Types of Waste
We have four main types of waste generated at the Hospital categorised by the items to be disposed of and methods of collection. Each type of waste is then sub-divided into groups dependent upon how hazardous it is and how it is to be disposed of.
- Clinical Waste
This is defined as waste produced from healthcare and similar activities that pose a risk of infection or that may prove hazardous. (HTM07-01)
- Domestic Waste
Waste which is the same as, or similar to, that from accommodation used purely for living purposes and which is suitable for disposal by landfill. (HTM 07-01)
- WEEE Waste (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment)
New regulations came into force in July 2007 governing the disposal of all electrical goods which are defined as anything which requires to be connected to the electricity supply to operate.
- Special waste
This is defined as items of waste which require specialised methods of disposal and includes used cooking oil, dental amalgam and photographic processing fluids. Radioactive waste is also included in this section although we do not generate this at Mayday at the moment.
There are principally two ways of dealing with clinical waste, one is to treat with high temperature steam (“autoclaving”) and the other is to dispose by high temperature incineration.
Clinical waste has to be separated into different containers for disposal which indicates how hazardous or infectious it might be. A colour coding system has been developed to indicate to both the transporters and disposal contractors just what is in each container. Briefly the colour coding is as follows
|Colour||Type of Waste||Disposal Method|
with Purple lid
|Sharps used to administer cytotoxic or cytostatic medicinal products||Incineration|
with Yellow lid
|Sharps and syringe bodies with residue medicinal product|
|Yellow waste bags||Highly infectious waste plus anatomical waste from theatres and diagnostic specimens|
|Orange plastic bags||General infectious waste, soiled dressings and autoclaved laboratory waste||Autoclave|
with Purple lid
|Sharps not contaminated with medicinal products, typically phlebotomy sharps||Either Incineration or autoclave|
For the safety of everybody who will handle the waste after it has left the clinical area it is very important for the person disposing of the waste to put it in the correct container/receptacle. Also as clinical waste is extremely expensive to dispose of it is essential that any other type of waste is not put in with the clinical waste.
Clinical Waste keys points:
- Clinical waste bags must be properly sealed using swan neck method (see attached pictures)
- Clinical waste must always show its place of origin and be deposited in identified and locked special clinical waste bins
- Sharps containers must be properly assembled and the person responsible must properly label the bin.
- When a sharps bin is at the full mark (usually at about 2/3 full) it must be closed and sealed and left in the assigned position for collection by the porters
- Pharmaceutical waste and bottles containing medicines are to be returned to Pharmacy in accordance with Trust policy
- Cytotoxic and cytostatic sharps are to be placed in sharps bins with purple lids
- Cytotoxic and cytostatic waste will be kept separate from other clinical waste
2. Domestic Waste
In 2007 the Government introduced strict regulations with regard to recycling of waste as part of its campaign to clean up the countryside and reduce landfill sites.
We will be introducing new waste recycling bins which will contain clear plastic bags. You can put cardboard, waste paper (non confidential), plastic (including empty drinks bottles and containers) and empty food/drinks cans in them and our contractor will take them to their recycling plant for onward re-use.
That leaves the black sacks for the remaining waste items such as food, polystyrene packaging and any other non recyclable item except glass. Glass, unless it is contaminated with medicinal products in which case it would be classed as clinical waste, goes in brown paper collection bags and is disposed of separately by Facilities.
Follow the above guidance for domestic waste and we will have a much better understanding of what is being disposed of which makes it safer for the porters and the waste disposal staff at our contractors.
Domestic Waste key points:
- Check what you are throwing away and make sure you dispose of it in the correct bin (clear plastic bag for recycling and black bag for other domestic waste)
- Make sure all cardboard boxes are flattened so it is safe to transport to the disposal point
- Always separate out glass items and decide if it is for clinical waste or domestic. Domestic glass goes in brown paper bags.
3. WEEE Waste
This one is simple. Anything electrical and you have to ask the porters to bring it to Facilities where it is segregated into different types of electrical waste and contractors are engaged to take it away. There are a number of different regulations for this waste, for instance fridges have to have the gas removed whilst computers have to have a certificate confirming that all the information has been removed from the hard drive.
New segregation bins should soon be available for collection of batteries as these have to be disposed of separately.