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A regulatory position statement (RPS) outlining when COVID-19 infectious waste can be incinerated at a municipal facility without the need to vary a permit has been released.

Operators can process infectious waste providing they meet several conditions. This includes demonstrating that the producer has used all other appropriate options available for the waste’s treatment, ensuring the waste will not impact emissions and undertaking testing of incinerator bottom ash to confirm there is no change to its composition.

The RPS only allows operators to process the following, which does not include sharps waste.

  • 18 01 03 – orange bagged and containerised infectious waste from human healthcare activities
  • 18 01 03 and 18 01 07 – yellow bagged and containerised infectious waste from human activities dual coded with non-hazardous chemicals
  • 18 01 04 and 20 01 99 – offensive hygiene wastes (human)
  • 15 02 02 – absorbents, filter materials (including oil filters not otherwise specified), wiping cloths, protective clothing, contaminated by hazardous substances (COVID-19 cleansing waste)

A written agreement from the Environment Agency is required before an operator can use this COVID-19 RPS.

The RPS will be withdrawn on 30 June 2020. After this date you must have a permit authorising the activity or stop accepting the wastes.

References: Environment Agency

For more information on what GPT visit our website at

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