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Green Scorpions uncover unlawful health care risk waste storage facility in Bloemfontein

13 August 2014

 

The Green Scorpions from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) uncovered an unlawful health care risk waste (medical waste) storage facility in Bloemfontein today, 13 August 2014. Two individuals, one of which includes a prominent pathologist in this region were arrested this morning, in connection with the unlawful storage facility.

It is reported that the types of health care risk waste (medical waste) found on this site ranges from anatomical to pharmaceutical waste products. The quantities that were found on this site raises serious concerns once again in relation to the environmental compliance profile of the Health Care Risk Waste sector and the Green Scorpions are on high alert.

The quantities found on this site are significant and this raises serious concerns in relation to the service providers that are being appointed by Health Care facilities (such as hospitals) to remove and safely dispose of their waste.

This is now the second unlawful storage facility that has been uncovered in the last three months. The first incident this year occurred in Capelo Industrial area, Durban,KwaZulu- Natal in May 2014. DEA issued a Compliance Notice and the waste was removed and disposed of lawfully. The criminal investigation is almost complete and will soon be handed to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision.

The zero tolerance approach that the Department has taken in relation to this sector will now be expanded to include criminal prosecutions of the generators of this waste, which could include prominent private Health Care facilities.

Albi Modise, Spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Affairs said, “These facilities can no longer hide behind the excuse that their service providers assume responsibility for the disposal of waste.”

Modise also urged the public to report any suspected unlawful health care risk waste storage facilities to the national environmental crimes hotline on 0800 205 005.

For media queries contact:

Roopa Singh
Cell: 082 225 3076