Recap of the First International Conference on Medical Waste Management in Russia (Moscow,19 March 2019)

On 19 March 2019, Moscow hosted its first international event on medical waste management. The speakers and attendees included representatives of authorities responsible for medical waste treatment, heads of state programs and leading experts, including ISWA Working Group on Healthcare Waste member, Sandra Eglite who spoke about introduction of system of collection, treatment and disposal of medical waste in Latvia.

23 May 2019 -

Today, requirements for environmental safety of the Russian population, in particular those related to safe handling of medical and pharmaceutical waste, are becoming increasingly tight. Over the past 10 years, the volume of medical waste has been increasing by 3-4% every year.

At the same time, in Russia, a significant amount of this waste is disposed to landfills and unorganized landfills. This is because of insufficiently developed regulatory legal framework and low awareness of interested parties about new opportunities for neutralizing (disposing) such waste.


Participants of the First International Conference on Medical Waste Management in Russia held in Moscow on 19 March 2019, discussed these and other issues.


Over 130 experts took part in the conference. Speakers included 20 government officials, supervisors and experts in regulatory issues in medical and pharmaceutical waste management. 


The conference focused in particular on:

  • gaps in the Russian legislation for medical and pharmaceutical waste management;
  • absence of appropriate terms for medical waste in the Russian Federal Waste Classification Catalogue;
  • absence of compulsory licensing for activities related to the treatment of medical, biological and pharmaceutical waste;
  • infrequent use of high-tech equipment (successfully used abroad) for disposing waste of medical organisations and pharmaceutical companies;
  • the need to introduce innovative developments and technologies for medical, biological and pharmaceutical waste management, provide relevant resources for monitoring and analysing objects of utilization and neutralization (and possibly recycling) of waste of medical organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

The conference was organised by Municipal Solid Waste magazine (Russia) and the Paradigma Vocational Education Center (Russia).


Following the Conference, a Resolution and suggestions (opinions) were submitted to the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, Russia’s top advisory body.




B.V. Boravsky, a participant of the First International Conference on Medical Waste Management in Russia, an expert at the Committee for Agriculture and Food Policy and Environmental Management at the Federation Council at the Russian Federal Assembly, comments: 

I am joining the majority of the Conference’s participants to say that prevention of environmental pollution with medical and pharmaceutical waste and, consequently, reduction in the level of risk for the population can only be achieved if an effective regulatory legal framework for waste management is put in place. Informing interested parties about appropriate equipment and technology is equally important. "


In order to improve people’s environmental safety, a system of medical and pharmaceutical waste, and prevention of non-disposed / non-disinfected waste from solid waste landfills should be properly organised. This would include:


  • developing a package of regulations for neutralization / decontamination of medical waste;  
  • updating existing legal acts for of neutralization / disinfection of pharmaceutical waste and drafting further legal documents if needed;
  • drafting legal framework for licensing activities related to collection, transportation, treatment, utilisation, disposal and placing medical waste;
  • using mass media to increase awareness of medical and pharmaceutical waste management in population and stakeholders.

Taking in account the transition to technological regulation based on Best Available Technology, as well as specifics of medical waste (primarily the danger that infected waste poses to the environment and human health*), it is worth developing A Guide on Best Available Technologies for Medical Waste Disposal (Decontamination).” This guide should be approved as a standardization document.


A meeting of the Commission for Ecology and Environmental Protection of the Russian Public Chamber will look into these and other suggestions during the discussion of the Conference Resolution. Following the meeting, these will be sent to the Government of the Russian Federation.


*these aspects are supervised by Rosprirodnadzor (Russian Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service) and Rospotrebnadzor (Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare)




Municipal Solid Waste is a specialized monthly magazine published in Russia since 2005. It is distributed to waste management equipment suppliers/manufactures, waste management contractors/operators, health authorities, facility management, local/municipal governments, central government, waste management consultancy, financial institutions concerned with waste, trade organizations, associations, NGOs, research or training establishment in the Russian Federation and CIS countries. The magazine covers collection, processing and treatment of solid waste material, advanced technologies and modern equipment, conditions and development trends Russian and world solid waste management. For more information please visit

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