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The SCMS project is no longer active.

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Home > SCMS Community Center > Tools & Resources > Health Care Waste Management

Health care waste management is the management of waste generated within a health care facility, research center, pharmacy, central medical store, dispensary and laboratory. Between 75- 90% of the waste produced at these facilities is general waste, often referred to as “non-hazardous” waste. The remaining 10-25% of health care waste, which includes infectious and chemical waste, is regarded as “hazardous” and can result in environmental and health risks if not managed properly.

SCMS actively implements sustainable solutions that build technical and operational capacity and infrastructure to support sound management of hazardous waste.

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Technical Approach

To ensure the safety of the environment and community, SCMS has developed the health care waste management model to establish a standard approach to implement hazardous waste management initiatives that foster ownership while strengthening capacity.

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This model is divided into seven technical and operational areas:

  • Procurement
  • Point of generation
  • Storage
  • Transfer/transport
  • Treatment/destruction and/or disposal
  • Quality Management


Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Health Care Waste Management (HCWM) Toolkit

The VMMC HCWM Toolkit provides implementing partners with cost-effective and sustainable solutions for the responsible management of health care waste. SCMS based this toolkit on the SCMS Swaziland experience, South African National Standards, SCMS HCWM Model and international best practices. As was the case in Swaziland, the toolkit is expected to catalyze HCWM improvements in countries where it is implemented.

An interactive website version of the toolkit has also been created to broaden  access in addition to the downloadable PDF.

Pharmaceutical Waste Management Toolkit

SCMS is developing a pharmaceutical waste management toolkit to provide guidance for managing unusable pharmaceuticals products based on international best practices. It will build controls while improving capacity and skills, thus empowering relevant parties to make informed and sound decisions. This project is slated to be completed early 2015.

Contact Us

To learn more about how SCMS can help address your health care waste management needs, please contact or call 571.227.8600

To date SCMS has assisted in responsibly disposing 792 metric tons of unusable medical products in seven SCMS supported countries (Swaziland, Nigeria, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Vietnam, Tanzania and Haiti).
The Supply Chain Management System (scms) is implemented by the Partnership for Supply Chain Management, Inc. This website was made possible through the support of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of contract no. GPO-I-00-05-00032-00. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of USAID or the US government.