How to properly dispose of COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits

How to properly dispose of COVID-19 rapid antigen testing kits

For individuals and families 

The simple answer: Rapid antigen tests done at home should be double-bagged and thrown into household garbage for pickup. They should not be placed anywhere else.

While placing them in the trash is the safest way to dispose of tests done at home, household waste falls under local/municipal waste by-laws, and those laws may differ by city, municipality and region. Individuals and families should also verify that these instructions comply with the waste disposal requirements or guidance of their respective municipalities.

A helpful resource to learn about the specific requirements is your city’s website. The cities of Ottawa, Hamilton and Calgary have clear instructions for disposing of used tests at home. Please check your own municipality’s disposal rules.

 

For businesses

Rapid antigen test kits used by businesses on-site or performed within a clinical setting (i.e., testing performed at a DriverCheck clinic, for example) are classified as institutional/commercial-generated waste, and/or as biohazardous waste (in Ontario and Alberta) and must be properly disposed of in accordance with provincial regulations. 

Read the province of Ontario’s guidelines here, including the list of three approved facilities for final disposal of biomedical waste which includes test kits. 

Most municipalities require used antigen test kits sealed within a biohazardous waste bag and collected by companies that specialize in gathering and disposing of regulated substances. 

Businesses that require their employees to perform at-home testing should provide guidelines that align with local/municipal waste by-laws and guidelines. In these cases, businesses should follow the instructions listed for individuals and families.