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Using Clinical Waste Bins and Disposing of Waste Effectively

Clinical Waste Bins

November 11, 2020

How to Use Clinical Waste Bins Effectively?

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 the waste from escaping, ensuring waste is disposed of by someone who has been authorised to do so. They need to also make sure that 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:

  • drugs or pharmaceutical products
  • used swabs or dressings
  • used syringes, needles or sharps
  • blood or other bodily fluids

How Do you Dispose of Waste Correctly?

Organisations producing clinical waste are required to separate and store hazardous waste away from non-hazardous.

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 waste. They also need to 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 container / bin so as not to cause any harm.

Clinical Waste Disposal Categories 

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 segregated in a yellow bag which should be discarded when 75% full.

Group B - Sharps waste - this waste should be put 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 body 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 discarded immediately (hazardous)

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)

Purple - Cytostatic and cytotoxic medicinal products such as sharps (hazardous)

White - Dental waste such as amalgam (toxic waste)

Blue - Medical waste such as part empty containers, out of date medicine etc (non-hazardous)

Yellow & Black (also known as 'tiger' bin) -Non-infectious/hazardous hygiene waste such as nappies, wipes, gloves(non-hazardous)

Black - Domestic waste such as food and drink packaging, tissues etc

Clinical Waste Management Specialists

WGS Waste Management are experts in clinical waste disposal. We can provide waste collection and waste 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 needs. We offer free-standing bins with pedal operation to accommodate hands-free operation. Customer service is key to us and we work with all of our clients on a one-to-one basis. You will have one single point of contact and we will work around you to fit the needs of your business.

Please get in touch with a member of our friendly team to discuss your waste bin collection specifications and for further information. Read our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

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