Medical waste plant breakdown.
Eskom blamed as freezers and incinerators fail and containers of body parts and blood remain stacked and rotting in the open.
Solid Waste Technologies SA, the country’s largest medical waste disposal enterprise with dozens of hospital contracts, including with the Netcare group, boasts on its website: “The best medical waste treatment and service delivery company in Africa, providing exceptional standards in environmental and integrated waste management services. We strive to conduct all activities within the confines of environmental laws.”
Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The SWTSA plant at City Deep in Johannesburg was shut down for a week last November for a list of serious environmental transgressions, not least the leakage of dangerous medical waste near stormwater flow paths; containers full of medical waste left uncovered in open areas; and hazardous waste not being correctly treated to ensure all bacteria and other pathogens are killed.