Project Description

Full Project Title:

Environmentally Sustainable Management of Medical Wastes in China

Project number:


Starting date:

October 2007


5 years

Total Project Budget:

44,727,140 U$


  • SEPA/Foreign Economic Cooperation Office (FECO)
  • Ministry of Health (MoH)

Project Description

Based on the extensive barrier analysis of medical waste management, treatment and disposal in China, the project is determined to carry out the demonstration and replication of best available techniques and best environmental practices (BAT/BEP) in the environmentally sound management of medical waste to continuously reduce PCDD/PCDF releases by upgrading the incineration equipment and air pollution control system to the BAT level and replacing outdated or over-capacity incineration facilities with alternative, non-incineration techniques that avoid the release of PCDD/PCDF.

To achieve the goal, the regulatory, administrative, planning, technical, economic, market, information and training instruments are designed and will be applied comprehensively during the implementation of the project to: (i) promote the locally affordable or commercially available supply of technologies and equipment needed and (ii) promote the commercialisation of domestically constructed medical waste treatment and disposal facilities. This extensive capacity building program aiming at regulatory framework strengthening, institutional strengthening, and promoting local manufacturing industry and services will be carried out nationwide.

Given the fact that great differences exist in socio-economic, geographic, cultural and ethnic aspects among the eastern, central and western regions of China and between the densely populated urban areas of advanced development and remote, under populated and underdeveloped rural areas, no single model of BAT/BEP can govern the entire situation throughout the country. BAT/BEP needs to be modified, demonstrated and verified in different regions with particular reference to the specialization of the medical institutions, the type of dedicated treatment and disposal facilities, and the availability of relevant infrastructure and logistics. Therefore, one representative province will be selected from each of the region for a meaningful cluster of demonstrations in applying BAT/BEP.

In the cluster, medical institutions will be assisted to adopt BEP in medical waste segregation and reduction at source as well as temporary storage and transfer to dedicated facilities. Dedicated disposal facilities, will keep the incineration and pyrolysis processes and PCDD/PCDF releases under optimal control to meet performance levels associated with BAT, while diverting a significant portion of medical waste to alternative processes such as autoclaving, microwaving, and chemical disinfections that avoid unintentional production of PCDD/PCDF. Coordinated treatment and disposal with an effective medical waste transfer system among incineration and non-incineration facilities will be planned and implemented at the provincial and regional level in the cluster to optimise the performance and functions of facilities in a fit-for-purpose and least costly way.

In order to avoid unnecessary duplication and achieve the highest cost-effectiveness, successful experience in applying BEP in medical institutions and establishing the complete cluster by coordinating related dedicated treatment and disposal facilities will be learned from the cluster demonstration in the selected province that can be replicated to other provinces in a regional context.

The dissemination of BAT/BEP applications using the cluster concept will be promoted nationwide. The project will deliver extensive trainings to enhance technical competencies and establish the personnel training system to disseminate the successfully demonstrated experience for environmentally sustainable medical waste management. Information will be widely and openly disclosed through a dedicated project website to facilitate the dissemination. Necessary administrative instruments will be taken and market based incentives will be fully brought into action to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the replication program.

GEF/UNIDO Delegation in Beijing

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