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Sun Jun 28, 2020, 09:59 AM

COVID-19's unsustainable waste management [View all]

A brief commentary appeared in the current issue of Science that is worthy of some attention: COVID-19's unsustainable waste management (Siming You1, Christian Sonne2, Yong Sik Ok3,4,* Science Jun 26, 2020 Vol. 368, Issue 6498, pp. 1438)

It's probably open sourced.

A brief excerpt of the short note:

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an abrupt collapse of waste management chains. Safely managing medical and domestic waste is crucial to successfully containing the disease (1). Mismanagement can also lead to increased environmental pollution. All countries facing excess waste should evaluate their management systems to incorporate disaster preparedness and resilience.

Wuhan, the COVID-19 epicenter of China, experienced a massive increase of medical waste from between 40 and 50 tons/day before the outbreak to about 247 tons on 1 March (2). Cities such as Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, and Bangkok experienced similar increases, producing 154 to 280 tons more medical waste per day than before the pandemic (3)...


Since the United States has mismanaged itself because of the growing popularity of ignorance and denial, our waste profile must be corresponding greater than that of say, Vietnam, the country Bone Spur Donald Trump avoided with the liberal application of his father's money, where apparently the government is smarter than his. (This is not intended as an endorsement of Vietnam's government, only a statement that they manage things better than armchair fascists in the US.)

Whether Covid-19 medical waste is infectious, I cannot say.

Personally, as a person who has spent a lifetime thinking about how to convert "waste" into products - I favor the pyrolysis or high temperature steam reforming of all carbon containing wastes, a practice that would make the issue of infectious medical waste null and void, but apparently, I'm an outlier.

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NNadir Jun 2020 OP
liberalmuse Jun 2020 #1
CatLady78 Jul 2020 #2