INFORMATION: Handling and Disposal of Ebola Contaminated Wastes

As a service to members and personnel in the solid waste industry, SWANA is providing timely, relevant information and links to a number of resources in this special “Information for Management of Ebola Contaminated Wastes" web page, including guidelines from U.S. and Canadian health agencies on the handling and disposal of wastes, as well as Ebola reporting by affiliate organizations and news articles.

Canadian Online Resources

Management of Ebola waste in health care and home settings is a topic that has been discussed with provinces and territories in the context of Ebola preparedness. It is clear that further advice from environmental waste management and regulatory experts, from across jurisdictions will be required to inform further discussions.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is currently reviewing and updating a range of Infection Prevention and Control guidance for Ebola Virus Disease including interim guidance for Borders, Health Care Settings and Self-Monitoring at Home available at: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/id-mi/vhf-fvh/ebola-ipc-pci-eng.php.

From the health perspective, there is guidance on environmental cleaning, and management of waste according to regulations by jurisdiction.

Given the Agency’s National Microbiology Laboratory’s role in providing diagnostic Ebola testing for the country, the Interim Biosafety Guidelines for Laboratories Handling Specimens from Patients Under Investigation for Ebola Virus Disease, available at: healthycanadians.gc.ca/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/disease-maladie/ebola/professionals-professionnels-eng.php.

Note: All waste is treated before it leaves the laboratory building. Solid waste is surface decontaminated and sterilized. Liquid waste is processed in the lab rendering and bio waste treatment system.

Updates to guidance will be available on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website: healthycanadians.gc.ca/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/disease-maladie/ebola/index-eng.php.

Given the quickly evolving situation, visit the website periodically for updates on response efforts.

Public Health Agency of Canada’s reference information courtesy of:

Gregory Taylor, BSc, MD, CCFP, FRCPC
Chief Public Health Officer
Public Health Agency of Canada

U.S. Online Resources

DOT Guidance for Preparing Packages of Ebola Contaminated Waste for Transportation and Disposal

Ebola Medical Waste Management

Information for hospitals and healthcare providers with key tips about the safe handling and disposal of medical waste generated from the care of persons diagnosed with or suspected of having Ebola virus disease (EVD).

Transporting Infectious Substances

Provides information on handling and transporting infectious substances

Information for Healthcare Workers and Settings

Reference Articles

Relevant DOT Guidance

For questions on Department of Transportation’s (DOT) guidance or the HMR requirements, please contact DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA’s) Hazardous Materials Information Center at 1-800-467-4922, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (ET).

U.S. Department of Transportation Approves Special Permit for the Safe Transport of Ebola Infected Medical Waste for Disposal

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issues emergency special permit allowing a Lake Forest, Ill.-based company to transport large quantities of Ebola-contaminated waste from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas for disposal.

In the News

Meeting Ebola's Challenge

Few issues have garnered the attention, or generated the much concern among the general public, as the Ebola patients in the United States. When the first Ebola patient showed up at the hospital in Texas, reaction was extreme. And, every aspect of the disease has received magnified scrutiny, including its waste. If not handled properly, waste generated in the course of treatment for an Ebola patient may pose a risk to workers. This article outlines the critical controls and procedures used by hospitals and the healthcare waste companies to manage that risk.

Ebola Waste Management Call for Help

Waste Task force to provide assistance in meeting needs that have been identified by international agencies and NGOs, including the United Nations, World Health Organization, International Solid Waste Association and Medicine San Frontiers.

Another Ebola Challenge: Disposing of Medical Waste

Exclusive: U.S. Nears Solution for Safe Disposal of Ebola Waste