Separate waste streams are the most efficient way for healthcare waste generators to meet waste handling standards. Streaming is also more affordable as each waste type is only processed as required.
Waste separation must be maintained throughout the waste disposal chain, from the generator to the final processor. Waste sorting and separation has to start right at the top of the chain, when a nurse, doctor, health worker or patient decides to throw anything into a bin.
Organisations must ensure that all staff receive proper training. The appropriate disposal streams must be available in all the places where waste is generated. Only by following all processes can accurate, end-to-end track and trace documentation be provided.
Waste generators must now by law ensure that all healthcare waste they generate is processed according to the latest guidance. In the UK this is currently Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste.
- Many other countries have similar legally enforceable codes of practice in place
- Guidance applies to all types of healthcare waste producers including hospitals, clinics, care and nursing homes and local authority and independent care providers
- Failure to comply with the guidelines opens organisations and individuals up to prosecution and heavy fines or worse
In the UK the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has an active role in oﬀering guidance, inspection and enforcement. Organisations exist with similar roles in other countries.
Alternative Treatment For Disposal
More clinical waste is now transported to central processing facilities operated by independent specialist contractors. As a result new processing methods have been developed for some types of clinical waste.
ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT can involve chemical processing of some types of clinical waste, followed by deep burial.
OFFENSIVE WASTE (formerly known as ‘Sanpro’) is the fastest growing new healthcare waste processing category.
Much of what is now designated ‘Offensive Waste’ would in the past have been classified as ‘Clinical Waste’ and put through the incineration process. Waste Streaming makes this possible.