Bipmedical waste management guidelines updated

The hospital waste management guidelines India has been updated recently in 2016. There are many changes in rules for segregation, packaging, transport, storage and disposal of biomedical waste. They are more simplified now. These are the main highlights useful for dnb pediatric examination, OSCE and viva.
According to the old guidelines (1998 and 2011 update), following categories of hospital waste management were recognized
Cat- 1 Human Anatomical Wastes (human body parts, tissues and organs)
Cat- 2 Animal Anatomical Wastes (Animal tissues, organs, body parts, waste generated by veterinary hospitals, animal houses)
Cat- 3 Microbiology and Biotechnology (specimens of micro-organisms live or attenuated vaccines etc)
Cat- 4 Waste Sharps (needles, syringes, scalpels ,blades, glass etc)
Cat- 5 Discarded medicines and Cytotoxic drugs (outdated, contaminated and discarded medicines)
Cat- 6 Soiled wastes (items contaminated with blood, body fluids such as cotton, dressings, linen, beddings etc)
Cat- 7 Solid wastes (waste generated from disposable items other than sharps such as tubing, catheters, IV sets)
Cat- 8 Liquid wastes ( washing, cleaning )
Cat- 9 Incineration ash
Cat- 10 Chemical wastes ( disinfectants, insecticides )
The old classification for type of container used for waste segregation was as follows:

Human & Animal anatomical waste / Micro-biology waste and soiled cotton/dressings/linen/beddings etc.
Method: Incineration / Deep burial

Tubings, Catheters, IV sets.
Method: Autolaving / Microwaving / Chemical treatment

Blue / White 
Waste sharps ( Needles, Syringes, Scalpels, blades etc. )
Method: Autolaving / Microwaving / Chemical treatment & Destruction / Shredding

Discarded medicines/cytotoxic drugs, Incineration ash, Chemical waste.
Method: Disposal in secured landfill

As Per the New guidelines on hospital waste management the Bio-medical waste is now classified in to 4 categories based on treatment options as compared to 10 in previous guidelines, (The 2011 update notified eight categories of biomedical waste from ten categories in the 1998 notification, The 2016 notification further brings down the number of categories to four.)

The categories and disposal options in 2016 guidelines are

biomedical waste management categories 2016
Image source: Reference 2

The Major changes in Biomedical waste management 2016 from that in 1998


1. Authorization mandatory for all, no matter how small is the HCF (Health care facility)
2. Formal annual report
3. Schedule and forms changed
4. Chemical pretreatment with 10% hypochlorite instead of 1%
5. New methods of disposal like pyrolysis, hydrolysis, encapsulasion and inertisation
6. More emphasis on recycling now

Major changes in Biomedical waste management 2016 from 1998 guidelines
Image source: Reference 2
The symbols used for biomedical waste segregation are:
Biomedical Hazard Label
biomedical waste hazard label
Cytotoxic hazard symbol
cytotoxic waste hazard label

Details about color coding for updated biomedical waste management here
2. Singhal L, Tuli AK, Gautam V. Biomedical waste management guidelines 2016: What's done and what needs to be done. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Aug 27];35:194-8. Available from:

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