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Healthcare Waste - Frequently Asked Questions

Borough/District Councils

Questions about healthcare waste can be answered by your local district/borough council:

More information - FAQs

Q. The Healthcare Waste Service stopped a long time ago for one of my patients but I have recently received the form; do I need to fill it in?

A. This may be because the resident has contacted their borough/district council to have the collection re-instated. If you still think that the resident is producing non-infectious healthcare waste or if you still think that the resident does not need a healthcare collection, please complete and return the form.


Q. When are they going to come and collect my healthcare waste?

A. If you have recently requested a healthcare collection, your referral form will be with your medical professional e.g. GP, district nurse etc so that they can assess the type of healthcare waste you are producing. This assessment will then be sent to your local borough/district council who will then tell you how the waste will be collected. Sometimes this process can take approximately two weeks. In the meantime, please place your waste into a plastic bag, seal it up and put it in your wheeled waste bin. However, if you are producing sharps waste e.g. syringes, you should place these in your sharps box and then contact your local borough/district council when it is ¾ full and they will arrange for its collection.


Q. I have missed the healthcare waste collection, could I put healthcare waste in the normal bin instead?

A. No. Please contact your local borough/district council to report a missed collection.


Q. I used to get a healthcare waste collection, but it has stopped. I don’t think I should put this waste in my normal waste bin?

A. Only infectious healthcare waste and sharps/needles require a separate healthcare collection. Non-infectious waste can safely be placed in your normal waste bin and will not present any risk to the environment or to human health. Please place your waste in a plastic bag and seal it up before putting it in your waste wheeled bin.


Q. I understand the healthcare waste collection service is ending, should I dispose of my incontinence pads in the regular or recycling bin? 

A. Non-infectious healthcare waste, like incontinence pads, should be put in the regular waste bin but please place your waste in a plastic bag and seal it up before putting it in your waste wheeled bin. If your healthcare/incontinence products come in cardboard packaging, this should be placed in the recycling wheeled bin.


Q. I would like to cancel my healthcare waste collection because it is no longer needed. 

A. Please contact your local borough/district council to cancel your healthcare waste collection.


Q. I’m worried there won’t be room in my normal waste bin for the extra waste

A. If you find that there is not room in your waste bin, please contact your local borough/district council who will advise you.


Q. I have a stoma bag and because the normal bin is only collected bi-weekly it will smell horribly by the time it is collected.

A. The NHS recommended method is to empty the contents down the toilet, seal the used stoma bag and seal it in a plastic bag and place it in your household dustbin. Do not flush the bag down the toilet. There are flushable bags available but these are not suitable for everyone. Your Stoma Nurse will advise you.


Q. In the past my healthcare waste was collected separately, but now it has been stopped. Why has this happened?

A. In the past your borough/district council may have provided you with a separate healthcare waste collection without seeking a medical professional's assessment. However, it is now necessary to obtain a medical opinion as to the type of waste being produced so that it can be collected in the most appropriate way. If you are assessed as producing sharps and/or infectious healthcare waste, this will still need to be collected separately but non-infectious waste is now being collected along with your general waste.

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