Medical waste incinerator launched in Islamabad: Pakistan’s pathway to sustainable development

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Medical waste incinerator launched in Islamabad: Pakistan’s pathway to sustainable development





By Nur-UL-Ainnie Kazi, Health Officer, ICT/CDA, Federal Directorate of Immunization, Islamabad

Environmentally friendly incinerator given the green light by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations & Coordination, Pakistan. A cutting- edge medical facility envisioned to be a game changer as an environmental footprint in the hospital waste management system, as Pakistan is focused to uphold the principles of environmental sustainability. This is a comprehensive and integrated solution designed to ease disproportionate brunt of low-income and minority communities evaporating harmful toxic chemicals, greenhouse gases in the air ensuring the beauty of Islamabad to remain pristine. Pakistan is taking all the steps to safeguard the environment. A historical momentum as Pakistan implemented a health environment regulatory as the Hospital Waste Management rule 2005. This fulfils the national regulation on environment as it is a professional and legal requirement to ensure an environmentally friendly disposal of hospital waste.


An eco-friendly and durable incinerator with smokeless combustion and high operability for a safe, effective disposal of medical wastes. Furnace to burn 1,000 kg biomedical waste daily. The incinerator a dual-chamber model refined to endure a reckless operation. Major features and advantages are a specification of the model includes a water-cooled structure, where the main body of a furnace is covered with water jackets, the wet scrubber which absorbs all the harmful pollution. This structure has excellent durability which is not damaged even if wastes of high calorific value such as plastics are incinerated. In addition, the forced air supply method (combustion air is forcibly supplied into the furnace) enables prompt and smokeless incineration by supplying an appropriate amount of high-pressure air to the right position. The main body consists of general steel plates with a simple assembly. Since ash outlets and a chimney are exposed to high temperature or acidic condition, hot dip aluminized steel plates are used to provide high durability and acid resistance.


The daily waste generation of infectious waste in Islamabad is 4000-5000k including EPI waste. The incinerator would incinerate 150kg/hr and a total of 1000kg waste would be incinerated daily. The Incinerator will reduce the volume of Islamabad hospital waste up to 95% and can eradicate microbiological contamination. Infectious waste dressings, bandages, gauze, and cotton contaminated with blood or body fluids; gloves and masks contaminated with blood or body fluids. Pathological human tissues, organs or fluids, body parts, and contaminated animal carcasses; Sharps: syringes, needles, disposable scalpels and blades, etc.; Chemicals: for example, solvents used for laboratory preparations, disinfectants, and heavy metals contained in medical devices (e.g., mercury in broken thermometers) and batteries; Pharmaceuticals: expired, unused, and contaminated drugs and vaccines; Genotoxic waste: highly hazardous, mutagenic, teratogenic, or carcinogenic, such as cytotoxic drugs used in cancer treatment and their metabolites; Radioactive waste: such as products contaminated by radionuclides including radioactive diagnostic material or radiotherapeutic materials; and Non-hazardous or general waste: waste that does not pose any particular biological, chemical, radioactive, or physical hazard. In summary an effective treatment of hazardous healthcare wastes, particularly sharps, infectious and pathological waste. Adopted is elimination of the contaminants by incinerating waste at high burning temperature 1000-1200 degree Celsius. An estimated 15-18 tons of the EPI waste are produced daily in the country which includes syringes, vials, and safety boxes. A 50-60% of the total waste contains syringes and 30-40% waste includes vials of the total waste streams. Incineration is a process widely used for the treatment of medical waste therefore it will be a gradual reduction in health hazards and ease of burden because of high level of concerns with the management under a strong leadership at present now being addressed of the community.


Precisely above 50-60% of the total waste is plastic in nature. Central systemic collects and treats wastes from many health facilities in an urban centre or region. The waste coming from the EPI facilities both from CDA and ICT would be incinerated to reduce soil, water, and air pollution in future. The incinerator will eradicate the microbiological contamination. The incinerator will contain the bad air emission from medical waste such as: dioxin, oxides of sulphur, oxides of nitrogen, mercury, carbon mono oxide, furan, lead, cadmium, acid gases. The critical operation is to absolutely ensure an air pollution control reducing energy consumption. Also most importantly, the safety of the workers is guaranteed with proper equipment. The harmful effects of dioxin are inevitable damaging severely body immune system, the female and male reproductive system. A dangerous known human carcinogen according to international agency for research on cancer (IARC) these represent a higher risk to health leading to adverse health effects. These measures will overall ensure an ideal approach to take measures in controlling infection and supervise hospital hygiene. Environmental Protection: this advanced incinerator employs the latest technology to minimize emissions and reduce the impact on our environment. It complies with stringent environmental regulations, ensuring that surroundings remain immaculate.

Dr. Muhammad Ahmad Kazi stated “We look forward to leading by example in the healthcare industry and making a positive impact on our community and the planet.”


Pakistan ever green and in action aligned with the international environmental regulatory laws the Stockholm Convention global treaty for protecting human health and environment from persistent organic pollutants (POPs). POPs are chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms and are toxic to humans and wildlife. Combatting climate change by Pakistan National Environment policy demonstrates commitment to mitigate its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changing climate. A smart strategy all-encompassing to the sustainable development goal 9 prioritising infrastructure, industry, and innovation. This matters because it is inclusive sustainable industrialisation fosters innovation also unleashing dynamic and competitive economical ease to the health care workforce. In a momentous step toward enhancing healthcare waste management and Pakistan’s environmental responsibility. Community engagement is by investing in environmentally friendly technologies, the Federal Directorate of Immunization demonstrates its commitment to the well-being of the Pakistani communities. Aiming to inspire others in our industry to adopt eco-conscious practices for the benefit of all. Pakistan is maintaining a steadfast compliance as per its National Environment policy and is proud to be at the forefront of responsible healthcare waste management. The Federal Directorate of Immunisation now ensures full compliance with local, national, and international waste disposal regulations, underscoring our dedication to legal and ethical standards. Bringing a global impact as the responsible waste management contributes to global efforts to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution. Resource efficiency the incinerator captures and harnesses energy generated during the waste disposal process, leading to energy savings and reduced reliance on non-renewable resources. This commitment to sustainability aligns with our broader prospect with going green initiatives.