Clinical Waste and how you can Dispose of it - By City

Clinical Waste and how you can Dispose of it - By City

Everything you need to know about clinical waste

There will always be risks associated with the improper handling of clinical waste, that’s why the correct management and disposal of certain items, including incontinence products, is vital.

There are strict regulations in place to prevent harm being caused to both the environment and to human health and knowing how to do this is properly extremely important.

So here’s a quick look at just what you should know when it comes to disposing of clinical waste.

What is clinical waste?

Clinical waste is defined as being ‘any waste which consists wholly or partially of human or animal tissue, blood or other bodily fluids.’

This can include:

  • Excretions
  • Drugs
  • Swabs
  • Dressings
  • Syringes
  • Needles

How is waste defined?

Clinical waste is divided into the following categories.

Sharps - Sharps waste includes any device or object that can be used to puncture or lacerate the skin – this can be needles, syringes, injection devices, blades and more.

Infectious Waste - Any waste contaminated with blood and its by-products, such as discarded diagnostic samples containing blood and bodily fluids, contaminated swabs/bandages and contaminated equipment.

Offensive Waste - This is non-infectious waste, which may be unpleasant and cause offense to anyone who comes into contact with it such as hygiene waste, sanitary protection, nappies and incontinence pads etc.

Medical Waste - This is the general name for all waste generated at health care facilities. This can include hospitals, clinics, dental practices, blood bands and veterinary clinics.

Cytotoxic/cytostatic - This refers to waste that contains cytotoxic or cytostatic medicines, and can include hormonal preparations, anti-viral drugs, immunosuppressant’s and some antibiotics.

Anatomical - This refers to human tissue or blood, which can include heavily soaked materials like swabs and dressing.

Where can I dispose of it?

Many councils offer various services when it comes to the disposal of clinical waste, from collections to drop-off points.

Here are 15 of the largest cities in the UK (by population) who offer information:

Birmingham City Council offers a clinical waste collection service; all that's required is that you fill out your contact information via their short contact from.

Bolton City Council offer the opportunity to request a 'waste audit', in which a recycling officer is deployed to your home and your need for a collection service is assessed. 

Alternatively, you can call Bolton Council on the following number: 01204 333333

Bradford Council do offer a clinical waste collect service, however the only way of requesting one is to contact their waste & recycling department on the following number: 01274 431000

Brighton & Hove offer a household clinical waste collectioning, providing different numbers of each different type of waste, as follows: 

Offensive (non infectious)
This includes incontinence products, such as pads and catheters. Must also produce more than two bags per week. Call: 01273 292929 to request a collection. 

Hazardous (infectious waste)
This includes blood, swabs anddressings. If you have been referred by your GP or hospital for a collection, Contact: 01273 292929

Includes needles or syringes, call: 01273 292929 

Collections take place from Monday to Wednesday, between 7am and 2pm.

Bristol Council offering a free & confidential waste collection service, again seperated into seperate departments. 
Incontinence pads should go in your general waste. 

To arrange a sharps collection or an exchange, call us on 0117 922 2100.

Infectious Waste Collection
To arrange regular collections for other clinical waste, speak to your healthcare professional. Let your healthcare professional know where you’d like this picked up from.

Coventry residents who may be unable to move their bin to the required collection point are able to request an assited collection. 

For more information, you can contact customer services on: 0500 834 333

Derby City Council offer a clinical household waste collection service. However, this must be setup by the health service, requiring them to complete an assessment form, available here: clinical waste assessment form

Any queries which you may have regarding this service, you can contact:

Edinburugh City Council offer you the chance to sign up for, what they call an assisted bin collection, offering assistance to anyone who needs help taking their bins out. You can also sign up for a friend or family member who may be unable to do so.

Simply visit the link provided and follow the instructions. 

Glasgow City Council don't seem to offer a specific clinical waste collection service, although do seem to offer a business only commercial waste collection service. However, if this doensn't meet your needs, you can contact them via mobile: 0141 287 9700 or through E-mail:

Hull City Council mention that they offer a clinical waste collection service, which is free of charge for domestic properties although a paid service at trade premises. 

Just give them a call or email them, here: 
Tel: 01482 300 300

Leeds City Council state that they cannot collection incontience related waste, however they encourage you too bag these and place them into your black bin. 

Leicester City Council state that "Clinical waste items are only collected from individual households at the request of health trusts, health centres, doctors or district nurses." 

They also mention that your bags should be ready to collect at 7am on collection day.

Liverpool city council state that you are able to dispose of your clinical waste into your sharps bin. Sharps bins are available on prescription from your GP or Pharmacist. To setup a regular collection of your sharps bin, you should contact your GP.  

I've found that Manchester City Council aren't entirely helpful with the information they provide for disposing of your clinical waste. However, I did find an article from the Manchester Evening News which states that Manchester City council had stopped collecting clinical waste such as incontinence pads, from residents and instead that they had to dispose of this waste into their black bin, wrapped in a bin bag. 

Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes Council offer a free of charge collection service for clinical waste from domestic properties. 

It's stated that if you require a collection, you are encouraged to speak to your GP or district nurse.

14 December 2015