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Managing Waste Disposal and Used PPE For Businesses During COVID-19

Managing Waste Disposal and Used PPE For Businesses During COVID-19
20 May 2020
 

As many non-healthcare businesses are using PPE to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, it is essential that such items are disposed of correctly.

Often PPE items will be disposed of within the workplace, requiring a proper disposal route to complete the COVID-secure chain.

Businesses in London and Birmingham can now easily and responsibly dispose of face masks, gloves and other forms of workplace personal protective equipment, thanks to a new disposal service from waste and recycling company, First Mile.

"Being COVID-secure is of vital importance, and ensuring that PPE is handled separately to other waste streams should be a key consideration within any risk assessments.”

–Bruce Bratley

CEO, First Mile

 

Being COVID-secure

 

Visitors and staff simply drop any used masks or gloves into one of First Mile’s self-contained sack-lined PPE boxes. Once full, the box is easily fastened – without the need to touch or remove the sack after filling,  and businesses book a free collection. Boxes are then collected as part of a dedicated PPE pickup service to avoid cross-contamination, and taken for incineration in line with Offensive Waste guidelines.

Speaking about the new service, First Mile founder and CEO, Bruce Bratley, says: “Whatever the exact rules are as we emerge from lockdown, there will undoubtedly be an impact on businesses’ waste management, a service which is often left to the last minute. Now is the time and opportunity for companies to integrate end-of-life thinking into their plans. Being COVID-secure is of vital importance, and ensuring that PPE is handled separately to other waste streams should be a key consideration within any risk assessments.”

 

Checklist for effective COVID-19 business waste management

 

First Mile has the following advice for businesses operating (or planning to reopen) during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. Share your risk assessment with your waste provider so they can support you
  2. Ensure bins and bin areas have been thoroughly cleaned before your teams return to work and arrange a deep clean for bins and bin areas
  3. Avoid leaving waste on site for extended periods. Ensure cleaners are briefed to empty and change office bins on a daily basis (or more regularly depending on the size of your business). Switch to more regular flexible services like sack collections instead of infrequent wheelie bin collections
  4. Restrict external companies and visitors from entering the building/floor-walking. If necessary, agree a new pick-up point with your waste collector. Brief cleaners or facilities staff to service internal bins (including confidential waste) and deliver the sacks to the pre-agreed pick-up point
  5. Make GDPR-compliant arrangements for confidential waste at employee's homes. Use an 'at-home' shredding service for confidential waste
  6. Single-use PPE should be handled separately from other waste streams to limit contamination risk. Ask your waste collector to provide a dedicated PPE service

Picture: A photograph of a First Mile waste collection vehicle

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 20 May 2020

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