In April, 2018, the Cabinet of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and. Tobago (GoRTT) approved the National Quality Policy of Trinidad and Tobago (NQP-TT) for the period 2018-2030. Amongst other priorities, the NQP-TT Implementation Plan included a programme to get public laboratories accredited in support of the national development strategies outlined in the Vision 2030 National Development Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago. To prepare laboratories for the process of accreditation, key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Planning and Development, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission, Environmental Management Authority and BCRC-Caribbean participated in a three day workshop from September 16 – 19, 2019 entitled “Hazardous Waste Management for Laboratories”.
The workshop provided a guide for participants on how to adequately manage waste, be it biological, radioactive or chemical waste generated by laboratories. It also included the tools used for the management of waste at each stage of the waste lifecycle, namely waste; generation, transportation, storage, recycling, treatment, and disposal. These waste management tools were further reinforced with a site visit to Tiger Tanks Trinidad Unlimited (TTTU), a local hazardous waste management facility. After completing the workshop, participants are expected to use the tools to address the issue of laboratory hazardous waste as part of the implementation of the respective quality management system, albeit ISO/IEC 17025 or ISO/IEC 15189.
Participants of the workshop included representatives from various public laboratories – Ministry of Health, National Quarries Company Limited, Insect Vector Control Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, The University of the West Indies, Institute of Marine Affairs, Water and Sewerage Authority, Trinidad & Tobago National Petroleum Marketing Company Limited, Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited, Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Services, Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) and South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA).