PPE and Swab disposal

What's the difference between hazardous and offensive waste?

Is your waste hazardous or offensive?

It's crucial to know the difference, as it's illegal to mix hazardous waste with any other kind. If you are conducting mass Covid-19 testing, it's especially important that you understand how waste is classified, and how each type of waste needs to be disposed of.


Offensive waste

Offensive waste is a type of non-hazardous waste, meaning that it will not necessarily cause harm to anyone it comes into contact with; but, as the name suggests, it is still unpleasant. It includes things like hygiene and sanitary waste, alongside PPE. Due to the nature of this type of waste, it cannot be disposed of in your general waste bins alongside other types of rubbish. Even though PPE waste can be disposed of via landfill, it cannot be collected by the same vehicles as general waste, hence the need for segregation.

The waste generated from Covid testing kits is categorised as both offensive and non-hazardous; whilst it may not present a hazard to those it comes into contact with, it still needs to be handled appropriately. It needs to be stored separately before being disposed of at a specialist facility, where it must be incinerated.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste, on the other hand, can cause harm to handlers or the environment and needs to be handled following a different set of guidelines. It includes acidic waste, solvents, effluents, radioactive materials and much more. Specialist hazardous waste services, as we offer at Veolia, enable different types of waste to be identified, safely handled and disposed of appropriately.

Although on the surface it may seem like hazardous and offensive waste are very similar, it's crucial from environmental, compliance and economic perspectives that you evaluate your waste and dispose of it correctly. Separating Covid testing kit waste from any other kind of waste, hazardous or otherwise, is essential for efficient disposal.

How can Veolia help you dispose of waste from mass Covid testing?

We can provide an enclosed skip or clip top drum for swab kits and PPE, both of which fall under the offensive waste category. These containers are then collected when full and taken to one of our seven facilities permitted to take offensive waste, where it will then be appropriately treated.

Find out more about how we can equip your business for mass Covid testing


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