Healthcare Waste Collection

You can apply for our free healthcare waste collection service if you have a medical condition and receive healthcare treatment at home, or you are treating yourself at home.

This service only collects healthcare waste from households. We do not collect waste from nursing homes, veterinary treatment centres or animal healthcare practices.

Types of healthcare waste

There are two types of healthcare waste: infectious waste and offensive waste. These require different methods of collection and disposal.

Your healthcare professional can advise you on how to classify your waste. We will not be able to advise you on this.

Infectious waste

Healthcare waste from a person with a medically diagnosed infection is classified as 'infectious' waste. This needs specialist collection and treatment.

Infectious waste has the possibility of causing harm to others, for example waste from patients with HIV, hepatitis, MRSA or C Difficile. It includes hypodermic needles (also known as 'sharps') that are contaminated with blood and/or medicines.

Black rubbish sacks are not suitable for this type of waste and will not be taken.

Our healthcare waste collection service can dispose of infectious waste, as described below.

Offensive waste

Healthcare waste from an otherwise healthy person that has not had contact with infectious material is classified as 'offensive' waste. This includes:

  • used incontinence products
  • sanitary items
  • disposable nappies
  • catheter bags
  • stoma bags
  • syringes
  • tubing
  • PEG or stomach-feeding equipment.

Your healthcare professional can advise you on how to classify your waste. We will not be able to advise you on this.

As long as it has not had contact with infectious material, offensive waste can usually be disposed of as general household rubbish.

It should be double bagged in black rubbish sacks. We can provide you with extra black rubbish sacks for this. You can put it out for collection with your general rubbish on your normal household rubbish collection day.

What we collect

Sharps boxes

Sharps boxes are for the collection of used hypodermic needles. There are two types of sharps box:

  • Yellow sharps box for used needles contaminated with blood and/or medicines. These are provided and collected by the council.
  • Yellow sharps box with a purple lid for used needles contaminated with cytotoxic or cytostatic waste, for example from cancer treatments. These are usually provided by a pharmacy, not the council. We will collect them but we are unable to replace them.

You must insert the used needles into the sharps box yourself. Our collection crew cannot do this for you. Follow the instructions on the side of the box.

Do not overfill the sharps box. The fill line is clearly marked on the side of the box. The box must be locked shut by you, as our collection crew cannot do this for you. We cannot collect boxes that are overfilled or not shut properly.

Orange sacks

Orange sacks are for the collection of other infectious waste, including any medical items that have been in contact with infectious material.

Orange sacks are provided by us and will be collected once a week. New orange sacks will be left for you.

You must put your healthcare waste into the orange sack yourself. Our collection crew cannot do this for you.

Orange sacks must not be more than three quarters full. To prevent any spills, the sack must be securely tied by you, as our collection crew cannot do this for you. We cannot collect sacks that are more than three quarters full or not securely tied.

When we collect

Sharps boxes

We will collect and deliver sharps boxes to you 'on demand'.

When your sharps box is three quarters full, give us one week's notice and call Customer Services on 023 8028 5000 or email customer.services@nfdc.gov.uk to arrange for the box to be collected and a new one left in its place.

Put your sharps box out on your doorstep or in your porch, or at the location agreed with us, by 6am on your collection day.

We collect sharps boxes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week. You can check which day we collect from your area in the document below.

Icon for pdf Sharps Collection Days [27.52KB]

Orange sacks

When you first request the service, we will call you to confirm the collection day. We will come on the same day each week to collect your orange sacks. 

Put your orange sacks out on your doorstep or in your porch, or at the location agreed with us, by 6am on your collection day.

If you require a sharps box and orange sack collection, we will collect these on the same day.

Missed collections

If your healthcare waste collection has been missed, call Customer Services to report it on 023 8028 5000.

Bank holidays

We will continue to collect your healthcare waste on Easter and summer bank holidays. We do not collect on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year's Day. If your collection day is affected by holidays, we will write to you with a revised collection day.

Apply for healthcare waste collection

Your healthcare professional can explain the short registration process and submit a healthcare collection request form to the council. This is for both sharps boxes and orange sacks.

When we have received your registration, we will contact you to confirm the start day of your collection.

We cannot collect healthcare waste from residents who are not registered for the service.

 

You can download our Healthcare Waste Privacy Notice below.

Icon for pdf Healthcare Waste Privacy Notice [41.78KB]

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