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The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has communicated to the Autonomous Communities and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP), which in turn has provided local authorities with recommendations on the management of household waste from households with isolated / quarantined persons by COVID -19. Since waste management is the responsibility of the autonomous communities and local entities, these are guidelines for good practice, which have been previously discussed with all the competent authorities, including the autonomous administrations and the FEMP, taking into account the precautionary principle.

The recommendations affect both the household management of waste, following the advice of the Ministry of Health, and the management of the bag with the patient's waste.

Household waste management

For the first case, the disposable material used by the sick person and their caregivers (gloves, handkerchiefs, masks), the personal protective equipment (PPE) of the health personnel (except glasses and mask) and any other residue of the patient, has been to dispose in the garbage can arranged in the room, preferably with a lid and opening pedal. The plastic bag in which it is deposited must be hermetically sealed and closed before being removed from the room.

The mask and glasses should be removed outside the patient's room, where there will also be a container for this purpose, with characteristics similar to those described above and with a hermetically sealed plastic bag. After each deposit of waste in these bags (bag 1) they must be closed and discarded as indicated below.

Bag 1, with the previous waste, will be placed in the garbage bag destined to contain the rest fraction (bag 2), which will also be hermetically closed.

Management of the bag with the patient's waste

Bag 2 will be deposited exclusively in the rest fraction container, it is strictly prohibited to deposit it in the separate collection containers of any of the separated fractions (organic, packaging, paper, glass or textile) or its abandonment in the environment.

The rest fraction collected:

  • It will go directly to landfill or incineration without manually opening the bags, if possible.
  • In the event that pre-treatment is necessary, said treatment will be carried out automatically, avoiding manual opening of the bags.

The recovery of materials will only be carried out automatically; To maximize security, the competent authorities may agree that the materials are stored for at least 72 hours.

Both for the collection of waste and in all the plants that receive these bags, specific protocols will be developed for the protection of workers or existing protocols will be reviewed with the same objective and the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided for workers. .

Differentiated collections of bags (type 2) may be established from centers / places where there is a high level of those affected by COVID19 (residences, hospitalized hotels, etc.) for the duration of the crisis. These bags will be identified externally and easily (for example by insulating tape or the like) and will be deposited according to the form established by the authorities responsible for the collection of waste. These bags will be managed in the same way as mentioned above.

Hospital waste and the like

In relation to the management of waste from hospitals, ambulances, health centers, laboratories, etc. in contact with COVID 19, the provisions for these will be taken into account in the regional regulation on sanitary waste, as is customarily done.

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