Frequently Asked Questions Sharps & Healthcare Waste
What is classified as Healthcare (or medical/clinical) waste?
The Controlled Waste Regulations Act 2012 defines healthcare waste as :
“a. any waste which consists wholly or partly of human or animal tissue, blood or other body fluids, excretions, drugs
or other pharmaceutical products, swabs or dressings, syringes, needles or other sharp instruments, being waste
which unless rendered safe may prove hazardous to any person coming into contact with it; and
b. any other waste arising from medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, pharmaceutical or similar practice, investigation,
treatment, care, teaching or research, or the collection of blood for transfusion, being waste which may cause
infection to any person coming into contact with it.”
Who is responsible for Healthcare Waste?
The “producer” of this waste is responsible for ensuring its safe handling and eventual disposal.
That includes small and home businesses practicing in any healthcare or medicinal / human or animal capacity – so covers
Acupuncturists, Beauticians, Chiropractors, Chiropodists, Tattoo artists, Vets – basically any business using and
producing waste from sharps, materials contaminated with bodily fluids, PPE, body parts, chemicals and medicines,
medical devices and radioactive materials.
Having a fully compliant contract in place is essential.
We can help you with this – for a no obligation, instant quote just click the button!
Why do I have to complete a pre acceptance audit for my Healthcare Waste?
Mixing waste is prohibited in England and Wales under Duty of Care and the Hazardous Waste Regulations.
As a producer of clinical waste you are legally required to classify and describe the waste – which is where the pre-acceptance form comes in.
Before being sent for disposal to a landfill site, robust source segregation is necessary to meet pre-treatment requirements.
Verification for the healthcare producers’ pre-acceptance audit is required in order to avoid infectious waste being mixed in with the offensive/hygiene waste, which is in contravention of waste legislation.
Acceptance of this waste for disposal ultimately depends on meeting the conditions of the landfill licence/permit.
The reason the accountability sits with the producer is to provide a full audit trail facilitated by documentation describing the waste and other relevant details – which goes onto the Duty of Care Waste Transfer Notes & Hazardous/Special Waste Consignment Notes.
This has the objectives of:
– preventing any other persons committing the offences of depositing, disposing of or recovering controlled
waste without an environmental permit or waste management licence.
– Safely containing the waste and preventing escape spills
– Ensuring the waste transfer only goes to authorised establishments for final regulated disposal.
When Do I receive my Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note and / or my Hazardous / Special Waste Consignment note?
Your Duty of Care Certificate will be issued at the point of signing your contract. All relevant notices thereafter, including your Hazardous Waste Transfer Notice will be issued following the service visit carried out by our providers.
We keep a copy of all the documents securely here at Green Circle Direct so should you have misplaced your note or need a copy urgently for an upcoming inspection please email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get a copy sent straight across to you.
What goes into what bin and what are the colour streams?
This can be quite a complicated set of rules to understand so we have created “Clinical Waste Wheels” to explain what goes where, which can be seen below. We also have a number of useful articles on our site which can be accessed here The What Who & Why explaining the process right from collection to disposal and recycling!