What is Clinical Waste?
Clinical waste is an umbrella term for the kinds of waste typically produced within healthcare or wellbeing facilities. They must be disposed of safely and securely due to the fact that they could be infectious. Clinical waste is often split into a few different sub-categories.
Infectious Clinical waste. This refers to any products contaminated with blood or bodily fluids, such as bandages, swabs, and other dressings. It also includes PPE and Covid testing supplies.
Offensive clinical waste. Offensive clinical waste refers to products that may ‘offend’ those that come into contact with them, as they are rather unpleasant. For example, this includes products such as incontinence pads, nappies and wipes.
Clinical sharps waste. As the name suggests, clinical sharps waste refers to sharp and therefore hazardous waste products such as needles, lancets and syringes.
Anatomical clinical waste. Anatomical waste refers to waste made from human or animal tissue or blood.
Cytotoxic / Cytostatic waste. Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste refers to products that are hazardous to human health. This could include expired or surplus medication, alongside the packaging used to contain these substances.
Clinical waste bags suitable for organs, body parts, blood bags, animal organs, body parts, placentas, tissue samples.Learn more
Clinical waste bags which are suitable for bandages, wipes, dressings, gloves, PPE and apronsLearn more
Clinical waste bags suitable for Incontinence pads, sanitary waste, nappies and wipes, disposable garments, PPE (Garments and gloves), emptied colostomy bags, swabsLearn more
Clinical waste bags suitable for blister packs, gloves, wipes, medicinal VialsLearn more
Clinical waste bags suitbale for bandages , gauze, PPE, disposable garments, disposable gloves, aprons and beddingLearn more
Dental waste container suitable for unwanted amalgam, teeth with fillings and capsules containing residuesLearn more
Clinical Waste is often produced within a healthcare setting. This includes:
Hospitals & Doctors Surgeries. Doctors offices, hospitals, dental practices and health centres typically produce the largest volumes of clinical waste. In addition to bandages, garments and PPE, they also produce clinical waste in the form of expired or used medications.
Veterinary Practices. Believe it or not, a large volume of the tools and medications needed to treat humans are also used to help animals feel better. As a result, veterinary practices or animal shelters also produce large volumes of clinical waste. For example, any surgical procedures carried out within these premises will require the use of sharps.
Pharmacies. Pharmacies also produce large volumes of clinical waste such as expired or surplus medications, bandages, PPE and sharps.
According to a recent report, the NHS produces 600,000 tonnes of waste each year. While most of this waste will likely be classified as clinical, healthcare services also produce large volumes of general recycling and even food waste.
There are various steps that healthcare providers can take to reduce the amount of clinical waste they produce. For example, company owners should:
Provide employees with access to the appropriate containers to store and manage waste.
Install signage throughout the facility that informs employees on the steps they should take to segregate waste properly.
Keep on track of all medicinal products stored within their facility. This ensures that all medicines are used within the correct time frame and will not expire before use.
Store all medications according to their specific instructions. For example, certain medicines need to be stored in cool, dry places, whereas others must be refrigerated.
Source reusable products for use within the facility so that they do not need to be disposed of so frequently.
From all of the waste produced within healthcare facilities, around 15% of the waste is considered hazardous to human health and the environment.
A report from the World Health Organisation and UNICEF found that only 58% of countries have adequate systems in place to dispose of their healthcare waste.
If disposed of incorrectly, clinical waste can pollute water sources such as lakes, streams and rivers. This also threatens marine life.
Due to its hazardous nature, the safe storage of all clinical waste must be considered a priority by all healthcare providers. To begin with, this means selecting the right storage options for the waste. At Divert, we can provide you with free access to the following storage solutions:
Orange Clinical Waste Bags. (Infectious waste)
Purple Waste Bags. (Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste)
Red Waste Bags. (Anatomical waste)
Yellow Clinical Waste Bags (Highly Infectious waste)
Yellow and Black Tiger Waste Bags (Clinical non-infectious waste)
Clinical Waste Wheelie Bins
Regular inspections should be carried out of your bins and containers to ensure they are not damaged.
Running a healthcare facility comes hand in hand with a great deal of stressors – don’t let waste management be one of them. At Divert, we can help make your facility more eco-friendly through our zero-landfill policy and unique approach to waste management. For example, we can:
Provide you with access to free bins, bags and containers.
Provide you with expert advice on all areas of waste disposal, helping you reduce the amount of waste you produce as a whole.
Put together a waste collection schedule that is specifically tailored to your company. For example, we can ensure waste is collected outside of your business hours.
Save you a great deal of time, energy and money by dealing with the problematic aspects of waste disposal on your behalf.
For more information or to check out the rest of the services we have on offer, do not hesitate to get in touch today!