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April 8, 2020

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Airport dealing with virus-tainted waste

Pudong International Airport handles about 6 tons of garbage and wastewater every day from flights that have carried suspected COVID-19 patients.

Strict procedures are in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus from the waste.

According to the airport’s “closed management” process, all solid waste on passenger aircraft is transported to a special site by the airlines. After disinfection, it is sent to Laogang in the Pudong New Area, the city’s largest garbage disposal facility, for incineration.

The waste liquid on the flights with suspected cases is disinfected and treated at a specialized sewage pump station at the airport before being discharged.

With the increasing number of imported COVID-19 cases on international flights since March, the amount of garbage requiring such treatment has increased to around 6 tons a day from about 1.2 tons previously, the Shanghai Airport Authority said yesterday.

Seven airport staff have been dispatched to disinfect and transport the waste. They commute between the airport’s garbage disposal site and the Laogang incineration plant and stay at a temporary dormitory at the airport to prevent contact with family or colleagues.

The airport has set up restricted areas and installed a mist cannon to spray disinfectant onto garbage from flights with COVID-19 cases.

All garbage bins and vehicles are disinfected after use. Two specialized vans transport the garbage to the incineration plant.

The airport treated about 202.8 tons of solid waste and 201.6 tons of wastewater from 688 flights with suspected COVID-19 cases between January 31 and yesterday.


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