Why Safe Waste Management Response is Important During Covid-19


The current situation has affected how we live our everyday lives across the globe, from meeting friends to working. Waste management is no different, and we have put together this article to let you know how you can help and why it’s important.

Waste Management Companies and Covid-19

Like all businesses, waste management companies are following the guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus. They are a necessity to keep control of the flow of waste and are helping maintain control of the virus. If you need to use their services, from picking up rubbish to skip hire, you can do your bit by making sure only the correct materials are discarded. 

Legitimate companies will get rid of the waste in a safe and efficient manner. They will also be following government guidelines to protect themselves and others. Some of these include:

  • Routinely cleaning and sanitising their vehicles, and any other objects they may touch. This includes cleaning everything down at both the start and end of their shift.
  • Staff told them to stay home if they are displaying symptoms. This includes if they have a family member who is showing signs of illness.
  • Wearing PPE including a face mask, eye protection, and overalls in some cases.
  • Keeping 6 feet away from other employees or the public. 

What Can You Do?

Everyone can do their bit to help and reduce the risk of passing the infection. If your face mask is washable and you can reuse it, you should as this helps reduce the amount of waste and risk of passing Covid-19. If you do need to throw them away, don’t put them in the recycling bag as they are not suited for this. The best place to put them is in the black bin bag with your normal rubbish.

If you are having to dispose of more waste than usual, due to the family being home in the current situation, your bins may be overflowing. If this is the case there are companies that offer a rubbish clearance service. They can pick up and safely dispose of any extra rubbish you may have for a reasonable cost. 

If anyone is displaying signs of coronavirus in your home, it is best to dispose of any waste linked to this separately. Wipes and tissues, for example, should be double-bagged separately and left separate for 72 hours. This will give the virus enough time to die off and reduce the likeliness it will transfer to someone else, a waste disposal person for example.

How Can Businesses Help?

If you own or run a business, there are several ways to reduce the amount of waste discarded and to do so safely.

  • Extra bins in place to allow customers to dispose of face masks and other waste they have accumulated. More bins mean social distancing as people aren’t all using the same one. 
  • The usual recycling facilities aren’t to be used for PPE, so make customers aware of what bins they should use. 
  • Keep an eye on the amount of litter in the bin and if overflowing, replace the bin bag.

Can Waste Transfer the Virus?

Food waste is not something you should be too worried about when concerning the transfer of Covid-19. This is usually cooked or frozen which would have killed it off. Catching the virus from the food packaging is very unlikely either.

The only real waste concern should be the items that contain body fluids. This includes wipes, napkins, and tissues. If a person has Covid-19 and someone was to come into contact with this type of waste, there is potential for them to catch it. That’s why it’s best to have it separately bagged and tied.


During these difficult times, it’s important to do all we can to help reduce the risk of infection. Safe waste management can help control the spread of the virus and everyone can get involved, from schools to businesses. Using the correct bins and being responsible is one step to doing your bit. Waste management companies will be able to help keep control of the amount of waste and dispose of it in the correct and safe way. 


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