Downloading content for offline mode
Cancel download
40. Building an incinerator for medical waste

40. Building an incinerator for medical waste

Last update: 2022-09-14


  • In some epidemics, you will need to prevent germs on items (such as bed sheets and clothes that have been contaminated by the patient’s body fluids) from spreading to other people. 
  • This is especially important when you are dealing with Ebola, Marburg fever, Lassa fever, plague and monkeypox. 
  • An incinerator can burn such items and prevent the disease from spreading to others. 
  • Do not incinerate items yourself if an alternative is available, such as incineration in health facilities. 
  • Be very careful when building and using incinerators, because they can be dangerous. Always have to hand something to put the fire out (for example, a bucket of water or sand).
Tips for building an incinerator
  • To build an incinerator, follow the instructions on the other side of this card.
  • Keep a bucket of water or sand by you in case you need to put the fire out. 
  • If you have never built an incinerator before, ask a professional or someone who has already built one to help or advise you. 
  • Wear protective clothing, in particular gloves, when handling contaminated clothing or other items belonging to a deceased person. Place items carefully in the incinerator and leave them to burn until they have turned to ash, destroying all the germs. 
  • Tell people in the community what you are doing so that they know to stay away and keep safe

Building an incinerator for waste