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Understanding Clinical Waste

The NHS is one of the largest waste producers in the country, producing approximately 156,000 tonnes of clinical waste annually. The management of healthcare waste is an essential part of ensuring there is less risk, or potential risk, of infection.  

Everyone is responsible for the safe management and disposal of waste. Get to know your waste streams and choose the right option:

Waste volumes and green house gas emissions arising from healthcare waste are significant; from fossil fuels used in processing, greenhouse gas emissions from incineration and the decomposition of landfill.  

To reduce the environmental impact of waste following the waste hierarchy is essential: 

  • Sustainable waste management means using resources more efficiently, reducing the amount of waste produced and, where waste is generated, dealing with it in a way that will help to achieve circularity and sustainable development. 

Waste Management top tips: 

  • Follow the bin labels and posters.
  • Don’t put general waste or recycling into clinical waste bins. 
  • Use the yellow and black striped bags for non-infectious bandages, masks, and dressings 
  • Use the orange waste bags for infectious waste that is not chemically and/or medically contaminated, such as bandages and dressings. 
  • Use the yellow waste bags only for infectious clinical waste that is chemically and/or medically contaminated. 
  • Recycle where possible. 
 
Food waste action week is in March each year, Find out more: www.wrap.org.uk   

Contact your local Operations Relationship Manager if you don’t have recycling bins so we can add them to your site or email sustainability@communityhealthpartnerships.co.uk  

Did you know?  

The NHS has a Clinical Waste Strategy and (HTM) 07-01: Safe and Sustainable Management of Healthcare Waste 

many yellow clinical hopper waste bins in a warehouse with a blue shredding machine at Stericycle facilty
Clinical waste processing from CHP buildings reduces landfill and supports recycling

The CHP team work with our partners at Stericycle across 221 sites in the CHP portfolio.

Forklift truck with shredded paper bale at Restore Datashred facility
Confidential wast paper recycling at CHP supports a greener NHS

Restore Datashred work across 67 sites in the CHP portfolio.

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