|Abstract:||Theoretical basis and purpose: Healthcare waste arises from healthcare activities and medical procedures carried out in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, veterinary and research centres. Improper waste management can expose healthcare workers, patients and the wider community to infections, toxic effects, injuries, and increases the risk of environmental pollution. The purpose of the master’s thesis is to study the data on the generation and collection of healthcare waste in Slovenia from 2011 to 2016, as well as in selected European countries, and to determine which types of healthcare waste are collected most and how they are handled.
Research methodology: In present research, we examined the data from the annual reports on the waste generation during the period 2011–2016, collected by the Slovenian Environment Agency, and analysed the data with descriptive statistics.
Results: The results of the research showed that the amount of waste generated in Slovenia has declined sharply after 2012. In 2011, 11.393.758 kilograms of healthcare waste was generated, while in 2016 the number dropped to 5.767.176. Healthcare waste is processed according to the procedures R12 and R13, and disposed according to D9, D10 and D13.
Discussion and conclusion: A large amount of waste is generated due to materials intended for single use. While healthcare waste is being properly classified and disposed in well developed countries, this is not the case in less developed countries, which is why they should implement legislation and strategies to regulate healthcare waste generation and management. Inappropriate treatment of healthcare waste, especially in underdeveloped countries, exposes health professionals and wider society to infections, toxic effects, and has an adverse impact on the environment.|