The burning desire of Tiruchirapalli residents to safely get rid of mountains of hospital waste has now been fulfilled. The School of Energy Studies of the local Bharathidasan University has come up with a state-of-the-art incinerator which will do just that.
Heaps of noxious waste, including bloodsoaked cotton, used bandages and amputated organs are discarded by the hospitals every day. Private parties previously contracted by the Tiruchirapalli Municipal corporation merely collected the waste and dumped it on the banks of the Cauvery.
Besides some pathogens surviving the mild ordeal they were put through in local incinerators, some fumes also leaked out. The new equipment is far more effective.
Says S Ramachandran, project coordinator, "The combustion chamber, made of mild steel, is lined with castable refractory powder capable of withstanding very high temperatures. The incinerator uses liquid petroleum gas as fuel." The temperatures match international standards of 800-900 degrees Celsius.
The municipal corporation is the first in the country to use such sophisticated waste-handling equipment.