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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Knowledge Center

Hospital Waste Procedures

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Last updated 5/29/2020

In developing procedures for COVID-19 hospital waste, Stericycle considered all aspects of proper management, treatment, and disposal of regulated medical waste generated during care of COVID-19 patients, including safety of healthcare and waste workers.

COVID-19 Waste Packaging:

CDC guidance states that medical waste coming from healthcare facilities treating COVID-19 patients should not be managed any different than those without. Healthcare facilities should follow all normal medical waste packaging conditions and standard disposal procedures, which vary depending on the type of waste.(see more below).

Stericycle In-Hospital Service Procedures:

Stericycle technicians can enter Contact Precaution Isolation Rooms to service reusable sharps containers. It’s important for Environmental Services or Infection Prevention staff to continue communication with your Stericycle Sharps Management Supervisor to ensure our technicians are following your current isolation room requirements and are working in accordance with your hospital’s COVID-19 related protocols.

Below is a summary of our general guidelines for servicing Contact Precaution Isolation Rooms:

  • Stericycle Service Technicians are now permitted to enter Contact Isolation Rooms provided they are entering with the appropriate PPE and any other equipment that your hospital requires and provides.
  • Prior to entering a room, our Service Technicians will be actively looking for all signage on or around the entry to the room or area.
  • The Service Technicians will knock on the door and announce themselves and their purpose in the room as they enter.
  • NOTE: Stericycle Technicians are not yet permitted to enter Droplet, Airborne or COVID-19 isolation rooms; however, our Regulatory and Environmental Health and Safety teams are monitoring developments and consulting with clinical experts to allow servicing in Droplet and Airborne Isolation rooms in the future.

For Pathological, Trace Chemotherapy, and Pharmaceutical Waste, continue to follow current standard procedures and Stericycle’s Waste Acceptance Policy.

For Laboratory waste, use current protocols as required by your biosafety procedures for regulated medical waste. Please continue to monitor for new requirements from the CDC or local health department requirements.

Commonly asked questions: