Waste Management & COVID-19

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not recommended any special handling of infectious waste associated with the COVID-19 virus at this time.


Households and Businesses

Household generated waste is not a regulated infectious waste and is not required to be managed as an infectious waste. Waste generated by businesses that are not associated with the healthcare community such as waste generated from disinfecting surfaces is not regulated as infectious waste. Individuals and businesses should follow the packaging directions for household disinfectants to ensure their effectiveness and use all of the disinfectant for its intended purpose. Once empty, the household disinfectant container can be disposed in the household waste. Any materials used in the cleaning process should be placed in a lined container and then disposed in the household waste. 

Regulated Infectious Waste Generator Facilities 

The SC Infectious Waste Regulations apply to the healthcare community. Regulated Infectious Waste Generator facilities should manage infectious waste generated during the care of patients with the COVID-19 virus as they would waste generated during the care of any other patients in accordance with their Standard Operating Procedures. Infectious waste is also known as medical or biohazardous waste, infectious waste is material that was used in healthcare, research or postmortem exams. It includes:

  • Sharps - any waste that may cause a puncture or cut
  • Microbiological specimens - culture dishes, vaccines and other waste that has been exposed to human pathogenic agents
  • Blood and blood products - unabsorbed blood or blood products or absorbed blood when the absorbent is supersaturated (drips when squeezed)
  • Pathological waste - parts removed from the human body (unless preserved by a preserving agent) and certain body fluids
  • Contaminated animal waste - parts, bodies and bedding of animals exposed to human pathogens
  • Isolation waste - waste from Biosafety Level 4 agents
  • Other waste - any other waste designated as infectious or any material that has come in contact with infectious waste.

If you have any questions contact Lynne Garner, Manager (803) 898-0493.

Frequently Asked questions:

Can I put soiled bandages, medical gloves and disposable bed linens in the trash?
Contaminated wound dressings, disposable sheets and pads, gloves, and dialysis machine filters may be double- bagged in a standard plastic garbage bag and securely fastened. This material may then be combined with other household garbage for disposal. 

What do I do with disinfectant wipes and mop water after disinfecting my business?
These wastes are not considered infectious waste. After decontamination, wipes can be disposed in with your solid waste and mop water can be discharged to the sanitary sewer

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