The Environment Agency (EA) now says healthcare workers treating patients with (or suspected) COVID-19 in their own homes can dispose of personal protective equipment (PPE) waste through the householder’s normal non-recyclable waste collection.
Normally personal protective equipment (PPE) waste from healthcare workers treating patients in their own homes would be coded as healthcare waste and collected separately from the patient’s home through a courier collection service, or taken back to the relevant NHS England (NHSE) hospital or practice for disposal.
The EA says that as more people with COVID-19 (or suspected COVID-19) will need healthcare in their own homes, it has produced a COVID-19 regulatory position statement (RPS) to minimise the need for multiple separate collections of PPE waste from households.
It says this will also minimise the risk of healthcare workers transmitting COVID-19 by taking PPE waste back to an NHSE hospital or practice.
If conditions in the COVID-19 RPS are followed, NHSE healthcare workers treating patients with (or suspected) COVID-19 in their own homes can dispose of PPE waste through the householder’s normal non-recyclable waste collection.
The PRS follows the decision from the EA to also allow waste facility operators to “temporarily store more waste” than their permit allows – a move the ESA says will relieve “some of the pressure facing waste facility operators”.