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You do not require a specialist collection for your lateral flow tests, unless in a dedicated testing facility.
There has been a lot of talk recently about the implementation of lateral flow tests (LFD) to encourage workers back to the office, children back to school and hospitality to open on a large scale. The disposal of the test devices and supporting PPE has been up for debate. Recent government advice has provided clarity on the required procedure, and it varies depending on your location.
At home, workplaces and schools
Unless the location is set up as a dedicated testing facility – any waste associated with the lateral flow testing can be disposed of within the waste streams already in place. i.e. waste for incineration. As such, no expensive additional waste disposal services will be required.
At healthcare facilities and mass testing sites
Due to the higher concentration of kits, these should be disposed of as non-hazardous offensive healthcare wastes. Hospitals and other registered healthcare facilities must dispose of their wastes in accordance with HTM07-01 Safe Management of Healthcare Wastes and the NHSEI Standard Operating procedure for waste.
We have put together a handy disposal guide covering waste from office, home, and healthcare settings:
Don’t get caught out paying for expensive extra services when disposing of LFD kits within the workplace. Bywaters is following government guidelines whilst handling and disposing of these kits, and encourage all businesses across the UK to do the same. If you have any queries, we remain on hand to assist, contact us today.
I am still not sure?
Due to the confusion surrounding the disposal of LFD’s, Defra has released a series of FAQ’s covering the topic of disposal and safety. We have picked out some of the most important to highlight the correct disposal procedure in different settings.
Why are LFD wastes arising at registered healthcare facilities and mass testing sites managed differently to those wastes from LFD tests completed at schools or in the workplace?
The legislative framework regarding waste duty of care requires that waste is coded based on the source of that waste. The primary function of a mass testing site, including those on university campuses, is to carry out LFD tests, so the waste from these sites will be predominantly LFD testing wastes. There will be very little waste generated other than LFD associated wastes. As dedicated mass testing sites are run as healthcare facilities, the waste must be classified as non-hazardous offensive healthcare wastes.
Hospitals and other registered healthcare facilities must dispose of their wastes in accordance with HTM07-01 Safe Management of Healthcare Wastes and the NHSEI Standard Operating procedure for waste.
Where LFD testing is being undertaken as an ancillary function to regular business, such as at a school or workplace that is not a registered healthcare facility and not a dedicated site for the Test & Trace programme, LFD wastes are not considered to be healthcare wastes and can be managed alongside other wastes arising at that location, i.e. residual (‘black bag’) wastes. Whilst the composition of LFD wastes is the same from both locations, and has been confirmed by Public Health England to not present any increased risk compared to other waste, such as personal hygiene waste. The legislative framework regarding waste duty of care requires that waste is coded based on the source of that waste.
Can you recycle LFD wastes?
The external packaging of LFD testing kits should, in agreement with your waste contractor, be recycled.
Frequently Asked Questions
LFD wastes arising at registered healthcare facilities and dedicated COVID-19 testing sites that have been established e.g. mass population testing sites, including those on university campuses, should be segregated and managed in accordance with Department of Health & Social Care guidance: Waste codes for mass testing with lateral flow antigen testing devices.
Where LFD testing is being undertaken as an ancillary function to regular business, such as at a school or workplace that is not a registered healthcare facility and not a dedicated site for the purpose of the Test & Trace programme, the LFD test itself (swab, cartridge/device) is not currently recyclable and should be disposed of in your other residual (‘black bag’) waste bins. Any disposable equipment such as face coverings, gloves, or aprons worn during the LFD testing process, either by those undertaking the test or those supervising others taking LFD tests, should also be disposed of in your residual (‘black bag’) waste bins.