Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator

The Environment Agency has now published an update to its Regulatory Position Statement (RPS C23) entitled “Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator: RPS C23”.

This COVID-19 RPS only applies to operators of permitted municipal waste incinerators. It sets out when you can accept and incinerate coronavirus (COVID-19) waste without varying your environmental permit – provided you comply with its conditions.

You must limit the healthcare waste to the following European Waste Catalogue (EWC) classifications. These waste types cannot include sharps waste.

  • 18 01 03* – orange bagged and containerised infectious waste
  • 18 01 03*, 18 01 07 and 18 01 09 – bagged and containerised wastes
  • 18 01 04 and 20 01 99 – offensive hygiene wastes
  • 15 02 02* – absorbents, filter materials, wiping cloths and protective clothing contaminated by hazardous substances (COVID-19 cleansing waste)

Now is very definitely the time for some meaningful studies of incinerator performance, safety, etc to support this approach to effective, and cost-effective, healthcare waste management that will ensure that when Covid-19 ceases to be a significant waste management issue the co-incineration approach will not be reversed.

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