- Volume 41 Issue 6
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A Study on the Spatial Distribution of Medical Waste Generation and Treatment in Korea
한국의 의료폐기물 발생 및 처리의 공간적 분포에 관한 연구
- Oh, Se-Eun ;
- Lee, Jinheon ;
- Ahn, Hoki ;
- Kim, Ki-Youn ;
- Park, Seokhwan ;
- Ha, Kwonchul ;
- Ji, Kyunghee ;
- Hwang, Sungho ;
- Yoon, Oh-Sub ;
- Hong, Young-Seoub ;
- Lee, Eunil ;
- Kim, Pangyi ;
- Lee, Kyoung-Mu
- Received : 2015.10.01
- Accepted : 2015.12.09
- Published : 2015.12.28
Objectives: In Korea, the system of management of medical waste largely relies on the incineration method. Our study aimed to identify any regional imbalances between the generation and treatment of medical waste, and provide reference data for future policy in Korea. Methods: We analyzed data on the amount of medical waste from 2,000 hospitals in 2012, 2013, and 2014 obtained from the Korea Environment Corporation. In the Arc GIS program (version 10.2.3), the addresses of hospitals and incinerators were transformed into map coordinates. The amount of waste generated by each hospital and the amount incinerated were represented by density and size of a triangle symbol, respectively. Results: As of 2014, the total amount of medical waste from the top 2,000 hospitals was 136,073 tons, out of which about half (49%) was generated in the capital area. Eleven incineration companies (three in the capital area, two in the Chungcheong Provinces area, one in the Jeolla Provinces area, and five in the Gyeongsang Provinces area) treated this waste. For the years 2012, 2013, and 2014, about 60% of the medical waste generated from the hospitals in the capital area was treated within the capital area and about 40% was transported to other areas, especially the Gyeongsang Provinces area, for treatment. On the other hand, about 90% of the medical waste incinerated in the capital area originated from the capital area. Conclusion: Our results suggest a spatial imbalance between the generation and treatment of medical waste in Korea and warrants multilateral policies, including the expansion of on-site treatment, strengthening regulation of the containment of medical wastes, promoting reductions in medical waste and more.
Incineration;medical waste;spatial distribution;transportation
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