Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016

Any waste produced during the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of humans or animals, or during related research activities, as well as during the manufacture or testing of biological products in health camps, is referred to as biomedical waste in the Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016, which were published. With proper segregation, collection, and treatment, biomedical waste can be disposed of without harming the environment or health care employees.

What is Bio-medical Waste?

The waste coming out from largely from the hospital and other such medical clinics is referred as bio-medical waste. For example, gloves, dressings, swabs, needles, scalpels, disinfectants, solvents, expired or unused drugs, vaccines, and other pharmaceutical products that can have negative impacts on human health and the environment. Biomedical waste is extremely dangerous and can result in fatal or life-threatening infections, making it a problem that affects the entire world. To decrease the potential health repercussions, biomedical waste management is crucial.

  • The term "biomedical waste" refers to materials utilized in healthcare institutions for treatment and study, including anatomical waste from humans and animals as well as medical equipment like needles and syringes.

  • In medical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, pathological laboratories, blood banks, etc., this waste is produced during the diagnostic, treatment, or immunization process.

Types of Bio-medical Waste

Four color groups are used to categorize biomedical waste −


This category of waste includes things like human anatomical waste, animal anatomical waste, soiled waste, expired or discarded waste, chemical waste, chemical liquid waste (separate collection system leading to effluent treatment system), discarded linen, mattresses, and beddings contaminated with blood or bodily fluids, as well as waste from clinical laboratories for microbiology, biotechnology, and other purposes.


Garbage produced by disposable products such tubing, bottles, intravenous tubes and sets, urine bags, syringes, and gloves falls under this category. It also contains contaminated recyclable waste.

White (translucent)

It comprises metals and sharps waste (includes used, contaminated and discarded metal sharps)


This category includes metallic body implants as well as broken, tainted, or discarded glass.

What are Biomedical Waste Rules, 2016?

Under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) published the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.

  • In order to implement the authority granted by Sections 6, 8, and 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 and to replace the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules of 1998 and any subsequent amendments thereto, the Central Government published the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016.

  • In order to improve the collection, segregation, treatment, and disposal facilities of biomedical waste produced by hospitals and laboratories and to lessen environmental pollution, the Government of India decided to publish a new set of regulations in 2016 under the name Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016, superseding the previous one with various changes and additions.

Salient Features of BWM Rules, 2016

Major features are −

  • The scope of the regulations has been widened to cover any healthcare-related activity, such as immunization camps, blood donation camps, and surgical camps;

  • Within two years, phase out the usage of chlorinated plastic gloves, bags, and bags for blood;

  • Onsite disinfection or sterilization of laboratory waste, microbiological waste, blood samples, and blood bags in accordance with WHO or NACO guidelines;

  • Provide all of its healthcare professionals with training and routine immunizations;

  • Establish a bar-code system for disposal of biomedical waste contained in bags or containers;

  • The new regulations provide stricter requirements for incinerators in order to lower environmental pollution emissions;

  • inclusion of Dioxin and furan emission caps;

  • Land will be provided by the state government to establish a facility for the treatment and disposal of biomedical waste;

  • If a service of "common bio-medical waste treatment facility" is accessible at a distance of 75 kilometers, no occupier may build an on-site treatment and disposal facility.

  • To ensure the prompt collection of biomedical waste from the HCFs and help the HCFs undertake training, the operator of a common biomedical waste treatment and disposal facility is responsible.

Amendments in Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 Rules

To increase compliance and reinforce the execution of environmentally sound management of biomedical waste in India, the Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016, have been revised.

To protect the environment, the new rules state that organizations that produce bio-medical waste, such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and dispensaries, must stop using chlorinated plastic bags and gloves after March 27, 2019. According to the 2018 revisions to the BMW guidelines, blood bags are excluded from the phase-out.

Latest Context of Biomedical Waste

According to statistics from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), roughly 616 Tons per day of bio-medical waste (BMW) were produced in the nation in 2019 due to the treatment and quarantine of COVID-19 patients, diagnostic procedures, and other factors.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has instructed several agencies to ensure compliance from the nation's facilities for managing biomedical waste.

  • The 202 Common Bio-medical Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities (CBWTFs) have been given permission by the state pollution control boards and pollution control committees (SPCBs/PCCs) to collect and dispose of the BMW, including COVID-19 waste.

  • Additionally, each HCF has erected approximately 18,178 captive disposal facilities for the pre- and/or post-treatment of the BMW.

Importance of Disposal of Bio-medical Waste

The negative effects on healthcare workers and the environment are minimized by scientifically disposing of biomedical waste through segregation, collection, and treatment in an environmentally sound manner.

  • According to estimates, a hospital bed in India produces 1-2 kg of garbage every day.

  • 15% of hospital waste is infectious or harmful, while 85% of it is not.

  • Combining hazardous substances contaminates the waste as a whole and renders it dangerous.

  • Separation and treatment are required because improper disposal raises the risk of infection.

  • Encourages the recycling of discarded drugs, contraband, and other items.

  • Develops bacteria that are resistant.


In terms of improved segregation, transportation, and disposal techniques, the current BMWM 2016 guidelines are an improvement over previous regulations in order to lessen environmental pollution and ensure the safety of staff, patients, and the general public. Additionally, it is encouraging to see the development of newer, more inventive, eco-friendly techniques for disposing of BMW and the increased usage of non-PVC medical equipment. Every participant in BMWM should promise to maintain a cleaner and greener environment.


Q1. Who introduced biomedical waste management?

Ans. The Ministry of Environment and Forests Govt. of India notified the “Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules” in July 1998.

Q2. When did biomedical waste management and handling rules introduced in India?

Ans. Bio-medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998 were notified by the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Q3. How many categories of waste are defined in biomedical waste management and handling rules 1998?

Ans. The ten different categories of garbage must be placed in four different colored containers or bags in accordance with the rules. Techniques include deep burial, incineration, autoclaving, micro waving, mutilation, shredding, and chemical disinfection must be used to treat the wastes.

Updated on: 16-Mar-2023


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