160 tonnes of BMW generated during Bihar elections

Nearly 160 tonnes of biomedical waste was generated during the Bihar assembly polls held amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the state’s election authorities. This includes gloves, face masks, and empty sanitizer bottles used by polling personnel and voters.

The Election Commission had procured 18 lakh face shields, 70 lakh face masks, 5.4 lakh single-use rubber gloves for polling and security personnel, and 7.21 crore ‘one hand’ single-use polythene gloves for voters to press the EVM button and sign the register at the polling stations. It had also bought a total of 29 lakh hand sanitizer bottles of 100 and 500 ml.

The poll authorities also relied on technology used to track EVMs to ensure that the waste reached public health centres for its onward journey to the incinerator.

All districts have their biomedical waste (BMW) disposal agency. “The challenge was the agency would lift BMW from health centers, hospitals but not lift from polling stations. The districts then appointed BMW workers,” authorities informed news agency, PTI.

On polling day, the workers would place two yellow-colored dustbins per polling station for disposal of used masks, gloves, and sanitizer bottles. A team with a vehicle and BMW workers was tagged with 10 to 15 polling stations. After the polling was concluded, the team would pick up the dustbins from the polling stations and bring it to the public health center it was tagged to. From the PHC, the waste was taken for incineration in polythene bags.

Picture Credit: Photo by Robin Benzrihem on Unsplash.com

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