Waste and Recycling
Disposal of clinical waste
Hypodermic needles and other hazardous healthcare wastes should never be disposed of in the domestic waste stream. If patients are treated in their home by a community nurse or a member of the NHS profession, any waste produced as a result is considered to be the healthcare professional’s waste. If the waste is non-hazardous, and as long as it is appropriately bagged and sealed, it is acceptable for the waste to be disposed of with household waste. This is usually the case with sanitary towels, nappies and incontinence pads (known collectively as sanpro waste) which are not considered to be hazardous when they originate from a healthy population. If the waste is classified as hazardous, the healthcare professional can remove that waste and transport it in approved containers (ie rigid, leak proof, sealed, secured etc) and take it back to the trust base for appropriate disposal.
If patients treat themselves in their own home, any waste produced as a result is considered to be their own. Only where a particular risk has been identified (based on medical diagnosis) does such waste need to be treated as hazardous clinical waste. Where hypodermic needles are produced in the home, on no account should soft drink cans, plastic bottles or similar containers be used for the disposal of needles, since these could present serious hazards to staff if they were disposed of in domestic waste. Sharps bins can be obtained on prescription (FP10 prescription form) and can be returned to your doctor for disposal when full.
Residents should contact their doctor or healthcare professional in the first instance regarding the disposal of clinical waste. If they are unable to dispose of it please contact us on 01748 829100 to discuss further. Under the controlled waste regulations, the authority may charge for the collection of specific waste streams, including clinical waste.
Household Waste - Waste generated by a property used for domestic purposes: house, caravan, vessel, etc.
Offensive Waste - Household waste containing bodily fluids, secretions, or excretions, which are not infectious. Examples include: dressings, gloves, nappies, incontinence pads and sanitary products. This waste can be collected through the normal domestic bin collection service.
Clinical Waste - Waste containing infectious material, such as something for which antibiotics may be prescribed. The material must be secured in bags (or boxes for sharps), which are yellow or orange and marked for incineration. Sharps are clinical waste. Containment and transport are closely regulated. A charge can be levied for collection but not disposal of clinical waste.