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Clinical/Medical Waste

What is clinical waste?

Any waste which consists wholly or partly of:

  • Human or animal tissue
  • Blood or bodily fluids
  • Excretions
  • Drugs or other pharmaceutical products
  • Swabs or dressings
  • Syringes, needles or other sharp instruments
  • Any other waste which may cause infection to any person coming into contact with it.

What about clinical waste produced in a household?

  • If patients are treated at home by a community nurse or member of the NHS, all waste produced as a result (syringes) is considered to be the healthcare professional's waste and they should take it away with them.
  • If the waste is non-hazardous, and so long as it is bagged and sealed properly, it is okay for it to be disposed of with the household rubbish.
  • If patients treat themselves at home, any waste produced as a result is considered to be their own.
  • Only when a specific threat has been identified is the waste considered as hazardous clinical waste. For example, syringes and materials containing blood/tissue are classed as hazardous; in these cases the local authority is obliged to collect it separately from the household waste when requested to do so by the waste holder.
  • In case of medicines, all unused medication should be returned to the nearest chemist for disposal.

For more information on medical waste collections, telephone the contact centre on 01744 676789 or use our online contact form.