The Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) says a video circulating on social media showing a build-up of bio-hazard medical waste at the incinerator site at the old Scarborough General Hospital showed the “usual collection of bio-hazard waiting to be incinerated.”
In a release on Wednesday, the TRHA said the video was “sensationalising a normal part of the incineration process.”
“Visible waste build-up awaiting incineration is a necessary part of the incineration process, but visually unappealing to the public,” it added.
On Tuesday, the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) shared a 45-second video with the media highlighting the situation.
The video showed waste in red garbage bags, containers piled high in a room, and on the ground, spilling over to the corridor, with liquid-like substances running from the pile.
The TRHA acknowledged the video was taken at the hospital. It noted too that the incinerators are working, and the pile showed waste from 18 medical facilities in Tobago.
“TRHA’s incinerator is fully operational and burning 500-600 kilogrammes of bio-hazard waste on a daily basis, including weekends and public holidays,” the release said.
It assured the public the process of getting rid of the waste is done in accordance with “international, environmental best practice standards.”
It said the process included treatment of the water so that the “wastewater can be made safe for surrounding areas.”
It also said the incinerator’s area is secured and not readily accessible to the public.
However, it said there was now a need to install “larger signs to deter trespassers as…determined persons can still gain access to the site.”
Addressing the issue of the health challenges faced by Signal Hill because of the incinerator’s smoke, the release said the TRHA is awaiting an incinerator will be removed and taken to old Scarbrorugh hospital.