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Clinical and hazardous waste

We provide services for domestic asbestos and plasterboard disposal as well as clinical waste collections.

Clinical and hazardous waste 

The council offers disposal of items that you can't put in your bin, including some clinical and hazardous items. 

Clinical waste

  • Clinical waste is any healthcare waste that may cause disease, contains or is contaminated with a medicine or fluids contaminated with a dangerous substance
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  • You should have been told by a medical professional if the waste you are producing requires specialist treatment as clinical waste. They should advise you of how to dispose of any equipment that you are prescribed to manage your health, and provided training if required
  • Items such as sanitary towels, nappies, stoma bags, catheters and incontinence pads are not normally considered to be clinical waste. Small amounts of plasters and dressings are also unlikely to be clinical waste. These items can all be double bagged and disposed of in your household waste bin
  • Most sharps (needles, syringes and lancets) are treated as clinical waste and must be contained in a sharps box that can be obtained from a GP
  • Swabs and dressings used to treat wounds or used for other healthcare reasons may be infectious and are likely to be treated as clinical waste. However, if a medical professional advises you that the waste does not require special treatment, then the waste can be double bagged and disposed of as household waste
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  • If you are treated in your home by a community nurse, a member of the NHS profession or other healthcare professional, any waste produced is the responsibility of the healthcare professional. Any clinical waste generated should be removed by the healthcare professional and returned to the NHS trust base, for example, for appropriate disposal
  • Any non-clinical waste produced can be put in your household waste bin
  • If you treat yourself in your own home, any waste produced is deemed to be yours, including clinical waste
  • We offer a free collection to residents who need to dispose of any clinical waste from home. This includes infectious items or items that are hazardous to health. Examples include needles and syringes, dialysis products, infectious swabs or dressings
  • Please note that incontinence pads, nappies, disposable bed pans, stoma bags and urine containers are not clinical waste, unless a medical professional has advised you that these should be treated as clinical waste. Double-bag them and put them in your household waste bin
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  • Yes – if you are disposing of needles or sharps they must be in a sharps box which you can get by prescription from your GP. Once in the sharps box, needles and sharps are safe to be handled and stored
  • If you are disposing of other waste, including infectious dressings and swabs, we will supply you with orange bags to collect the waste. You should never put sharps into an orange bag
  • Please make sure that boxes and bags are not overfilled and that they are securely closed
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What can I put in my sharps box?

  • Needles
  • Lancets
  • Syringes
  • Empty insulin cartridges
  • Insulin pump infusion sets
  • Needles from disposable pens
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  • Dressings and swabs
  • Incontinence pads
  • Nappies
  • Sanitary products
  • Dialysis products
  • Disposable pens once the needle has been removed
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What can I put in my orange bags?

  • Dialysis waste
  • Swabs
  • Soiled dressings
  • Any item on the ‘No’ list marked with an asterisk (*) where a medical professional has assessed that there is an infection risk
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  • Incontinence pads*
  • Nappies*
  • Catheter bags*
  • Sanitary products*
  • Emptied stoma bags or pouches*
  • Needles or sharps
  • Syringes
  • Pressurised containers or aerosols
  • Any item on the ‘Yes’ list where a medical professional has advised that special treatment is not needed (e.g. dressings from a non-infectious wound in small quantities)
  • *Except where a medical professional has advised that the waste should be treated as clinical
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Call the council on 0300 456 0102 to register. You will be contacted to arrange your collection dates and the collection point. Please note, commercial clinical waste collections, such as those from nursing and residential homes are not included as part of this service. Close
Unused medication should be returned to a pharmacist for safe disposal Close

Hazardous waste

  • The council provides ways of disposing of some common hazardous wastes, most of which can be taken to some household recycling centres
  • If you cannot take your waste to the household recycling centre, you may be able to find a specialist contractor to collect this waste
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  • You can dispose of domestic, cement bonded asbestos at the Purton, Amesbury and Warminster Household recycling centres by appointment only. (Please do not take asbestos to any other household recycling centre as they are not licensed to dispose of it.)
  • To make an appointment, please contact the relevant Household Recycling Centre between 10am and 4pm:
  • Amesbury – 01980 623160
  • Purton – 01793 778205
  • Warminster – 01985 211427
  • Please take proof of address to your appointment e.g. photo ID or a recent utility bill.
  • Please make sure you comply with the following:
  • You must be a Wiltshire resident (excluding Swindon) and have proof of residency
  • The cement bonded asbestos must be from your property e.g. a shed roof, drainpipes, water tank
  • You can bring a maximum of 12 sheets of cement bonded asbestos no bigger than 1.5m x 2.5m (do not break the asbestos to fit these dimensions)
  • You must dampen down the sheets to suppress the dust
  • You must wrap all of the asbestos in plastic before taking it to the site
  • You must wear your own protective equipment to dispose of the waste: disposable gloves; disposable mask (type FFP3 recommended by the HSE); disposable overalls (type 5 recommended by the HSE); and you put these in the skip after use
  • Bring along help if required as staff are unable to assist
  • Failure to comply with any of the points above may result in you not being able to dispose of your asbestos.

    If you need to dispose of cement bonded asbestos from a business, or the material has been removed by a builder or any other type of asbestos, contact a specialist contractor.
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  • You can take plasterboard to any Household recycling centre and you do not need an appointment
  • Plasterboard and other gypsum-based products are safe to handle but produce toxic gases when buried with biodegradable waste such as food. They need to be collected in dedicated skips and disposed of separately
  • All plasterboard is sent to Mid UK Recycling Ltd based in West Lincolnshire for reprocessing
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  • Batteries and all electrical items, large and small, can be taken to our Household recycling centres for safe disposal
  • Alternatively, many supermarkets now have facilities to recycle household batteries
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  • We are unable to accept fuel at our household recycling centres
  • If you are unable to make use of fuel, we would suggest first asking a petrol station or garage if they can take this back and dispose of it safely which they may be able to do, depending on the quantity
  • Alternatively, there are companies specialising in hazardous waste removal that may be able to assist
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Last updated: 4 December 2017 | Last reviewed: 4 December 2017