Applying the guidelines issued by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition in coordination with the Ministry of Health in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, Ferrovial Services has implemented a protocol for waste collection and management in Spain to ensure the service works smoothly while offering the utmost safety for both workers and citizens.
While maintaining normal operations within the Covid-29 crisis, waste collection services have reorganized shifts, expanded crews and taken the pertinent measures to prevent the virus from spreading. It is vital that citizens play their part when dropping off their household waste during this period.
Contaminated waste from a person infected with Covid-19 may pose a danger to the people who live with them. For this reason, handling the waste properly can help avoid contagion. It is essential to use disposable cleaning elements, properly isolate the waste in a plastic bag, and practice exhaustive personal hygiene after handling it.
Recommendations to avoid expansion of COVID-19
In accordance with the guidelines set by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Ministry of Health, waste from patients — including the disposable material used by them and their caregivers (gloves, masks, handkerchiefs and PPE) — must be disposed of as follows:
- The waste must be placed in a plastic bag and disposed of in a bin inside the room, preferably a pedal bin; it must not be separated for recycling.
- The plastic bag containing the waste must be sealed properly and placed in a second garbage bag along with the gloves used to handle it.
- This second bag must be placed in a third garbage bag with the rest of the household waste, and must be deposited in the general/other/residual waste bin; it is absolutely forbidden to dispose of it in source separated recycling bins (e.g. organic, packaging, paper, glass or textile) or in the environment.
Households where nobody has tested positive or is self-isolating can dispose of their waste in the normal way.
The other/general/residual waste will receive special treatment
The contents of these residual waste bins will be collected and processed in a specific way, as follows:
- Bags of other/general/residual waste will not be opened by hand under any circumstances.
- Bags of other/general/residual waste will be disposed of directly in a landfill.
- If it is necessary to process the waste before it reaches the landfill, this will be done automatically, and manual processes will be confined to separating bulky or metallic waste or similar. The workers who perform this process will always wear the requisite PPE.
- Material recovery will be performed automatically. For greater safety, in the event of risk, the competent authorities may order that these materials be stored for at least 72 hours.
- A number of waste treatment centers are implementing specific protocols to protect their workers.
Murcia: an example of doing things right
Ferrovial Services has implemented the waste collection and management protocol in the cities where it operates. For example, in Murcia, it has stepped up measures to provide this essential service, having intensified cleaning and disinfection services with its 400 employees. In Murcia, residual waste is handled automatically and taken to the Cañada Hermosa Waste Treatment Center for subsequent treatment.
Strengthening essential services
As a sign of its firm commitment to continuing critical and essential services, Ferrovial Services has stepped up street cleaning and waste collection services in the 13 Spanish regions where it operates. While enforcing strict compliance with the safety and hygiene measures to ensure its workers are safe, the company is delivering end-to-end cleaning, waste collection and street disinfection services in large Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Murcia and Granada in coordination with the public administrations.