COVID-19 Rapid At-Home Tests Special Instructions Cardboard and Paper are Recyclable The outer cardboard box and paper instructions for the test go in the recycling. All Other Items Are Garbage The nasal collection swab, test card, liquid dropper and plastic packaging go in the garbage. Dispose of Tests Carefully When Sick If you or a household member has an infectious illness, use extra care when disposing of used tests. Wash your hands before and after performing the test. Place the used test in a sealed bag before tossing in the garbage. Ways to Reduce Take Tests Only When Necessary To minimize waste, tests should be taken only when necessary. Here are the CDC’s recommendations for when to take a COVID-19 test.