Waste segregation

Published by Direct Admin on 07 February 2017

Waste segregation

Why is it important?

Segregating clinical waste into the correct bin at the point of generation is critical to the safety of staff and patients. Not only does it aid in reducing costs for your business but it ensures that all healthcare waste is stored, transported and, ultimately, disposed of correctly.

Colour coding - which bin to put it in?

The HTM 07-01 (The Safe Management of Healthcare Waste Memorandum) are the best practice guidelines published by The Environment Agency for the healthcare sector. For the segregation of your clinical waste to work effectively, the HTM 07-01 recommends that colour coded bins, sacks and other waste receptacles are provided to ensure easy identification. They should then be placed as close to the point of waste creation as possible.

Any organisation can deviate from the colour coding guidance provided if they have an equivalent or better solution in place. However, most will keep to the HTM 07-01 recommendations to avoid any confusion.


Waste type Classification Colour Description
Infectious clinical waste Hazardous Yellow Poses a known or potential risk of infection. Includes anatomical waste, diagnostic specimens, regent or test vials.
Infectious clinical waste Hazardous Orange Potentially infectious waste. Includes autoclave and laboratory waste.
Offensive/non-infectious waste Non-hazardous Yellow and black Healthcare waste which is classified as non-infectious. Includes nappy, incontinence, sanitary waste and other waste produced from human hygiene.
Pharmaceutical waste Non-hazardous Green but blue can also be used Expired, unused, contaminated and split pharmaceutical drugs, products and vaccines. Includes bottles, boxes or vials with residues and products contaminated from handling pharmaceuticals such as gloves, masks, connecting tubes, syringe bodies and drug vials.
Cytoxic and cytostatic drugs Hazardous Purple Hormone and cancer treatment medicinal waste must be seperated from other medicinal waste as they are classed as hazardous. Located list can be found in the BNF or NIOSH list of medicines. Failure to segregate from non-hazardous medicines will mean that the waste must be treated as hazardous and iccur associated hazardous waste charges.
Controlled drugs Non-hazardous Green Controlled drugs must be denatured to render them safe and without value and then disposed of with non-hazardous waste medicines.

*Please note that the HTM 07-01 Technical Memorandum: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste provides recommendations. Our pharmaceutical waste container is green but still complies with latest legislation and correct disposal routes, and is nationally recognised by the Environment Agency.

by Direct Admin