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Clinical waste collection

We provide a free clinical waste collection service for domestic properties.

Clinical waste carries a risk of infection and injury. It 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

Refuse collection and clinical waste

What can be collected in your normal waste collection? Toggle accordion

If healthcare related waste originates from a person without infection, it can be disposed of in your normal refuse bin. This waste may be offensive in appearance and smell. A healthcare professional can confirm that it is not infectious waste. 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

Never put sharps into your normal refuse – they may seriously injure those collecting or disposing of the waste.

Reducing smells and leakage Toggle accordion

You may wish to double wrap or bag this waste to reduce unpleasant smells or leakage.

Not enough space in your refuse bin? Toggle accordion

If your current waste capacity is not sufficient for your non-infectious waste, we may be able to provide you with an alternative collection method. Please contact us for further information.

Contact us

Clinical waste service

What needs to be collected and disposed of separately Toggle accordion

This is infectious waste which is sent to be incinerated in order to prevent infection. This includes:

  • 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.

How does the clinical waste collection service work? Toggle accordion

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

Where to get clinical waste sacks and boxes Toggle accordion

Clinical waste sacks

We will provide you with special yellow sacks for your healthcare waste.

Sharps boxes

Special yellow lidded sharps boxes are provided by your GP or the hospital clinic providing the needles. They also provide replacement or extra bins. 

Further information on sharps collections can be found on the NHS website.

If you are using a needle exchange scheme, please continue this with your participating pharmacy.

Arranging a collection

You can arrange for a collection via MyStAlbans using the button below.  If you are requesting a sharps collection, please include the number and size of the sharps boxes (e.g. 3 1 litre sharps boxes) on the form to ensure they can be collected safely.

Arrange a clinical waste collection

How to present your clinical waste for collection Toggle accordion

  • Containers or sacks must be left at the boundary of your property for collection by 6am on day of collection.
  • All bagged waste must be contained in the yellow sacks provided and sacks must be tied at the top.
  • Please do not place yellow clinical waste sacks in your normal refuse bin as this will not be collected.

Please note: If a resident is treated in their home by a community nurse or member of the NHS, it is the healthcare professional’s responsibility to remove and dispose of any waste produced as a result of the visit.

Unused and out of date medicines

Unused and out of date medicines should be returned to your pharmacy for disposal. Please don’t put inhalers in your household waste. Take them to any pharmacy for recycling.