Dispose of your clinical waste safely

Dispose of your clinical waste safely

Waste disposal within laboratories is pivotal when it comes to the safety of staff, patients and the working environment. In 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that 15% of Health care waste is considered hazardous material that may be infectious, toxic or radioactive.

Health-care waste can contain potentially harmful microorganisms that can infect hospital patients, health workers and the general public. Other potential hazards can include physical injuries from sharps, chemical and radiation burns, toxic exposure to pharmaceutical products, air pollution as well as the indirect impact and risk to the environment.

Unfortunately, poor waste management and inadequate practice is the subsequent result of not enough awareness and insufficient training. This can be due to a lack of resources and the low priority given to the topic within the healthcare sector.

Since COVID-19 and the return of other services resuming within the NHS, clinical waste contractors have reported a “high increase in infectious clinical waste”. Not only has this increase in waste led to the NHS pledging to improve systems that will reduce waste, but poor management systems and incorrect segregation is costing the NHS money and causing harm to everyone around.

Special or hazardous waste originates from the delivery of healthcare in both clinical and non-clinical settings.  Knowing how to categorise waste and the standard infection control precautions is essential in any laboratory. See below a summary of the categories of waste that could be applicable to your organisation.

Black 

Domestic (municipal) waste  

Minimum treatment and disposal required is landfill. Municipal incineration/energy from waste or other municipal waste treatment process to take place at a suitably permitted or licensed facility. Recyclable components should be removed through segregation.  

Yellow & Black

Offensive/ hygiene waste

Health care waste classified as non-hazardous and does not pose an infection risk. disposal required is landfill or municipal incineration and may be sent for energy recovery at a suitably permitted or licensed facility.

Blue 

Non-hazardous medical waste 

Waste includes unused and part empty non-cytotoxic/cytostatic medicines in original packaging. Indicative treatment/disposal required is incineration at a suitably authorised facility. 

Orange 

Infectious waste which can be sent for treatment to render it safe prior to disposal. 

Waste contaminated with bodily fluids which may pose a potential infection risk. 

Red 

Anatomical waste for incineration. 

Any recognisable human waste that is larger than a 50 pence piece. 

White 

Amalgam waste 

Waste including dental amalgam and mercury including spent and out-of-date capsules, excess mixed amalgam and contents of amalgam separators. Potential infection risk may apply. 

Solmedia supply an extensive range of bins and consumables to aid healthcare professionals to dispose of waste safely and correctly. Products include Sharps Bins, Waste Disposal Sacks, Formalin control solutions, Hazard Labels and Dispojars. 

The Solmedia Dispojars are a safe and secure solution for the disposing of waste within a pathology laboratory.  These PET jars support waste categorising with a transparent appearance allowing for quick identification of waste. The jars can be combusted with low toxicity and can be autoclaved whilst containing waste. Available in a wide range of sizes; Dispojars also offer a cap with liners to contain liquids securely, or alternatively, gel packs can be used which provides a tight seal and avoids any leaking.   

Speak to our team of experts for more advice on waste disposal or for more information on our waste disposal products that can help your laboratory improve practices. 

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