November 11, 2020
There are an estimated 4.3 million tonnes of hazardous waste being produced every year in the UK. As producers of this waste, clinical establishments have a "duty of care" to prevent hazardous waste from escaping,ensuring waste is disposed of by someone who has been authorised and ensuring all waste transferred is accompanied by a written consignment note.
Clinical settings such as dentists, orthodontic practices, doctors surgeries, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and beauty clinics often produce clinical waste that is hazardous. Strict laws apply when implementing the segregation, storage and disposal of this waste.
If your waste is incorrectly managed, it can be harmful to the environment, the public and your business. It can lead to the spread of infections and disease and improper disposal of clinical waste can lead to a hefty fine - up to £50,000!
What is clinical waste?
Clinical waste can be hazardous to anyone that comes into contact with it. It may contain:
Organisations producing clinical waste are required to separate and store hazardous waste away from non-hazardous waste.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) states that clinical establishments should ensure the safe handling and transport of waste,establish a safe collection, storage and disposal of contaminated work and use secure and identifiable waste containers.
All clinical waste should be correctly bagged, clearly marked and fastened. Sharps waste should be placed in an appropriate sharps bin so as not to cause any harm.
There are 5 groups of clinical waste which determine how they are safely disposed of. These include:
Group A - Human and animal waste, bandages, non-sharp instruments - this waste should be disposed of in a yellow bag which should be discarded when 75% full.
Group B - Sharps waste - this waste should be disposed of in a sharps bin.
Group C - Pathology and clinical research lab waste which could be infected.
Group D - Drugs and pharmaceutical products - this waste should be sealed tightly and handled with care.
Group E - Items used to dispose of urine, faeces and bodily secretions (which cannot be categorised as group A).
Within the UK, there is a colour-coding system to make complying with the regulations as simple as possible. All waste should be segregated into different colour-coded bins for their specific waste streams as follows:
Yellow - Infectious waste to be disposed of immediately (hazardous waste)
Red - Anatomical waste (hazardous and non-hazardous)
Orange - Infectious waste which is sent for treatment to be made safe before being disposed of (hazardous and non-hazardous waste)
Purple - Cytostatic and cytotoxic medicinal products such as sharps (hazardous waste)
White - Dental waste such as amalgam (toxic waste)
Blue - Medicinal waste such as part empty containers,out of date medicine etc (non-hazardous waste)
Yellow & Black (also known as 'tiger' bin) -Non-infectious/hazardous hygiene waste such as nappies, wipes, gloves(non-hazardous waste)
Black - Domestic waste such as food and drink packaging, tissues etc
WGS Waste Management are experts in the safe removal of all waste from your clinical establishment. Wecan provide collection and disposal on a daily or weekly basis - to suit your exact requirements. As part of our comprehensive service, we will supply you with orange clinical waste bags (5kg or 10kg). We can also provide you with a range of clinical waste bins. These are specifically designed to meet your waste requirements. We offer free-standing bins with pedal operation to accommodate hands-free operation.
Please get in touch with a member of our friendly team to discuss your waste collection requirements and we will be happy to help.