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Disposing of COVID Tests Correctly

Clinical Waste Bins

November 11, 2020

Disposing of COVID Tests Correctly

During the COVID-19 pandemic, WGS Waste Management are helping all those who require testing facilities with the safe disposal of their infectious waste. We have been helping nationwide testing and vaccination programmes as well as schools who are conducting testing for staff and students weekly. We can increase this to daily for those staff/students found to be in a bubble with a confirmed positive test. We work flexibly to suit your needs.

Please note: “Testing waste (18 01 04 / 18 01 07) can contain liquids and the landfilling of liquids is prohibited.”

Rest assured that none of our collected waste streams will end up in landfill.

COVID Vaccination Waste Disposal

It is vital to keep our clients and the public safe, by disposing of waste correctly and in line with the legislative guidelines. The classifications of vaccination waste are different dependent on where the vaccinations are administered. In hospitals and healthcare facilities such as GP surgeries, vaccinations are classified as 18 01 03*/09 and should be disposed of in a UN approved yellow lidded sharps bin. In all other facilities, including mass vaccination centres and community, vaccinations are classified as 18 01 01/09, and will still be disposed of in a UN approved yellow lidded sharps bin.

Waste from mass vaccination centres and community is non-hazardous and can be transported without a consignment note. Therefore, community nurses can return to a base to dispose of the waste safely. Labels on sharps bins must be fully completed so that all waste is traceable back to the point of production.

The outer packaging that the vaccines come in, commonly known as the ‘pizza box’, must be disposed of in the confidential waste stream. Boxes need to be flattened and stored in secure containers and shredded on site. This can be a security risk if these get into the wrong hands.

Do not forget that all PPE is classed as offensive waste and must be disposed of correctly. This includes aprons, gloves, face masks and overalls. We are collecting PPE from healthcare settings which is classed as hazardous. We collect this waste in orange bags (18 01 03) to enable segregation to premises that already have an 18 01 04 waste stream in place such as Nursing Homes.

Disposing of Infectious Personal Waste

If you have had a positive COVID-19 test, or you suspect you could have the virus, it is important to dispose of your personal waste such as used tissues and face masks correctly. All personal waste which has been used by someone with the virus should be securely stored in another waste bag and kept separate from other waste. These bags should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being disposed of. These items should never go in the recycling bin and always should go in your general waste disposal.

Please get in touch with our team to set up a flexible, safe waste disposal contract for your testing facility. Gain peace of mind knowing your COVID testing waste is being disposed of according to recommended guidelines, and therefore helping to stop the spread of the virus.

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