Handling COVID-19 Medical Waste

Updated March 2020

Stericycle’s Regulatory and Safety teams have been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (formally known as novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV), particularly developments made in infection control related to the proper management of medical waste generated during treatment of patients infected with the virus. We are managing waste generated during treatment of COVID-19 in healthcare facilities across the country.

Waste Management

    The current position in Ireland is that the waste should be packaged and transported in accordance with the requirements for Category B pathogens and is suitable for alternative treatment disposal.

    This means that the waste can be packaged in yellow bags and consigned as infectious clinical waste suitable for treatment (EWC code 180103, UN number UN3291, Stericycle waste type HT).

    Packaging Guideline Reminders

      Waste producers must ensure that COVID-19 waste is packaged in UN approved containers that are correctly sealed and marked. All waste must be packaged and presented for collection in accordance with our Waste Acceptance Criteria which can be found here.


      PLEASE NOTE: Stericycle Reusable Sharps Customers

        Waste arising from Covid-19 treatment should be disposed of in single use containers, not the Bio Systems reusable containers.

        These single use containers can then be placed in the 770 litre wheeled bins, along with the risk waste bags, for treatment at our Beech Road facility. This ensures that all waste can be treated at one facility, with minimum handling of waste.

        Stericycle Proactive Measures

          At Stericycle, we are taking proactive measures to keep our team members, healthcare workers and communities safe in the wake of the current global Coronavirus situation. We have a global, cross-functional team monitoring the situation to ensure precautions are taken accordingly and communicated effectively.

          To date at Stericycle:

          • We have established a ban on all travel to high-risk countries. Additionally, we are limiting business travel to matters critical to safety, compliance, maintenance and essential customer support.
          • We are communicating governmental guidance on infection prevention and when to self-isolate and seek medical assistance to each one of our team members, and we require them to follow this guidance.
          • We have established procedures for the safe and compliant management and disposal of clinical waste arising from the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
          • Our Environmental, Safety and Health and leadership teams are routinely communicating with our organisation and providing guidance on precautionary measures for both work and home.

          At present, we will continue to service all our customers, taking into account the above precautions. Our regulatory and safety teams are continuously monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19, and we will adapt our practices as necessary should the situation evolve