What We're Doing

Providing Essential Services in this Extraordinary Period

During this period of uncertainty caused by COVID-19, we want the communities and customers we serve to know that Covanta's facilities are still operating. Garbage services are essential to society, and our dedicated employees are on the job to ensure that these services continue in a safe and sustainable manner.

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Our top priority is the safety and health of our employees and anyone who enters our facilities. We have taken numerous precautions companywide and are treating all waste as if it could be a carrier of COVID-19.

Forklift transports sealed boxes

The good news is that incineration of waste at Covanta facilities eliminates any risk of future infection from that waste. According to the World Health Organization, a temperature of 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient to kill viruses. Instead of sending untreated waste to landfills, waste managed at a Covanta Waste-to-Energy facility is thermally treated at nearly 2,000 degrees--ensuring that any waste that could be a carrier of the virus is destroyed.

Latest News

Covanta Takes Unprecedented Steps to Respond to the Coronavirus

Amid the biggest public health crisis in memory, Covanta is taking unprecedented steps to ensure the health and safety of employees while keeping critical facilities up and running.

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“Maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for all Covanta employees remains our top priority,” said Ginny Angilello, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.

Covanta facilities have limited visitors, and anyone visiting a facility must first fill out a screening survey and take their temperature. Increased supplies of sanitizing products are available for employees, any equipment that requires maintenance or inspection will be disinfected first, and employee common areas are being cleaned on a more frequent basis.


“This extraordinary situation reminds us of the essential role our facilities play in the fabric of society in terms of handling waste and producing energy,” said Covanta President and CEO Steve Jones. “I appreciate the efforts of all our employees who are continuing to run the facilities, as well as those who are working remotely supporting our mission and keeping the business running.”

In a recent letter to Covanta that emphasized the vital importance of the company’s services during the COVID-19 crisis, Kathryn Garcia, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Sanitation said, “Covanta employees provide an essential service that is critical to the operation of the City on the best of days, and your tireless efforts are never more important than when the City confronts adversity.”

Decontamination Waste



Safe and Secure Disposal of COVID-19 Materials for Businesses


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our communities and businesses, even organizations outside of the health sector are seeing an influx of testing and decontamination waste such as masks, gloves and disinfectants. While these types of materials are not considered infectious waste by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, they still need to be handled with care.

At Covanta Environmental Solutions we’re committed to the highest safety protocols, ensuring the materials we collect are correctly managed and destroyed through our global network of Waste-to-Energy and Material Processing Facilities.

How It Works 

Our Material Processing Facilities receive and process COVID-19 decontamination waste materials under strict local and federal standards.The COVID-19 decontamination debris is then sent to our Waste-to-Energy facilities to be thermally destroyed in a controlled environment.

The processing incinerates the waste at 2,000o F (well above the CDC’s 150o F threshold) eliminating any future risk it may pose, all while generating clean energy.


A Convenient, Compliant Solution for COVID-19 Testing Materials

Covanta Environmental Solutions' Healthcare Solutions is pleased to announce a practical, easy-to-use solution for materials related to COVID-19 testing. This fully-compliant, end-to-end solution can safely and securely dispose of testing material from drive-through testing sites.

The mail back solution includes a DOT-compliant 18-gallon container with an enclosed bag, along with all necessary documentation. A certificate of disposal is provided at the end of the process.

Accepted materials:

• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gowns, masks and gloves
• Non-hazardous materials such as papers, plastic, etc. from testing sites

Excluded materials:

• Sharps
• Liquid and bodily fluids
• Bio-hazardous waste

For more information on the mail back program, please fill out the inquiry form to hear from one of our experts.


Decontamination Waste - FAQ


Who qualifies for Covanta Environmental Solutions’ decontamination disposal services?

Environmental Service and commercial companies, as well as Industrial and Manufacturing Facilities with COVID-19 Decontamination debris.


How should the decontamination waste be packaged?

All COVID-19 decontamination waste should be double bagged in a minimum 3 Mil Poly bag prior to being placed into the outer packaging. All bags must be tied or zip-tied closed.

CES Material Processing Facilities will accept:

• Cardboard boxes up to 2’x2’x3’
• Fiber Drums up to 55-gallons
• Labpack/Hazmat Boxes up to 66-gallons
• Plastic Pails up to 7 gallons

Covanta Waste-To-Energy facilities will accept:

• Cardboard boxes up to 2'x2'x3'


How should the decontamination waste be transported?

You may arrange your own transportation or contact us to arrange transportation services to transfer the non-hazardous waste to our facility.


How do I obtain approval to ship decontamination waste to Covanta Environmental Solutions?

Organizations and businesses must have followed decontamination procedures established by the CDC and our Profiling Protocol (see PDF for more information). A Material Characterization Form specific for COVID-19 materials must be completed and the COVID-19 Decontamination Waste Certificate must be completed and signed showing proof of proper CDC decontamination procedures. Please note that any materials managed as Regulated Medical Waste must be profiled separately with Covanta Environmental Solutions Healthcare Solutions.

For assistance with profiling waste and approval of your COVID-19 related decontamination materials, please contact us at (844) 268-2682.


How should the decontamination waste be labelled?

Safe Shipping Requirements:

Containers must be labelled as "Non-Hazardous COVID-19        Decontamination Debris" on all sides and on top of each pallet.

Containers must be shrink wrapped and palletized on standard size pallets no taller than 72 inches.

When shipping, segregate the COVID-19 Decontamination Debris from any other waste on the truck and clearly identify the waste as noted above.

Finally, load all the COVID-19 Decontamination Debris palletized waste at the end of the trailer closest to the opening doors.




Who do I contact for assistance with my decontamination waste?

Reach out to your Solutions Sales Manager or contact us at the email or phone number listed below.

For any questions, email CESinfo@covanta.com or call our Coronavirus Hotline: 844-268-2682

Additional Resources

CDC Guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting facilities
CDC Guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting community facilities