Flushing sanitary - or clinical - waste down the toilet can cause blocked drains, resulting in costly and unpleasant work to resolve. Sanitary waste disposed of in this manner can eventually end up in waterways and on beaches as sewage related debris - or be encountered by swimmers.
Clinical waste is often generated in the community. Household clinical waste may include sanitary towels, tampons, condoms and nappies. These may be disposed of together with other household wastes, in a black bag in the dustbin.
Disposable nappies from hospitals, nurseries, play groups etc, are classed as clinical waste and incinerated. However, it doesn't have to be like this: many hospitals and other organisations are now using reusable nappies and nappy laundering services. For environment-friendly, non-disposable nappies and other options, see Nappies and personal products, section 63.
This is not the case for other types of clinical waste such as needles used by diabetics, kidney dialysis bags, unused or out of date prescription medicines, incontinence pads or other such waste produced by patients receiving medical care in the home. These wastes should not under any circumstances be put in the dustbin.
These items of clinical waste have potential to cause an infection, and could be hazardous to anyone coming into contact with them, so require special disposal arrangements. No clinical waste should be flushed down the toilet ( see section 63).
Where existing collection schemes already exist, they should be used, for example, Needle Exchange Schemes, DUMP (Disposal of Unwanted Medicines and Poisons) campaigns, local authority or hospital NHS Trust collections.
Private collections can be arranged for other wastes which cannot be dealt with through public collection schemes.
Veterinary waste is not usually generated in the home. If a home or farm is visited by a vet, then any waste generated is usually disposed of by the vet. Some pet owners may wish to bury their dead pets in their garden. This is generally permitted, but it is advised to consult your vet, as the dead pet may have the potential to cause an infection, or it may prove hazardous to any person coming into contact with it.
Further guidance and information can be obtained from your local authority, GP, local hospital/district nurse, vet and the Environment Agency.
Waste minimisation ideas
The WasteBook would like to hear of projects that have overcome the regulatory hurdles and succeeded in recycling any items usually defined as clinical waste. Metal sharps or certain plastic items, for instance, could be melted down at high temperatures for re-use.
For re-use of wheelchairs, buggies, stairlifts, walking sticks, prosthetic limbs etc, see Medical equipment, section 83.
Nappies and personal products (63)
Medical equipment (83)
Conversion to energy (190)
Alphabetical list of organisations
Ahern PF Group Ltd
Tel 01708 723611 Fax 01708 733444
228 Crow Lane, ROMFORD, Essex RM13 9TW
Collection, disposal and recycling of wide range of dry wastes and green waste. Also disposal of asbestos, special and clinical wastes and haulage services throughout Essex and East London, via network of six depots and landfill site at Rainham. ESA member. (Updated May 2004)
AMS Waste Solutions Ltd
Tel 01923 250788 Fax 01923 223778
110 Villiers Road, WATFORD, Herts WD19 4AJ
Medical and surgical equipment and orthopaedic applications; clinical waste disposal contractor and specialist bag manufacturer. (Updated May 2004)
Tel 0118 962 6564
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.azurehygiene.co.uk
8 Berkeley Avenue, READING, Berks RG1 6JE
Clinical waste carrier (eg clinical and sanitary dressings, nappies, blood
materials and sharps) providing range of hygiene products and services to
commercial and public sector (health care,
education and charities) in Thames Valley area since 1988. Favours
demonstrating commitment, reliability and flexibility rather than long-term
contracts. Uses Biosan sanitising treatment which is claimed to be safe
and biodegradable while killing bacteria and viruses.
(Updated May 2004)
Cannon Hygiene ltd
Freephone 0800 328 3695 Tel 01524 60894 Fax 01524 64393
Website www.cannonhygiene.co.uk Email email@example.com Middlegate, White Lund, MORECAMBE, Lancs LA3 3BJ
Sanitary and clinical waste disposal contractor nationwide. Originator of sanitary disposal exchange system. 50 years experience. Uses Activap chemical free germicide. All clinical, medical and pharmaceutical waste incinerated. Licensed storage and treatment site. Supplies portable defibrillator to counter heart attacks. Also runs pest control and horticulture divisions. ISO14001 (Head office) and 9002 (all branches). Many activities worldwide. (Updated May 2004)
Tel 01277 234567 Fax 01277 230067
The Drive, Warley, BRENTWOOD, Essex CM13 3BE
Major European integrated waste management company. 48 sites, mainly in England, including Essex, Herts, Berks and Middx. Local activities mainly concern collection, treatment and disposal of special liquid and solid waste. 'EcoService' provides specialised waste handling, recycling and treatment services. ESA member.
Clinical Disposals Ltd
Tel 01376 326111 / 326882 Fax 01376 345584
6-8 East Street, BRAINTREE, Essex CM7 3JJ
Specialist in medical, clinical, feminine hygiene, hazardous and difficult waste collection and disposal, including unused drugs. Salvage, reuse and recycling of items of medical waste wherever possible. Will consider requests for medical aid.
Clinical Energy Ltd
Tel 01895 236391 / 01895 812464
New incinerator site, Field Heath Road UXBRIDGE, Middx UB8 3NN
Clinical waste collection and incineration services to NHS Trusts and private contractors. ESA member.
Daniels Health Care
Tel 01442 826881 Fax 01442 826880
Website www.daniels.co.uk Email firstname.lastname@example.org
72-80 Akeman Street, TRING, Herts HP23 6AF
Manufacturer of sharps, containers for medical waste, needle exchange schemes, medical waste disposal. (Updated May 2004)
Tel 0208 440 6910
19 Bell Lane, Hendon, LONDON NW4 2BP
Clinical waste removal contractor.
Tel 0117 938 1702 Fax 0117 938 1690
Kings Weston Lane, Avonmouth, BRISTOL BS11 9AD
Washroom and Hygiene Services Division of UK Waste Management Ltd. Operates throughout Britain.
Tel 01767 692922 Fax 01767 682694
3 Stockton End, Sunderland Road, SANDY, Beds SG19 1SB
Collection (from offices, schools etc) of feminine hygiene products through user-friendly 'Fempak' and 'Ladybin' sanitary disposal dispensers and containers. 'Ladybin' units are cleaned and replaced. Contents of both systems are incinerated at Slough. Also trade as N.P. Services
Health Support Services
Tel 0207 706 0155
Unit 3-6, Orchards Bus Park, Seven Mile Lane, WROTHAM TN15
Clinical waste removal contractor.
Initial Textile Services
Freephone 0800 212610
Ronald Close, Woburn Road Industrial Estate, Kempston, BEDFORD MK42 7SH
Washroom services contractor. Local company with national backup providing a wide range of rental services, which include workwear, dustmats and washroom products in compliance with P.P.E and health and safety regulations.
London Waste Management Ltd
Freephone 0800 919 270
181 Sinclair House, Thanet Street, St Pancras, LONDON WC1
Single or multi-item clinical waste collection. Site clearance of drugs or sexually-related materials. Site specialist advice if required.
Medical Aid for Poland Fund
Tel 0207 373 5464 Fax 0207 373 5464
16 Warwick Road, Earls Court, LONDON SW5 9UD
All types of unwanted medical or hospital supplies and redundant equipment except drugs gratefully accepted. Nearly new clothing and bric a brac for charity shop Tel 0208 579 1114. Collection may be possible for large or good quality items. (Updated Jan 2007)
Personnel Hygiene Services Ltd
Tel 01222 851000 Caerphilly Fax 01222 863288 Caerphilly
Western Industrial Estate, CAERPHILLY, Mid Glamorgan CF8 1XH
Clinical waste management and washroom service for low volume producers. ESA member. 21 regional offices and licensed waste transfer stations, including: 10 Princes Road, Montagu Road Industrial Estate, Edmonton, N18 (Tel 0208 803 1119); Unit 1, Bullsbridge Industrial Estate, Hayes Road, Southall, Middlesex (Tel 0208 756 1091); and Lancaster Way, Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, Cambs PE18 6XU (Tel 01480 411065).
Rentokil Medical Services
Tel 0208 561 8577
Units 5/6 , Pump Lane Industrial Estate, HAYES, Middx UB3 3NB
Sharps, clinical waste disposal and washroom service contractor.
Sanitek (Polkacrest Holdings Ltd)
Tel 01732 884044 Fax 01732 885843
Borough Green, Wrotham, SEVENOAKS, Kent TN15 7RD
Offer an automated infectious and clinical waste treatment system based on superheated steam and industrial microwave disinfection, followed by fine shredding.. Alternative plant configurations are offered providing minimum throughput of either 100 or 250kg/hr with a choice of outright purchase, rental or leasing. Lowest 'lifetime ownership costs' are claimed compared with alternatives such as incineration. Volumes are reduced by 80% and may be disposed of in normal landfill sites. A system has recently been installed at Chase Farm Hospital, Enfield.
Select Environmental Services
Tel 0118 988 7000
Unit 36, The Manor, Brookers Hill, Shinfield, READING, Berks RG2 9BX
Clinical and pharmaceutical waste disposal contractor. Also confidential data destruction, office and commercial waste clearance.
Sharps Safety Services
Tel 01865 882544
1 Abbey Street, Eynsham, WITNEY, Oxon OX8 1HR
Sharps needle disposer.
Southalls Hygiene Services
Freephone 0800 318347
Head Office, Alum Rock Road, BIRMINGHAM, West Mids B8 3DZ
Hygiene and washroom service contractor. National service.
Spring Grove Services
Freephone 0800 616691
Unit 2, Henlow Camp Trading Estate, HENLOW, Beds SG16 6DS
Washroom services contractor.
Sweden Recycling International AB
Tel (0046) 477 20000 Fax (0046) 477 20557
Box 60, S360, 13 URSHULT, Sweden
Manufacture and market dental surgery amalgam separation equipment and provide a waste collection and (mercury) recycling service based on sealed receptacles which are exchanged at 6-12 monthly intervals or as required. Since 1985 over 10,000 installations have been completed in Scandinavia and northern Europe.
Tel 0161 476 6955 Fax 0161 476 2674 E-mail Techtrol@BTInternet.Com
Gregory Way, STOCKPORT, Cheshire SK5 7SY
Manufacture and supply incineration systems complying with EU emission standards for clinical and animal carcass waste.
Tel 0208 606 9959
Unit 6, Harewood Terrace, Norwood Green, SOUTHALL, Middx UB2 9SJ
Collection of clinical and dental waste, 'pharmacy dump' campaign for used medicines and needles. Contract with health authority. All incinerated by Grundon, Colnbrook, Slough.
Wastecare (GB) Ltd
Tel 01438 759850 Fax 01438 759855
Cagex House, Leydon Road, STEVENAGE, Herts SG1 2BP
Small specialist disposal contractor for all types of toxic and difficult waste including solvents, asbestos, chemicals, medicines, aerosols, pesticides, batteries, fluorescent tubes and confidential papers. Also undertake site decontamination and provide general waste management consultancy.