For companies that have been undertaking regular lateral flow testing as part of their COVID Secure procedures in the workplace, it is acceptable to dispose of Covid lateral flow tests in the general waste, even if they are used as part of a large-scale workplace testing programme.
The official guidance for workplaces (excluding health care premises) and schools is quite different, regardless of the scale of testing. The Government guidance states that here, the discarded tests are not healthcare waste and do not have to be segregated. They can be disposed of as “black bin” bag waste. The guidance states the following:
- Once a LFD test is complete all of the used LFD test kit (swabs, cartridges and devices) should be placed in the small waste bag provided with the kit, this should then be put in your black bag waste bins
- Any disposable equipment such as face coverings, gloves, or aprons worn during the LFD testing process, either by those doing the test or those supervising others, should be put in your black bag waste bins.
- The outer cardboard packaging can be placed in the recycling bin.