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Clinical Waste Bin: Everything You Need to Know

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You need to know how to safely and effectively collect and dispose of clinical waste into the correct clinical waste bin. But how easy is that? Are you short on time? Looking to outsource? Want to ensure you are legally compliant?

It just so happens that we are experts in clinical waste disposal and collection, and can offer you a competitive quote for your tailored waste management needs. Fill out our 60-second quote form today.

This page will tell you everything you need to know, from the types of clinical waste to the colour coding of bins, and a much-needed explanation of the impact on your business of the improper use of clinical waste bins.

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So, what is clinical waste?

Firstly, we must establish that clinical waste is typically segregated by type before it is disposed of. Here at WasteManaged, we provide the correct clinical waste bins for your business – but it still helps to know exactly what clinical or ‘specialist’ waste is, and the different categories to consider.

PPE clinical waste in an orange bin liner

Clinical waste is defined by The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 as “any waste which unless rendered safe may prove hazardous or may cause infection to any person coming into contact with it”.

The eight types of clinical waste, as outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), are as follows:

  • Infectious Waste: Usually items which may have been contaminated, such as bandages, wipes, gloves etc.
  • Sharps and Waste: Needles, scalpels, broken glass, and razors.
  • Pathological Waste: This includes human or animal tissue, body parts, blood and fluids.
  • Pharmaceutical Waste: Things found in this category include unused and expired drugs or medicines, like creams, pills, and antibiotics.
  • Genotoxic Waste and Cytotoxic Drugs: And any other hazardous toxic waste, that is carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic.
  • Radioactive Waste: Anything that could potentially contain radioactive materials.
  • Chemical Waste: Typically, liquid waste from machines, batteries and disinfectants
  • General/Other: Non-hazardous waste.

Clinical waste disposal and segregation are becoming more and more commonplace, and for good reason too. With the world evolving into a more health-conscious society, the dangers of infection are at an all-time high.

Therefore, businesses must know how to deal with clinical waste properly.


What are clinical waste bins?

Clinical waste bins are specially designed to store specialist/harmful waste until it can be collected for proper disposal.

The type of bin you need will depend on the type(s) of waste your business produces, but all clinical waste bins must be properly labelled and fit for purpose.

The most common type of clinical waste bin is the yellow clinical waste bag, which is used to store infectious or sharps waste.

Yellow clinical waste bin bag

These bags must be leak-proof and tear-resistant, and should be disposed of as soon as they are full. If they are not, there is a risk of spillage, which could lead to infection.

Alongside yellow specialist waste bags, there are plenty of other types of clinical waste bins available, each designed for a specific type of clinical waste.

We will discuss this in a bit more detail later on, but it is important to note that a clinical waste bin should never be used for general waste or recycling.

A key reason for this is that clinical waste is often hazardous, and if it is not disposed of correctly, it can pose a severe health risk to both people and the environment.

Specialist waste management is a complex and regulated process, so it is important to partner with a waste management company that has experience in this area.

WasteManaged can provide your business with the correct clinical waste bin for your needs, as well as dispose of your clinical waste in accordance with all relevant regulations.

So, what happens if a clinical waste bin isn’t used correctly?

Improper management of clinical waste can lead to a whole bin bag of issues (see what we did there?).

As we mentioned, one of the main concerns regarding clinical waste bins and the effective collection and disposal of such waste, is the risk of infections or diseases.

Therefore, those working in hospitals, GPs, dentists, schools, and restaurants, to name a few, need to be aware of the risks associated with specialist waste.

The benefits of effective use of a clinical waste bin mean that thousands of businesses can prevent the spread of infections and diseases in their workplace and beyond.

If you spend hours crafting your sustainability policy, you will want to consider the environmental impact your waste disposal has on your business’s carbon footprint.

Not only that, but companies can receive significant fines and sanctions for inappropriate clinical waste disposal or failure to use the correct clinical waste bins. Does this sound like a risk you want to take?

Woman in full ppe equipment taking our bio hazardous waste

Putting aside the harmful impact of improper disposal of specialist waste on yourself, your colleagues, and the environment – you also have the legal requirements to consider.

Different countries have their own specific regulations surrounding clinical waste, so it is essential to research the requirements that are relevant to your business.

In the UK, for example, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) sets out the framework for dealing with controlled waste. This includes clinical waste, and businesses must take all reasonable steps to ensure that their waste is disposed of correctly.

But instead of boring you with pages of laws you must adhere to, here are just a few reasons why we think you should trust us, and why we have achieved our 4.5 stars on Trustpilot:

  • We make it SAFE. Safety is our priority, and our collection and disposal services put safety at the forefront. If you have a question regarding this, please do not hesitate to call us to discuss it.
  • We make it SUSTAINABLE. Cleaner & greener waste management means less of what we collect goes to landfill.
  • We make it SIMPLE. With one simple, fixed monthly subscription fee for all your waste, you won’t find unwelcome figures on your bills. One less thing to worry about…

Are there different types of clinical waste bins?

There are quite a few different types of clinical waste bins, designed to help you collect and dispose of your clinical waste effectively and safely.

Colour coding is globally recognised as a way to identify and categorise different waste streams correctly.

Not only does knowing the colour-coded bin system enable you to comply with legislation, but it also enables you and your colleagues to work in a safer environment and create a safe space for members of the public also.

Which ones does my business need?

If you are unsure about what clinical waste management you require, and which bins your business needs, why not call us to talk about it?

At WasteManaged, we have a highly trained and experienced team who can provide you with free and friendly advice over the phone: 03333445477.

For now, here is a quick run-down of the main types of clinical waste bins you may need in your business:

Various coloured clinical waste bin types
  • Sharps Container – Used for discarded syringes, needles and other sharps waste.
  • Yellow Waste Bag – Designed for holding infectious waste and sanitary products.
  • Orange Waste Bag – Holds offensive waste, which, although classed as non-infectious, can potentially be unpleasant to those who come into contact with it.
  • Purple Waste Bags – Cytotoxic and cytostatic waste as described above.
  • White Case Containers – Often found in the dentist and used for dental waste.
  • Red Waste Bags – Holds anatomical waste and is most commonly used after surgical procedures.

What’s next?

Over to you. If you are reading this article, then no doubt you are searching for the most effective ways to handle specialist waste and figure out which clinical waste bins are right for your business.

At WasteManaged, we make it our mission to provide sustainable and safe clinical waste management solutions for businesses of all types and sizes. We understand that each business is different, so we tailor our services to suit your specific needs.

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More than 20,000 businesses in the UK choose us as their waste disposal service. We’re licensed and experienced, and we’re ready to create your tailored quote.

Our friendly experts are also on hand to take your call if you would prefer to talk to a human! Give us a call on 03333445477, and one of our friendly team members will be more than happy to help.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this article has helped answer some of your lingering specialist waste questions!

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