Why is clinical waste hazardous?

Clinical waste is hazardous for many reasons. The most prominent reasons are due to causing cuts and needle stick injuries as well as transmitting disease. Unfortunately, if clinical waste does get handled improperly, it becomes hazardous to people at work, such as cleaners, waste handlers not to mention the general public. 


If you have to carry clinical waste, it is imperative that you dispose of it correctly, as you could pass on diseases that you aren’t aware of. 


Here at Wasteaway, we don’t accept clinical waste products in our skips and we sometimes get asked why, which is why we have written a blog about it. In this blog, we will discuss what the different types of clinical waste are and how to dispose of clinical waste correctly.


Why is clinical waste hazardous?: People who may need to dispose of clinical waste:


  • Any dental, nursing, medical or veterinary practice
  • Any other practice that provides medical care and services for the sick, injured, infirm or anyone who requires medical treatment
  • Dental, medical, nursing, veterinary, pathological or pharmaceutical research
  • A dental, veterinary, medical or pathological laboratory practice.


Potentially dangerous medical treatments or materials classed as clinical waste


Used or contaminated sharp materials or objects that have been contaminated:


  • Syringes
  • Needles (including acupuncture needles).
  • Cartridges
  • Ampoules
  • Other sharp instruments
  • Infectious waste such as; culture dish, bottle, flask, tube, pipette, pipette tip, inoculation loop and wires.


Human tissues and animal tissues:


  • Any human and animal tissues or organs and body parts 


Infectious materials:


This can include any materials from patients with the following pathogens:


  • Kyasanur forest disease
  • Sabia virus
  • Ebola virus
  • Crimean / Congo haemorrhagic fever virus
  • Hendra virus
  • Junin virus
  • Nipah virus
  • Machupo virus
  • Marburg virus
  • Guanarito virus
  • Omsk virus
  • Russian spring-summer encephalitis virus
  • Lassa fever virus
  • Variola virus
  • Herpesvirus simiae virus (B virus)
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.




  • Surgical dressings
  • Swabs
  • Anything containing blood


Other clinical waste products like:


  • Anything else that could be contaminated with infectious materials or that may pose a health risk.

Why is clinical waste hazardous?


Not only can clinical waste be harmful to people, but it can also be harmful to the environment. Even if you’ve left your waste in a secure location, there’s a risk of animals and pests getting at your clinical waste and spreading potentially deadly diseases around, as well as contaminating your water supply. Any waste that is classed as clinical (as shown above) should be disposed of, bagged in yellow and clearly marked and securely fastened. If there is any sharp waste present, such as needles and scalpels, they should be placed in the appropriate sharps bin. This will prevent any physical harm that could be caused and stop the spread of infection.


Why is clinical waste hazardous?: What are the consequences of putting clinical waste in a skip? 


You can be at risk of getting a fine if your business or you dispose of clinical waste improperly. The incorrect disposal of clinical waste in general bins can result in a whopping £50,000. 


Wasteaway can help you dispose of general waste and garden waste

Here at Wasteaway, we will not accept clinical waste, but if you have any other types of waste that you need to dispose of other than hazardous waste, we would be happy to help. We take garden waste and general indoor waste. 

Thank you for reading our blog ‘Why is clinical waste hazardous’. If you would like to know more about Waste away, take a look at there website by clicking here.


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