There are several kinds of businesses and organisations which need to use clinical waste incinerators.
Any waste which consists of wholly or partly human or animal tissue, blood, or other bodily fluids, drugs, pharmaceutical products, dressings, swabs, needles, syringes, or sharp instruments which may prove hazardous to someone coming into contact with them, is considered hazardous clinical waste.
This is the waste that needs to be sent to clinical waste incinerators and destroyed carefully.
Where does clinical waste come from?
- Hospitals – They produce a whole range of clinical waste from swabs and dressings to sharps, drugs, and human tissue.
- GP practices – Produce waste dressings, needles, syringes, drugs, and bodily fluids.
- Pharmacies – Produce waste drugs, pharmaceutical products, and needles.
- Dentists – Produce waste bodily fluids, needles, drugs, and swabs.
- Aestheticians and beauty therapists – Produce waste needles, syringes, and swabs from anti-wrinkle injections and fillers.
- Vets – Produce waste animal tissue, dressings, drugs, swabs, syringes, and needles.
- Care homes and care providers – Produce waste dressings, drugs, needles, and pharmaceutical products.
- Research laboratories – Produce waste human and animal tissue, bodily fluids, needles, syringes, and drugs.
- Transfusion services – Produce waste bodily fluids such as blood, swabs, and needles.
Is all clinical waste hazardous waste?
No, only special waste comes under the Hazardous Waste (England & Wales) Regulations 2005 and The Special Waste Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
For example, gowns, gloves, and masks, and outer dressings which aren’t contaminated with body fluids are non-hazardous, and so is sterilised laboratory waste.
You can find out more here.
What happens when waste gets to clinical waste incinerators?
At a temperature of 1,100C, the clinical waste is completely destroyed and the inert residue is left.
Only 20% of the volume of the waste is left to go to landfill.
If the incineration had not taken place, some scientific studies claim that greater amounts of greenhouse gases, hydrocarbons, hazardous air pollutants, nitrogen oxides, and dioxin would be produced.
If left in landfill without incineration, this waste could also leach into local watercourses and pollute the environment. It could spread disease and infection.
There is also an energy capture system in place when waste is burned at some plants, generating more energy.
How do you choose the right company to transport your waste?
Your waste must be transferred by a company with the correct waste transfer licence.
Ensure they are registered and have the correct accreditations, understand the complex waste transfer note process and how important it is to keep you on the right side of the law, avoiding the substantial fines which can be imposed for breaching hazardous waste regulations.
You should also look for decades of experience in dealing with clinical waste and clinical waste incinerators.
Look for a business like Inspire Waste Management which can advise you on all of these issues and ensure your waste is taken to the appropriate facility for its disposal and destruction.
Ensure your company gives you a certificate of destruction so that you can prove you dealt with your hazardous clinical waste responsibly.