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Clinical waste

If you or someone in your household is being treated at home for a medical condition, the waste produced may be considered clinical waste and could be hazardous.

What is clinical waste?

Clinical refers to any other waste from medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, pharmaceutical or similar practice, investigation, treatment, care teaching or research, or the collection of blood for transfusion. Unless made safe, this type of waste may prove hazardous to anyone coming into contact with it. 

Examples of clinical waste include: 

  • human or animal tissue 
  • blood or bodily fluids 
  • excretions 
  • drugs or other pharmaceutical products 
  • swabs or dressings 
  • syringes, needles or other sharp instruments

If you are treated by a healthcare professional: 

  • Any medical waste produced as a result of treatment by a community nurse or a member of the NHS should be responsibly disposed of by the healthcare professional.
  • If the waste is classified as hazardous (such as hypodermic needles), the healthcare professional should remove the waste and transport it away for disposal in approved containers (for example, rigid, leak-proof, sealed and secured).
  • Alternatively, we (or another private contractor) can collect the waste, however, we will charge for this service.
  • If the waste is non-hazardous (such as sanitary towels, nappies and incontinence pads), as long as it is appropriately bagged and sealed, it can be disposed in your black bin. 

If you are treating yourself:

  • You need to responsibly dispose of any medical waste produced.
  • Initially we recommend you discuss your options for disposal with your doctor or healthcare provider. 
  • If your doctor/healthcare provider cannot help you, we can collect your waste, however, we will charge for this service. 
  • Hypodermic needles and hazardous clinical wastes should never be disposed of in domestic waste.

Disposing of unused medicines

Please return any unused medicines to a pharmacist. If this is not possible, we suggest that you contact a private contractor who can collect the waste - however, there will be a charge for this service.