Overview of technologies for the treatment of infectious and sharp waste from health care facilities

Resource type
World Health Organization
Geographic area

The waste produced in the course of health care activities, from contaminated needles to radioactive isotopes, can cause infection and injury, and inadequate management is likely to have serious public health consequences and deleterious effects on the environment. Choosing the appropriate technology for treating health care waste can be difficult, when taking into account technical, financial and environmental requirements.

This document provides an overview of specific health care waste technologies for the treatment of solid infectious and sharp waste. For each technology, details of its operation, effects on the environment and health, requirements for installation, capacities for treating waste, examples of consumables and advantages and disadvantages are described. The document is designed for health care facility administrators and planners, WASH and infection prevention control staff, national planners, donors and partners.