Yellow waste bags: what goes where?

Sharps box

We all have a responsibility to dispose of waste safely and appropriately – particularly if it’s hazardous or clinical.

As part of that, it’s important that waste is segregated in the right way and disposed of properly; this means, for example, that only clinical waste should be put into a clinical waste bag. Any items like plastic coffee cups, mop heads, food wrappers, surface wipes etc. aren’t classed as hazardous waste, and as such shouldn’t be placed in the yellow bags unless they’ve been contaminated.

If these bags contain non-clinical waste, or haven’t been properly prepared for collection, our waste collector colleagues aren’t required to remove them from the site.

As a reminder, the small yellow clinical waste bags from vehicles must be put in the station clinical waste pedal bins. When these bins are 2/3 full, they should be tied off with a tie wrap, and have a site ID label attached with the disposal date. This ‘two in one’ approach not only helps to prevent leaks (so our waste carts aren’t contaminated), but reduces the risk of our collection colleagues being injured by something inside.

Handy reminders will be available on stations soon on what is and isn’t clinical waste, so we ask all colleagues to please familiarise themselves with the information. By law, we’re all individually responsible for our part of the waste disposal process, so it’s vitally important we get it right.

We’re also starting an exciting project that hopes to actually reduce our clinical waste output by at least 50%; this will involve a review of the way we handle, segregate and dispose of our clinical waste. If you’d like to be involved, or have any questions about the information in this article, please email waste@eastamb.nhs.uk.

Published 16th June, 2016

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