Published date: 12 April 2022

How to dispose of waste

With so many different options, disposing of waste correctly can be a bit of a minefield. In this blog, Richard Davies, Service Assurance Manager, clarifies what type of clinical waste goes into which coloured bag and how you can introduce recycling in your practice.

COVID-19 has caused a sharp rise in clinical waste across all healthcare settings. It is very important that waste is put into the correct bin in your practice to reduce extra costs and the amount of waste that goes to landfill which we know can cause environmental damage and issues to our health.

We've created a range of posters and guidance to help you segregate your waste, including posters to show what should go in general waste and what should go in recycling, waste bin labels and the difference between clinical and non-clinical waste.

Use the correct clinical waste bags

There are three types of bag for clinical waste, depending on the type:

  • Infectious clinical waste - orange bags. Use these for COVID-19 waste and other infectious PPE.
  • Infectious clinical waste contaminated by medicines/chemicals - yellow bags. Use these for samples and some diagnostic kits.
  • Non-infectious clinical waste - yellow and black striped bags. Use these for PPE, couch roll, dressings, bandages, nappies and feminine hygiene products.

By choosing the correct bag for your clinical waste, you can reduce the amount of missed collections, save money for the NHS and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. 

Introduce recycling bins in all areas

One of the easiest ways to help reduce the environmental impact of waste is to introduce recycling bins in all areas of your building and ensure they are clearly labelled.

We've found that by increasing the amount of internal and external dry mixed recycling bins across all of our sites and reducing the number of general waste bins available. You can request recycling bins by getting in touch with your local Facilities Support Manager.

Have a question?

If you’d like help with any of the above or would like to request clinical waste or recycling bins, you can get in touch with our Customer Support Centre or your local Facilities Support Manager and they'll be happy to assist.


Waste management posters and guidance

We've put together some guidance to help you separate waste at your site appropriately.

The guidance will help you understand what type of non-clinical waste should go into the different recycling bins and what type of clinical waste should go into the different colours of containers and bags.

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