Advice issued on how to dispose of clinical waste

Workers manually sorted waste at a materials recycling facility
Workers manually sorted waste at a materials recycling facility

Residents in south Northants are being asked not to dispose of some kinds of clinical waste, including syringes and needles, in their household bin.

The NHS has issued temporary advice to district nurses to use patients' household bins to dispose of non-infectious dressings, gloves and aprons, in the wake of the NHS body parts scandal earlier this month.

South Northants Council has said as long as the advice to 'double bag' some clinical waste is followed, they are happy to support the measures.

Dermot Bambridge, South Northants Councillor for environmental services, said: “But one thing we have to stress is that needles and syringes must never be placed in residents’ black domestic waste or blue recycling bins.

“Much of the recycling system is automated but there is still a stage of manual handling. I am certain no one wants to be responsible for a recycling worker being hurt by a needle or infected by a life long illness.

“If you have to dispose of needles you can request separate and free sharps collections from us.”

Healthcare related waste such as incontinence pads, stoma bags, plasters and non-infectious dressings should be double bagged in plastic bags and placed into the black bin.

SNC also provides a free weekly infectious clinical waste service to residents who are referred to the council by a healthcare professional.

For more information, visit www.southnorthants.gov.uk/clinicalandsharps, or call 01327 322344.