8 Things to Know About Medical Waste During COVID-19

Here are 8 Things to Know About Medical Waste During COVID-19. MERI offers this free infographic to highlight the points below:


To help paint how massive the amount of COVID-19 medical waste disposal is all over the world, picture this. In Wuhan during the pandemic’s peak, daily medical waste reached 240 metric tons a day, according to a resarchgate.net study. In other words, about the weight of an adult blue whale!


Since October 5, 2020, the US has analyzed more than 111 million tests for COVID-19. It’s the second highest number of any country worldwide. China has done 160 million tests.  India falls in third with almost 80 million.


About 10-25% of regulated medical waste is hazardous. Separating hazardous from non-hazardous waste dramatically reduces waste that requires specialized treatment. This saves energy, resources and the planet!


Ever wonder what happens to all of the COVID-19 tests after testing? Just like other testing medical waste, they are put in a biohazard bag. Then, they go through a disposal process that involves either high heat or chemical disinfection. It must take place at a licensed treatment facility, like MERI’s.

Download this Free Poster!8 Medical Waste Facts About Coivd

#5 and #6

Improperly packed virus-laden trash could contribute to the spread of COVID-19.  This is why it’s very important to dispose of infectious waste diligently, and…

Properly tie your medical waste bags! MERI has tested several knots. The two best methods are to use either an overhand knot or to use a gooseneck knot secured with either a plastic tie or duck tape. Also, remember they must be sealed in a container to prevent contamination from leakage.


There’s a growing issue of hospital staffers worried about contamination after signing manifests with a pen and paper or digital notepad. MERI offers the option to keep a letter on files so the driver can sign your manifests for you. Or, you can take advantage of MERI’s e-manifest system and sign your manifests online.


All biohazardous medical waste, including COVID-19, must be properly disposed. This can be done by sterilizing it with steam, burning it, or chemically disinfecting it. At MERI’s licensed treatment plant, waste is shredded, injected with steam, and microwaved at temperatures reaching over 200°F. You can click here to learn more about our process by watching MERI’s cradle to grave disposal video.