23.4.4 Final disposal: burial pits
Burial pits are acceptable for some wastes but ideally, there should be separate pits for general healthcare wastes and for hazardous healthcare waste. The general waste could be transported to community refuse pits, if there are any. Burial pits for hazardous waste should be properly fenced to prevent access by people or animals. They should not be used, however, in areas with a high groundwater table. The bottom of the pit should be at least 1.5 m higher than the groundwater table for disposal of solid waste. You should make sure that the final disposal of hazardous waste by reputable waste handlers is performed according to applicable federal and local regulations.
A sharps pit is a particular type of burial pit that should be used only for the final disposal of needles and other sharps. Safety boxes should be incinerated to sterilise the contents before carefully collecting the residue for disposal in the sharps pit. A properly constructed sharps pit should have a cover at the surface and be lined with cement to make it watertight in order to avoid contamination of groundwater and soil. It must have a fence around it. For a Health Post, the pit need not be large and can take many years to fill.