Jamaica News:The Hazardous Lab Waste Clean-up Ad Hoc Committee (HALWAC) has completed its pilot exercise for the incineration of 6,000 litres of toxic waste generated by public laboratories.
Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ recently, Director General at the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST), Professor Errol Morrison, said the exercise, which was undertaken by the Caribbean Cement Company and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), “went very smoothly”.
Professor Morrison indicated that this may soon become the way public laboratories deal with waste.
He said the Government was urged to look at institutions involved in research, and in 2015, an audit was completed for all the institutions using laboratories, including hospitals and schools.
Professor Morrison noted that the quantity of chemical waste found was large, as unused or waste chemicals had accumulated over decades.
He explained that the International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences (ICENS) has trained some university students to identify the chemicals found in some of these laboratories.
He said the process is a delicate one, “because if some of these chemicals are allowed to leak into the earth, they could contaminate the water”.
The HALWAC comprises representatives from agencies, such as the NCST, National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the NSWMA.
Source: JIS News