How to dispose of PPE waste safely

A number of businesses have asked us how to responsibly dispose of PPE waste such as masks, gloves, wipes and cleaning materials that have been used by staff or visitors to their premises. Thankfully disposing of PPE waste from your business is straightforward and easy. You will not normally need an expensive and unnecessary specialist collection for this waste which some providers are trying to make you buy.

Please never put any PPE, gloves, masks, wipes and cloths in your recycling bin or bag under any circumstances. They are not suitable for recycling.

This guidance is based on the official Public Heath England advice for Cleaning in non-healthcare settings as at 8 June 2020.

Any PPE that has not been in contact with an infection source can be disposed of as general waste. Waste from possible cases of COVID-19 and cleaning of areas where possible cases of COVID-19 have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):

  1. Should be put in a plastic waste bag and tied when full.
  2. This plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.
  3. It should then be stored in a safe and secure place for 72 hours or until the individual’s test results are known.

PPE waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. You should not put your PPE waste in communal waste areas or on the street for collection until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.

  • If the individual tests negative, PPE waste can be put in with the general waste and disposed of normally.
  • If the individual tests positive, then store any PPE waste for at least 72 hours and put in with the general waste.

The above guidance is applicable to non-healthcare settings only. For businesses in a healthcare environment, you should refer directly to the Coronavirus guidance and support on the Government website for further information relevant to your particular circumstances.

For more information about our commercial waste and recycling services please contact us on 01263 516189 or by email to