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Clinical Waste Collections

Types of clinical waste, what can be collected and how to arrange a collection


  • Types of clinical waste
  • Collection Service

Clinical waste is any waste from healthcare activities that could pose a risk to public health or the environment if not disposed of correctly.

Types of clinical waste

Clinical waste falls into two main categories:

1. Hazardous clinical waste

This is waste that could be hazardous to others. It requires specialist collection and disposal to remove the risks that it poses and must never be put in your normal household bins:

  • Sharps – Any medical instrument that could cause punctures or cuts, such as hypodermic needles, syringes with needles, infusion sharps or scalpels. These must be put in special yellow boxes known as ‘sharps’ boxes.
  • Hazardous (infectious) – Anything that could be harmful to others such as waste and human hygiene products from infectious disease cases, swabs and wound dressings. It must not be put in your normal bins; it should be stored in special orange sacks and be collected and disposed of safely.

2. Offensive (non-infectious)

Other clinical waste that may be offensive in nature but has no identified risk of infection such as incontinence wear/pads, colostomy bags, catheters, etc. This can be double bagged and put in your household bin or can be stored in yellow tiger bags and collected and disposed of via specialist clinical waste collection services.

Collection Service

We offer a free clinical waste collection service for residents in the Colchester borough who self-medicate in their homes. If a medical professional cares for you in your home, they should take any clinical waste away themselves and arrange safe disposal of it.

The company Medisort collects the waste on our behalf.

How to book a free collection

Residents can book a collection online for clinical waste produced when self-medicating at home. We do not currently provide a collection service for businesses.

Book a collection

Once you have registered online and requested a collection, Medisort will contact you within 24 hours to arrange a collection on the telephone number you provide.

Further Information

For help and advice, you can call us on 01206 282700 - press 1 for residential waste & recycling, then option 3 for clinical waste collections.

Any tiger or orange bags collected will be replaced by Medisort however we do not provide replacement sharps boxes. You can get empty sharps boxes on prescription from your GP.

Here are some frequently asked questions about this service.

Clinical Waste FAQs

Discover more of our online services as well as helpful information on recycling and rubbish collections here.

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