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Domestic clinical waste

Clinical waste is any waste which poses a threat of infection to humans. The term also includes items such as surgical waste, used syringes, drugs or other pharmaceutical products.

Clinical waste can include:

  • Human tissue
  • Blood or other bodily fluids
  • Drugs or other pharmaceutical products
  • Swabs or dressings
  • Syringes, needles or other sharp instruments

There are two different types of clinical waste:

  • Waste that can be collected via your normal refuse collections
  • Waste that needs to be collected and disposed of separately

What can be collected in your normal waste collection?

Some types of healthcare related waste are suitable for disposal in your normal refuse bin. This waste can be offensive in appearance and smell however provided a healthcare professional confirms it is not infectious the waste is suitable to be placed in your normal refuse bin. This waste may include:

  • Sanitary waste
  • Nappies
  • Plasters
  • Incontinence pads
  • Catheter and stoma bags (empty)
  • Wound dressings
  • Vomit and soiled bedding
  • Nasal secretions, sputum and condoms

You may wish to double wrap or bag this waste to reduce unpleasant smells or leakage however provided the waste originates from a person without infection the waste does not require specialist disposal and you can therefore place this waste in your normal refuse bin.

If your current waste capacity is not sufficient for your non-infectious waste, we may be able to provide you with a larger bin: please complete and return the extra waste capacity application form.

We do not provide a clinical waste service for commercial properties.

What needs to be collected and disposed of separately?

This is infectious waste which is sent to be incinerated in order to prevent infection such as:

  • Waste from infectious disease cases
  • Waste from wound infections and other acquired infections
  • Human hygiene products and dressings from infectious cases
  • All sharps including: hypodermic needles and syringes with needles attached.

This is collected separately from your normal waste in specially provided sharps boxes or yellow sacks. Collections are provided free of charge and the frequency of collections is suited to each case.

Book a waste collection

You can arrange a Sharps collections over the phone by calling 01462 474000 and choosing the waste option.

If you require a clinical waste sack collection, you will be asked to complete and return a form so we can assess the most appropriate way of handling your waste. We require your healthcare professional to confirm whether the waste you produce is infectious. You can download the form at the bottom of this page and return to:

North Hertfordshire District Council
Waste Management
Council Offices
Gernon Road
Letchworth Garden City

For further advice, to request a clinical waste form by post or to request a temporary clinical waste collection please contact us on 01462 474000 and choose the waste option.

Clinical waste collection information

Containers/sacks must be left at the boundary of your property for collection by 7am on day of collection.

All bagged waste must be contained in the orange sacks provided and sacks must be tied at the top.

Please do not place orange clinical waste sacks in your normal refuse bin as this will not be collected.

If residents are treated in their home by a community nurse or a member of the NHS, any waste produced as a result is considered to be the healthcare professional’s waste and should be removed and disposed of by them.