Waste Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The impact of COVID-19 is transforming the way we live, from one day to the next. While national and local interventions are largely focused on protecting lives and economies, management of hazardous waste is also essential to minimize long-term risks to human and environmental health.

A new publication – Waste Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic: from response to recovery – reviews current practices for managing waste from healthcare facilities, households and quarantine locations accommodating people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. Jointly produced by UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, the report considers various approaches, identifies best practices and technologies, and provides recommendations for policy-makers and practitioners to improve waste management, over the long term.

Drawing insight from numerous consultations, the report gives particular attention to developing countries and cities­, which may already lack adequate waste management. Cognizant of local conditions, practices that are operationally and technically plausible are identified and recommendations include ways to adapt existing protocols and practices, at both emergency and recovery stages.