Department for Environmental and Hazardous Goods Management

VAMED-KMB Technical Operation and Management Ltd.

Spitalsgasse 23, 1090 Vienna, Austria

E-mail: susanne.mahnik@vamed.com

Phone: +43 1 404009467

Members and Membership

The Task Group, led by Dr. Susanne Mahnik (e-mail: susanne.mahnik@vamed.com) , includes members from Germany, Greece, Australia, the UK, the Czech Republic, Spain and India, creating an international forum of researchers.

Here is a complete list of members and their corresponding institutions:

NameInstitutionCountry
Lillias BovellPublishers National Environment Bureau, GPO Box 5359, Sydney NSW 2001Australia
Pratap ChandranIndia
Marc HoffmannUniversity of Jena, Botzstrasse 3, 07743 JenaGermany
Norbert FraeymanUniversity Hospital of GentBelgium
Yukihiro IkedaCentre for occupational safety and health management, Kinki University HospitalJapan
D.P. KomilisDepartment of Environmental Engineering, Laboratory of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, School of Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Vas. Sofias 12, Xanthi, GR-671 00, GreeceGreece
Susanne MahnikDepartment for Environmental and Hazardous Goods Management VAMED-KMB Technical Operation and Management Ltd. Spitalgasse 23, 1090 Vienna, AustriaAustria
Sean ManziFaculty of Health, Education and Society Plymouth University Healthy environment, healthy person, healthy mind; Room 103, 4 Portland Villas, Plymouth University, PL4 8AAUK
Cagri ÜnAdana Metropolitan Municipality, Department of Environmental Protection and Control, Head of Special Waste and Recycling Plants, Çukurova UniversityTurkey
Evangelos VoudriasXanthi UniversityGreece
Montserrat Zamorano ToroUniversidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva s/n, 18071 Granada, Titular de Universidad, E.T.S de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Directora del Departamento de Ingeniería CivilSpain
Magdalena ZimováHead of Department of Soil Hygiene and Waste, Srobarova 10042 Praha 10Czech Republic

 

 

Task Group Meetings / News

The first official meeting of the Task Group has been held in the context of the Twelfth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium SARDINIA 2009, which took place in S. Margherita di Pula, Sardinia, Italy, between October 5th–9th 2009.


In the context of the Hazardous Waste Management Conference, which took place in Chania, Crete, Greece during 5th – 8th of October 2010, the 2nd  meeting of the Task Group “Hospital Waste” has been held.

The general and specific  aims of the Task Group were discussed. Furthermore specified topics for the Task Group to elaborate in 2011 were constituted by the members:

  • Waste generation rates and waste composition in hospitals
  • Hazardous goods management and Transport
  • Hospital waste water (drugs, chemicals, bodily fluids in hospital wastewater)

Members were asked to present their:

  • Business environment
  • Expectations and contributions in the task group
  • Situation in the corresponding country regarding hospital waste management including:
  • Legal Situation
  • Main Problems

Moreover Mr. Marc Hoffmann was invited to act as a vice chair.

Furthermore new members have been invited to join the task group in the context of the session “Hospital Waste”. Members may come from medical institutions including both academic and industrial researchers and scientists in the field of healthcare waste.


In the context of the Hazardous Waste conference, which was held in Chania, Crete from 12th – 14th of September 2012, the 3rd meeting of the Task group took place. In the meeting, the following topics were discussed:

  • Definition of hazardous hospital waste
  • Existence of incineration plants for hospital waste; is medical waste forced to be treated there?
  • Disposal and definition of pharmaceutical waste
  • Sterilization in hospitals - for which types of waste is it done?
  • Hospital waste water - is there a special treatment? Are there investigations of wastewater?
  • Prices of incineration of hazardous medical waste and non hazardous medical waste
  • Benchmark of participating countries (Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Greece, UK) – generation of medical waste and generation rates/bed.
  • Transport of dangerous goods


4th Task Group Meeting

The 4th Task Group Meeting “Hospital Waste” has been held at VAMED-KMB/Vienna General Hospital from 10th – 11th of October 2013.  The following topics were presented and discussed during the 2 days of the meeti

  • Sorting analysis of residual hospital waste in different Austrian hospitals: presentation of methods and results, discussion, standardization
  • Sorting analysis at University Hospital Jena
  • Discussion sorting analysis
  • Presentation of waste management data from University Hospital Gent
  • Disposal of certain types of liquid waste – pilot project in an Austrian University Hospital
  • Further contributions and discussion regarding liquid waste from hospitals
  • Guided tour in the Vienna General Hospital, waste collection and disposal facilities.


5th Task Group Meeting 

The 5th Task Group Meeting “Hospital Waste” has been held in the context of the 4th Industrial and Hazardous Waste Conference in Chania/Crete on the 4th of September 2014. The following topics were presented and discussed during the meeting:

  • Comparison of legal structure of the waste management regulations:

Comparison and discussion of the legal situation and legal structure in different countries: Austria, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Japan

  • Definition and implementation of hazardous medical waste:

Comparison and discussion of the definition of hazardous medical waste in different countries: Austria, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Japan

  • Liquid types of waste – list of types of liquid waste, way of disposal, legal situation:

Comparison and discussion of the types of liquid waste in different countries: Austria, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Japan


6th Task Group Meeting

The 6th Task Group Meeting “Hospital Waste” has been held at VAMED-KMB/Vienna General Hospital on the 21st of April 2017.

The following topics were presented and discussed during the meeting:

  • Hygienic requirements on waste collection in patient rooms, toilets and intensive care units.
  • Technical requirements on waste collection of lithium batteries due to new legal regulations in Austria.
  • Legal and Technical Situation regarding collection and disposal of liquid waste from patient care and treatment (collection systems for human liquids).


7th Task Group Meeting

The 7th Task Group Meeting “Hospital Waste” has been held in the context of the Hazardous Waste Conference in Crete/Greece on 6th of September 2018.

The following topics were presented and discussed during the meeting:

  • Hygienic requirements on waste collection in patient rooms, toilets and intensive care units.
  • Technical requirements on waste collection of lithium batteries due to new legal regulations in Austria.
  • Legal and Technical Situation regarding collection and disposal of liquid waste from patient care and treatment (collection systems for human liquids)
  • Pharmaceutical residues in liquid waste from patient care
  • Disposal of chemical waste, laboratory waste (solvents, acids, bases, etc.)
  • Disposal plants for medical waste - incineration and landfill sites
  • Different definition: hazardous medical waste and residual hospital waste”


8th Task Group Meeting

The 8th Task Group Meeting “Hospital Waste” has been held in the VAMED-KMB/Vienna General Hospital on the 9th of may 2019.

The following topics were presented and discussed during the meeting:

  • Discussion of the different definitions and classifications of waste , e.g. nappies – classification using the European Waste catalogue
  • Technical disposal situation in the different countries – incineration plant versus landfill site
  • Definition of infectious waste
  • Presentation of Belgian project regarding hospital waste
  • Treatment of hospital wastewater
  • Liquid laboratory waste
  • Construction and demolition waste- focus on asbestos and mineral fibres


Next TG meeting:

The next meeting will take place in the context of the Hazardous Waste Conference in Chania/Greece in 2020.  

 

If you are interested in joining the Task Group or attending the meeting please contact: Susanne.mahnik(at)vamed.com