Hyderabad, on a normal day, generates 3,500 metric tons of garbage. Around 10-15% of this is sanitary waste.
A single woman generates about 125-150 kg of sanitary waste of menstrual pads in her lifetime. According to the rules by pollution Control Board (PCB), sanitary waste should be classified as biomedical waste under the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998.
Sanitary waste has to be buried in a landfill under a thick layer of clay, lined with high-density polyethylene and should have no contact with soil and ground water.
The contractor appointed by the GHMC, Ramky, at the permanent dumping yard at Jawaharnagar, does not dispose sanitary waste in a scientific manner. The contractor is not separating the non-biodegradable waste and treating with plastic waste and is allegedly burnt for quick disposal, emitting dangerous toxins.
Disposable sanitary pads are mostly made of polypropylene (plastic fleece) and cannot be recycled.
GHMC says daily collection of such waste from households may not be feasible and added “GHMC regularly monitors Jawaharnagar. We ensure that no garbage is burnt and is disposed of as per the guidelines of the PCB. Segregating sanitary waste from the other household waste is a task.”
GHMC gave notice to Ramky recently following complaints of foul smell by locals. It is being alleged that Ramky is burning plastic waste with sanitary waste. Often huge piles of garbage are burnt at the permanent dumping yard. Recently the PCB had also issued notices to Ramky following complaints from residents that foul smell was extended up to 7 km from the site.
Animal waste from government slaughterhouses was also found dumped at the site. It is being alleged that the solid waste management contractor of GHMC burns plastic waste along with the sanitary waste.