Variations in hospital waste quantities and generation rates

Hamoda HM, El-Tomi HN, Bahman QY

J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng 2005;40(2):467-76

PMID: 15717788


The relationship between public health and improper collection, handling, and disposal of solid wastes in general, and hospital wastes in particular, is quite clear. Hazardous and nonhazardous wastes generated from different divisions of two of the largest public hospitals (capacity of approximately 400 beds each) in Kuwait were quantified and generation rates were determined. The generation rates were related to some important factors such as the number of patients, number of beds, and the type of activity conducted in different sections of the hospitals. The relationship between the waste generation rate and the number of patients was more applicable than that expressed in terms of the number of beds. The rates observed were in the range of 4.89 to 5.4 kg/patient/day, which corresponds to 3.65 to 3.97 kg/bed/day, respectively. These generation rates were comparable with those reported in the literature for similar hospitals. Minimal waste quantities were collected in the weekends. The study indicated that the hospitals surveyed provide some segregation of hazardous and nonhazardous wastes. Hazardous wastes contributed about 53% of the total quantity of wastes generated at the hospitals.