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Covid testing in schools

By 2021-01-19No Comments

Lateral flow testing in Schools sees our education sector undertaking a public health offensive on a scale like never before. But with this critical new government initiative, many questions are raised about clinical waste management in the middle of the pandemic.

Stay at home. Go out with care. Support local businesses. Don’t leave the house. It’s fair to say that the Government’s response to the pandemic has been rather confusing at the best of times. No matter what camp you sit in, you undoubtedly have a million and one questions.

We are not here to argue any points for or against; we are here, as the leading independent provider of waste management solutions throughout the UK. We will take a look at how we can help in regard to recent developments in the hotly contested “covid testing in schools” area. This new strategy has thrown up even more questions for people of the UK, particularly schools themselves. 

Lateral flow testing (LFT)

The Government’s new direction with school ground testing has a few of the country’s greatest minds (and loudest voices) asking questions. Lateral Flow Testing, LFT for short, is reported to be a less accurate version of the standard lab-based-tests which the NHS have been carrying out since Covid-19 hit Britain, but importantly, these tests give us a quicker result each time – and that is where the debate lies.

Some believe the LFT strategy is essential to quelling outbreaks in schools and important in keeping kids across the UK in classrooms. Others believe the bold strategy gives teachers, pupils and parents false reassurance and as such, could lead to students staying in school and potentially spreading the virus further instead of isolating from the safety of their homes.

This strategy has now extended to the workforce with many businesses undertaking an LFT-style operation to ensure they can get workers safely back in work. However, little thought is often given to how the waste produced by this testing can be compliantly disposed of, in accordance with Government Guidelines. This process can be confusing and unclear without proper advice.

The three-bin system

There is an NHS How To Guide which will give you the baseline information you will need to get the process underway. Essentially, each school or business will need to set up a new three-bin system; ‘General’, ‘Chemical’ and ‘Offensive’ waste. You can use existing bins on-site if you have a big supply, but you should separate these new bins from the school’s existing general waste. If you need additional bins – GPT Waste Management can help you. 

GPT is already regarded as experts in Clinical Waste Disposal and we work closely with a number of approved Service Partners. We deliver compliant disposal services for all clinical waste streams on a national basis for a variety of Hospitals, Clinics, Schools and MOD Establishments. With that experience, GPT Waste Management have produced a simple, compliant and most importantly, cost-effective Service Offer for the disposal of Covid-19 Lateral Flow Test waste from your school or now, your business, on a UK wide basis.

The LFT waste process

By now, schools and businesses should have received a run of black, yellow and tiger bin bags along with their testing kits. Again, we are on hand if that’s not the case. For each 1,000 LFTs, you would typically see about 6.5kgs of waste across yellow and tiger bags and 4kg of waste in the black bags.

  • All test packaging and general waste should go in the black bin bags and into ‘General’ waste (away from the rest of the school’s general waste).
  • Swabs, tissues and cartridges should go into ‘Chemical’ waste (yellow bags).
  • PPE gear, mop heads and cloths go into the ‘Offensive’ waste bins (in tiger bags).

Good to know is that your ‘General’ waste can be disposed of via your existing methods, but you should check with your disposal contractor regarding the other two types of waste packaging.

How GPT waste can help you

There is a constant stream of new information coming into schools and people across the UK, so it’s worth checking in on NHS and Government websites with any questions you may have. When it comes to waste management of new testing sites, testing kits and an uplift in your waste for disposal, GPT Waste is here to help.

Over the past 5 years, GPT Waste has facilitated over 2 million movements across the UK, managed over 50,000 tonnes of waste across the UK per year and have delivered 95.82% landfill diversion on all tonnage under our management. 

GPT Waste offers a strategic review of your waste management requirements in order to identify environmental and cost benefits. Our approach has made us the UK’s leading independent waste management company.

 

To speak to someone about your waste management requirements, call 0844 854 5000 or email info@gptwaste.com.

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