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NEW - Coronavirus Testing and Waste Disposal

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Coronavirus Testing and Infectious Waste Disposal

Initial Medical is supporting UK businesses with the collection and disposal of waste associated with the Coronavirus pandemic. This includes infectious waste which may be contaminated or potentially contaminated with Coronavirus and waste from nationwide testing and vaccinations programmes.

Keeping our customers compliant with the complex legislation surrounding clinical and chemical waste is key to our operations. As experts in the collection and disposal of healthcare and infectious waste, we adhere to all NHS and legislative guidelines.

The UK Government announcement in January, introducing mass lateral flow testing within businesses, shifted the emphasis of Coronavirus testing onto asymptomatic individuals. We are here to support you with the changes to your waste management brought about by these new tests. 

Correct Coronavirus waste management

Under the NHS England 'COVID-19 waste management standard operation procedure', any waste generated from a possible or a confirmed case of Coronavirus must be disposed of as Category B waste. 

This is identified as orange-stream infectious waste, which is known or suspected to contain pathogens in Category B and is disposable by alternative treatment. 

Any infectious waste produced, including gloves, aprons, overalls, face masks, paper towels and swabs, should be disposed of into UN3291 orange clinical waste bags and handled accordingly. There is currently no requirement to double-bag waste produced.

Lateral flow tests and waste disposal

Lateral flow tests are categorised as chemical waste by The Department of Health under the European Waste Codes (EWC) 18 01 07 and 18 01 04. The lateral flow devices cannot be mixed with other waste types and must be incinerated.

The personal protective equipment (PPE) used to conduct the lateral flow tests is categorised as offensive waste (EWC 18 01 04) and should be stored separately from the lateral flow test kits in the black and yellow stripe waste stream.

With the vast majority of waste disposal and treatment centres across the UK currently at capacity due to the extra PPE waste being generated, Initial Medical has secured additional capacity at several disposal sites, to ensure it can help to meet the anticipated demand for the disposal of used lateral flow test kits.

We also have created a selection of colour coded-waste management posters to aid correct waste segregation on your site. You can download our colour code posters here.

Lateral flow device collections

Initial Medical have designed a specialist collection service to dispose of your lateral flow test kits.

All lateral flow test kits will be disposed of into clear 90L waste bags provided by ourselves. We will supply black and yellow stripe bags for disposing of used PPE. We can also provide internal and external waste bins for the storage of the lateral flow waste prior to waste collections.

Our specialist waste collection services will visit at a frequency to suit the expected amount of waste generated. Your waste will be collected in a manner that will keep you compliant with the heightened regulations surrounding chemical waste.

What are lateral flow tests?

Lateral flow tests give results within 30 minutes, without the need for any involvement of laboratory testing.

These tests are to be used by asymptomatic individuals in order to cut transmission levels among carriers of Coronavirus who show no symptoms. The test is self-administered and is therefore easy to organise in your workplace.

According to NHS England, those on your site or in your workplace should be taking a test twice a week; speak to your local Initial Medical expert about the amount of waste storage you will need for used lateral flow test kits.

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Coronavirus vaccination and testing sites

We are supporting Coronavirus vaccination and testing sites with their assembly, ongoing clinical waste management and routine specialist disinfection services

With potential large volumes of visitors to these sites, the risk for cross-infection could be high. To reduce these risks, ensure that you have hand sanitisers available for both staff and visitors. 

Maintaining good waste segregation at these sites is vital. Initial Medical's expert consultants will be able to guide you through these requirements. You must dispose of any infectious clinical waste generated into the orange waste stream. However, items such as non-infectious PPE should be disposed of into the black and yellow offensive waste stream.

What waste provisions do you need to consider?

Vaccination sites

Vaccination sites will require waste disposal of any generated PPE waste. In addition, needles used for Coronavirus vaccinations are considered highly infectious sharps waste and therefore must be disposed of into yellow sharps bins.

Testing sites

You may require different waste streams, dependent on the type of Coronavirus test you are implementing. When finger prick testing, you will require a hazardous orange sharps container for used needles. When conducting lateral flow tests, clear bags will be required for disposal as chemical waste.

Clinical waste bag tie poster download

Fill in this quick form below to receive an informative poster download by email on how to properly seal a clinical waste bag.

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