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Clinical Waste

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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.

Popular storage for clinical waste

Anatomical Waste – Red Clinical Waste Bag

Clinical Anatomical waste bags

Clinical waste bags suitable for organs, body parts, blood bags, animal organs, body parts, placentas, tissue samples.

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Clinical Infectious Waste – Orange Clinical Waste Bag

Clinical infectious waste bags

Clinical waste bags which are suitable for bandages, wipes, dressings, gloves, PPE and aprons

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Clinical Non-infectious – Yellow and Black Clinical Waste Bag

Clinical non infectious waste bags

Clinical waste bags suitable for Incontinence pads, sanitary waste, nappies and wipes, disposable garments, PPE (Garments and gloves), emptied colostomy bags, swabs

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Cytotoxic and Cytostatic Purple Waste Bags

Clinical cytotoxic waste bags

Clinical waste bags suitable for blister packs, gloves, wipes, medicinal Vials

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Yellow Highly Infectious Clinical Waste Bag

Clinical highly infectious waste bags

Clinical waste bags suitbale for bandages , gauze, PPE, disposable garments, disposable gloves, aprons and bedding

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Dental Amalgam Waste White Clinical Waste Bin

dental amalgam waste bin

Dental waste container suitable for unwanted amalgam, teeth with fillings and capsules containing residues

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who produces Clinical Waste and why?

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.

Dental Practises. Dental practises can produce sharps and amalgam waste.

How much Clinical Waste do we produce?

According to a recent report, the NHS produces 600,000 tonnes of waste each year, more than 1% of the domestic UK waste with the latest estimates for England only, indicate that the amount of commercial and industrial waste generated is around 37.2 million tonnes.

Estimations show that each of the 1,500 UK hospitals also create approximately 2,250 tonnes of PVC waste, with masks, oxygen masks and tubing as the most used medical PVC items. While most of this waste will likely be classified as clinical, healthcare services also produce large volumes of general recycling and even food waste.

Can we reduce Clinical 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.

Clinical Waste: The Facts

  • 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.
  • As clinical waste contains potentially harmful microorganisms, if it is disposed of incorrectly, it can pollute water sources such as lakes, streams and rivers. This also threatens marine life.
  • Other potential hazards may include drug-resistant microorganisms that can spread from health facilities into the environment.

How should Clinical Waste be Stored?

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
Sharps Bins/Containers.

Regular inspections should be carried out of your bins and containers to ensure they are not damaged. We will collect and dispose of your clinical waste securely and responsibly, making sure it does not pose a risk either to human health or the environment.

How can Divert help?

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!

What is clinical waste?

Clinical waste is the term used to describe waste produced from healthcare and  similar industries that could create a risk to human health or the environment. This type of waste could be contaminated, infectious or a hazardous chemical or substance and may pose a risk of infection.

Examples include pharmaceutical products and used healthcare products such as bandages, syringes, swabs, of medicine that may prove hazardous.

At Divert, we will collect and dispose of your clinical waste securely and responsibly, making sure it does not pose a risk either to human health or the environment.

Why is clinical waste hazardous?

Health-care waste contains potentially harmful microorganisms which can infect people and animals and pollute the environment such as flora and fauna, as well as and water sources.

Clinical waste and healthcare waste may be hazardous or non-hazardous and like all wastes, it must be classified and assessed appropriately.

Clinical waste can be hazardous as it could be contaminated by an infectious person or medically contaminated. This in turn could infect someone else, and as a result, careful and responsible waste disposal is key.

 

Where should clinical waste be stored?

Clinical waste should be stored in a specific container or bag.

These items are colour coded so waste types can be streamed to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Filled clinical waste storage containers awaiting collection should be stored in a secure area or room away from the general public, as well as areas away from watercourses as well as sensitive perimeters.

What is a clinical waste bag?

A clinical waste bag is used for the safe storage of clinical waste.

It is clearly labelled so its contents are clear. Any waste that has been infected or contaminated with medicines or chemicals or bodily fluids should go into a clinical waste bag.

Our clinical waste bags are made from strong, durable materials – which reduce the chances of these bags breaking or getting damaged during both storage and transit.

What colour are clinical waste bags?

Clinical Waste Bags come in the following colours:

  • 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)

Our clinical waste bags are made from strong, durable materials – which reduce the chances of these bags breaking or getting damaged during both storage and transit.

How do you tie a clinical waste bag?

A clinical waste bag should only be two thirds full and filled no higher than the “Do not fill” line.

The neck of the bag can then be twisted, doubled over and either fastened with a plastic seal or tied in a secure knot. This is to prevent any clinical waste from escaping.

One tied, it should be stored right up in a safe location where it can be collected by the council or a waste management service such as Divert.

How often should clinical waste be disposed of?

It depends on how much waste storage room is available but you can store cytotoxic and cytostatic drugs, medicines, drugs and dental amalgam for up to 6 months.

Infectious clinical waste and offensive waste can be stored for up to 7 days outside or up to 14 days if stored in a building.

Refrigerated anatomical waste can be stored for up to 14 days and unrefrigerated anatomical waste can be stored for 24 hours or up to 72 hours if it is a weekend.

We strongly recommend frequent collections of infectious or hazardous clinical waste, in order to protect human health and the environment.

Who collects clinical waste?

Both the council or a specialised waste management providers like Divert can collect all types of business waste, such as clinical waste.

Unlike the council, Divert’s rubbish collection and junk removal services are flexible to any environment and its unique demands. Households, businesses, and organisations have seen us rise to the occasion time and time again.

We collect waste, but think before we dispose of it – and ensure your waste doesn’t simply end up as more landfill. By picking us, you can pat yourself on the back, knowing you got the job done and did your bit for the environment.

Book your rubbish collection online in minutes. Don’t dump it – Divert it.

 

What type of waste should be put into a sharps container?

Sharps material is a form of biomedical waste that is considered sharp and could puncture skin. Because of this, sharps materials need to be contained in a sharps container. The most common examples include syringes, scalpels, insulin pens, needles, razor blades and piercing guns. Knives, pins, staples and contaminated glass are also sharps waste.

Whilst a sharps bin can be found within households on the basis of medical reasons, they are typically used by medical, science, or beauty industries, and as such, all require a comprehensive sharps collection and disposal plan.

What colour is a sharps bin

Sharps bins are yellow, orange, purple, red or blue. Different items go in different coloured bins to prevent cross-contamination and safe disposal of the waste.

Sharps bins cover these categories of clinical waste:

  • Orange-Lidded Sharps Bin: non-pharmaceutical sharps waste, such as tattoo needles.
  • Yellow-Lidded Sharps Bin: medical sharps waste, such as syringes.
  • Purple-Lidded Sharps Bin: hazardous cytotoxic and cytostatic waste, such as some cancer treatment medication.
  • Red-Lidded Sharps Bin: anatomical waste, such as recognisable human body parts.
  • Blue-Lidded Sharps Bin: solid medicinal waste in its packaging, such as pills in a blister pack.

What colour sharps bin for needles?

If a needle is medically contaminated it needs to go in a yellow sharps bin.

If a needle is not medically contaminated (eg it has been used to take blood from someone with no known infection) it needs to go into an orange sharps bin.

If a needle is contaminated with cytotoxic and cytostatic waste it needs to go into a purple sharps bin.

What goes in a yellow sharps bin?

Any sharp instrument that is contaminated with a medical or chemical product should go in a yellow sharps bin.

Examples include medical residue such as medically contaminated needles or syringes. However, if the product has cytotoxic and cytostatic properties, then it must go in a purple sharps bin.

The correct and proper management of waste is vital – this includes segregation and storage, as well as disposal.

What goes in a purple sharps bin?

Sharps bins with a purple lid are for hazardous cytotoxic or cytostatic waste. antiviral or antibiotics, hormone-based drugs.

Cytotoxic refers to a substance that kills off human cells, with cytostatic being used to promote cell growth.

These can refer to medicines (or active agents) such as antiviral or antibiotics, or hormone-based drugs which are used to treat cancer, such as a needle and drip. Other examples include patches, vials and blister packs.

The correct and proper management of waste is vital – this includes segregation and storage, as well as disposal.

How to use a sharps bin?

Items should be placed in a sharps bin as soon as they have been used and should never be taken out.

A sharps bin should not be filled above the fill line and an item should never be left sticking out of a bin.

You should never try to open a locked sharps bin.

Store a sharps bin in a safe area that is out of reach of children and pets.

What colour lid does a cytotoxic sharps bin have?

Purple-lidded bins are for cytotoxic and cytostatic waste. This is typically medicinal products that are toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction, such as some cancer treatment medication.

Cytotoxic refers to a substance that kills off human cells, with cytostatic being used to promote cell growth.

These can refer to medicines (or active agents) such as antiviral or antibiotics, or hormone-based drugs which are used to treat cancer, such as a needle and drip. Other examples include patches, vials and blister packs.

The correct and proper management of waste is vital – this includes segregation and storage, as well as disposal.

What is an Orange-Lidded Sharps Bin?

Orange-lidded sharps bins are used for sharp instruments that are for waste items that only contain blood, and contain no medical or pharmaceutical products that are chemically or medically contaminated.

Examples include a used syringe which has taken a blood sample, scalpel blades, or contaminated broken glass.

Orange sharps bins are also used  in private practices with beauty treatments such as acupuncture, podiatry and tattoo inking. These all require correct sharps disposal.

What is a Yellow-lidded sharps bin?

A yellow-lidded sharps bin is for the safe storage of sharp instruments that have been contaminated with a medical or chemical product.

Examples include needles used to give injections.

Not all medicinal products can be disposed into yellow lidded bins; those with cytotoxic and cytostatic properties must be placed into the purple lidded bins.

The correct and proper management of waste is vital – this includes segregation and storage as well was disposal.

What is a Red-lidded Sharps Bin?

A red-lidded sharps bin is used to store anatomical waste.

Examples include blood bags, body parts, or any other recognisable anatomical items that may be offensive to those who come into contact with such items.

As anatomical waste is classified as being potentially hazardous, clinical facilities must ensure that the appropriate bags and containers are used on-site. In these cases, our expertly designed red clinical waste bags are the perfect solution for all forms of anatomical waste.

What is a Blue-lidded Sharps Bin?

A blue-lidded sharps bin isn’t for sharp items. They are used to safely and securely store prescription-only medicine that is either out of date or has been partially used.

Examples include solid medicinal waste in its original packaging e.g. pills in a blister pack.

The blue lidded container is for the disposal of medicine that excludes those that are cytotoxic or cytostatic, whilst the purple lidded container is for the disposal of cytotoxic or cytostatic medicines.

With the global pandemic persisting throughout recent years, blue-lidded bins have become far more common as they store PPE waste in addition to expired pharmaceuticals.

What is a sharps waste bin?

A sharps bin is a type of waste container used to temporarily store used sharp or medical items until it can be transported to the appropriate disposal facility.

Sharps material is a type of biomedical waste that consists of used needles, knives, or other sharp tools which puncture human or animal skin.

Bins are different colours so that waste types can be separated. Our bins have lockable, tamper-resistant lids. They are also made of hard-wearing plastic so they are puncture resistant and leakproof.

While all waste should be stored in the appropriate containers before disposal, safely storing sharps and similar materials is of particular importance. This is due to the health and safety risk associated with this waste type. For example, if not stored correctly, those handling or disposing of the sharps waste could be at risk if the products cut, scrape, or pierce their skin. This risk is made worse if the sharps have come into contact with any infectious materials.

There are various sharps bins available, depending on the type of waste you are producing. Typically, these products are colour-coded to make it easier for the waste to be appropriately segregated.

What is a sharps bin used for?

Sharps bins are used to temporarily store used sharp or medical items until it can be transported to the appropriate disposal facility. Safe storage of used sharp and medical items is very important as it greatly reduces the risk of contamination.

Sharps bins contain various types of biomedical waste that consists of used needles, knives, or other sharp tools which puncture human or animal skin.

 

What colour sharps bin for blood?

Orange-lidded sharps bins are used for sharp items that only contain blood and no other medical products or contaminants.

These containers are commonly used in the healthcare industry during operations and include syringes used to take blood samples. It is advised that clinical infectious waste is stored in bright orange bags to eliminate the chance of these products being thrown in the general waste bin.

Red-lidded bins are used for anatomical waste such as blood bags.

Our Red Clinical Waste bags can be used to store:

Organs
Body parts
Blood Bags

Where can I get a sharps bin?

Divert can provide your business with all manner of Sharps Bins free of charge – and arrange for low-cost collection at a schedule that works for you. We will collect and dispose of clinical waste in a safe and flexible manner, at times that suit you.

At Divert, all of our Sharps Waste Bins are made from highly durable materials, reducing their chances of being pierced or damaged during storage and transit. They are also sealable and lockable. In short, they ensure that all waste produced within your facility will be appropriately managed.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch today for more information about the Sharps Bins we have on offer.

What happens to sharps waste?

Sharps waste is often incinerated, especially if it is potentially infectious. Some medical centres also separate the waste into two categories- infectious and non-infectious, then incinerate the infected waste.

Sharps waste is no longer considered biomedical waste once it has been effectively decontaminated. Here, they can be sanitised by using a machine called an autoclave which uses pressurised steam and water to sterilise the equipment.

How to get rid of a sharps bin?

Arrange a sharps collection service with Divert. We can provide you with correct containers for you to dispose of you waste and we will arrange a collection schedule to suit your business needs.

However, if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, and as a result use needles at home, your local council may be responsible for collecting your sharps bin.

Depending if the waste is infectious or not, the infectious waste will be incinerated, and the non-infectious waste will be sterilised.

Where to dispose of a sharps bin?

With Divert you can arrange for us to collect your full sharps bins.

We will collect and dispose of this clinical waste, preventing it from harming the environment or public health.

Once collected, we will dispose of it for you. Depending if the waste is infectious or not, the infectious waste will be incinerated, and the non-infectious waste will be sterilised.

When should a sharps bin be locked and disposed of?

Containers must be changed when the waste/contents reach the fill line (which is never more than 3/4’s full) or become malodorous.

Read the manufactures instructions if unsure. Once the container is locked, if appropriate, label it in permanent ink with the date and name and signature of the person locking it.

It should then be stored safely and securely locked until it is collected for disposal.

What is clinical sharps waste?

Clinical waste is an umbrella term for the kinds of waste typically produced within healthcare or wellbeing facilities. They must be disposed of securely and safely due to the fact that they could be infectious. Clinical sharps waste is any item that is sharp that could be contaminated, infectious or contains a hazardous chemical or substance.

While all waste should be stored in the appropriate containers before disposal, the safe storage of sharps and similar materials is a priority due to the health and safety risks associated with this waste type. For example, if not stored correctly, the handling or disposing of the sharps waste could be at risk if the products are able to pierce or cut the skin. This risk is intensified if the sharps have come into contact with any infectious materials.

What is sharps waste management?

It is the safe disposal and storage of a sharp object that is then collected for final disposal.

The combination of potential contamination with pathogens and the ability to pierce the skin make them one of the most dangerous wastes produced in healthcare.

As such, a comprehensive waste management plan is essential. That’s why Divert offers a variety of free sharps bins and, once filled, can collect them at a time that suits you, before it is taken to the appropriate disposal facility.

What is sharps waste collection?

This is the collection service of any sharps waste that has been disposed of in a sharps box or container.

The goal of sharps waste collection to safely collect and handle all materials until they can be properly disposed of.

At Divert, we provide you with a manner of colour coded bins to help you with your waste collection. Then, we will collect sharps bins at times that suit you and transport it to the appropriate disposal facility.

 

How do you dispose of sharps waste?

You must dispose of sharps waste in the correct colour coded container, depending on what the waste type is and arrange for the box to be collected by a professional, such as Divert.

Once collected, sharps waste can taken to the correct disposal facility.

Depending if the waste is infectious or not, the infectious waste will be incinerated, and the non-infectious waste will be sterilised.

The sterilisation process means that Sharps waste will no longer considered biomedical waste once it has been effectively decontaminated. Here, they can be sanitised by using a machine called an autoclave which uses pressurised steam and water to sterilise the equipment.

How do you dispose of waste and sharps in hairdressing?

There are around 45,000 hairdressers operating in the UK. Responsible and correct disposal is key. Any contaminated waste should go in a clinical waste bin and any sharps waste should go in the correct colour coded sharps container.

All types of sharps from your business need to be disposed of in secure, yellow hazardous waste bins.

Liquid hair dye and other chemicals are classed as hazardous waste. This is due to the damage they can cause to the environment.

Clinical waste needs to be separated from normal waste, as well as different types of sharps waste. At Divert, we can advise and provide you with all the correct bins and collect them at a time that suits you and your business.

How to dispose of medical sharps waste

Residents using medical sharps at home should place them into a sealed sharps box which can be acquired from a GP or pharmacy, once full, it can be returned to a GP’s surgery once full for safe disposal. You can also arrange a collection from the local council.

For medically contaminated waste, the yellow waste stream is used for waste that has been produced from the treatment of infectious patients, or waste that is medicinally contaminated.

Yellow-stream waste should be sent for incineration at a suitably authorised facility. Yellow-lidded sharps units are for sharps that have been used in the administration of, or are contaminated by, medicines other than those that are cytotoxic and cytostatic, which should be pout in a purple bin.

You should not put used needles or other sharps:

  • in your household waste, recycling bin or another general rubbish bin.
  • in a container, such as a drinks can or bottle.
  • Used medical sharps can cause injuries and may carry blood-borne viruses that can be transmitted.

How to open a sharps bin

If you accidentally close the lid by mistake on sharps container, you can only use a hardware tool, such as a screwdriver, to pry it open.

If there is a sharps box with sharps waste inside, do not try to open the lid again. For your safety you should use a brand new sharps container.

Where can I buy a sharps bin

You can buy a sharps container online or in any retailer that specialises in tools or medical supplies.

If you got through a specialist waste management service such as Divert, we can offer you a range of free sharps bins and containers to suit your needs.

All of our Sharps Waste Bins are made from highly durable materials, reducing their chances of being pierced or damaged during storage and transit. They are also sealable and lockable. In short, they ensure that all waste produced within your facility will be appropriately managed.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch today for more information about the Sharps Bins we have to offer.

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