Patient Clinical Waste

Household clinical and Healthcare waste

We offer a household clinical and healthcare waste collection service free of charge to anyone living in Southwark.

Request a clinical/healthcare waste collection

Please contact your GP, nurse or health visitor as they must complete and return a clinical/healthcare waste collection application form.

Arranging your collection service

Once a completed form has been received by us, we will contact you to make collection arrangements.  
You will be supplied with yellow bags or 'sharp safe containers', depending on the type of waste being collected. Please note that you must use these containers properly or your waste may not be collected. 

How your waste is collected

Your waste must be put into the yellow bags or sharps boxes provided. 

Use of yellow bags

  • Make sure they are not more than three quarters full 
  • Make sure they are securely tied. Do not use staples to close the bag 
  • Please do not include pharmaceutical waste, as this should be returned to a dispensing  chemist for disposal  

Use of sharps boxes

  • These must be used for the disposal of needles, broken glass and any other sharp objects 
  • Make sure they are securely closed before collection 
  • Please do not put sharps boxes inside yellow bags 

Collection days

All collection days are assigned according to postcode for both sharp safe containers and yellow bags:   
  • Monday: SE4, SE5, SE11, SE14, SE15, SE17   
  • Tuesday: SE19, SE21, SE22, SE23, SE24 
  • Thursday: SE1, SE8, SE16 

What is clinical/healthcare waste?

There are a number of different ways that healthcare and clinical waste can be categorised and coded. However, the following two are those most relevant to the collection service we provide: 
  • Sharps requiring specialist handling to prevent infection  Sharps are items that could cause cuts or puncture wounds, including needles, syringes with needles attached, broken glass ampoules, scalpels and other blades, and infusion sets. European Waste Code 18 01 03 (previously classified as Group A).
  • Offensive/hygiene waste
    This is waste (not including sharps) whose collection and disposal is not subject to special requirements in order to prevent infection, such as dressings, linen, disposable clothing, and items used to dispose of urine, faeces and other bodily secretions or excretions that do not fall within 18 01 03. This includes used disposable bedpans or bed linens, incontinence pads, stoma bags etc. European Waste Code 18 01 04 (previously classified as Group E). 

Where does it go?

In Southwark, we collect about 200 tonnes of clinical waste every year. Producers of clinical waste must ensure they pass their waste to a waste carrier registered with the Environment Agency - such as us. The carrier must then transport the waste to an authorised or licensed disposal facility. We take most clinical waste to Edmonton Waste Energy Plant where it is safely incinerated at very high temperatures.