Hazardous waste management in veterinary practice in Ireland
This study reports on a survey conducted in February 2006 of the hazardous waste management practices of Irish veterinary practices. Fifty seven veterinary practices responded to the anonymous postal survey which had been sent to a total of one hundred and fifty practices. The survey examined the veterinary practitioner’s knowledge of the legislation, and the practice management of veterinary cadavers, municipal waste, clinical waste, and specific hazardous waste streams such as sharps, pharmaceutical and chemical wastes. The results showed that veterinary practitioners were not ignorant of the hazardous status of many of their wastes and were aware of the legislation governing waste management in Ireland. Veterinary practices were successfully managing municipal waste streams with many of them recycling certain waste streams. Veterinary cadavers were disposed of through a pet cremation company, returned to the client for burial or sent for rendering to a rendering plant. However there was considerable non-compliance in relation to hazardous wastes. Many practices consigned infectious clinical wastes to municipal bins. 48% of practices did not dispose of waste medicines via hazardous waste contractors. 53% disposed of photochemical waste from radiographic processing down the sink or the toilet. Only 47% of vets felt that they were fully complying with waste regulations. Additional questionnaires to local authorities and hazard waste contractors showed that local authorities were receiving and acting on public complaints about veterinary waste, and as few as 50-60% of the veterinary practices in Ireland avail of the services o f a hazardous waste contractor.
- Theses - Science ITS 
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