Covid-related service disruption

Waste collections may be delayed as regular staff are absent due to illness and/or self-isolation.

Agency staff are in place to provide the usual service. However there may still be delays to your normal collection day and time.

Thank you for your patience and sorry for any inconvenience.

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Clinical and healthcare waste collections

What is clinical waste?

It is waste produced from healthcare and medical treatments. It may cause infection or be hazardous to handle.

It is any waste that:

  • comes from medical treatment (even when it happens at home)
  • contains human tissues
  • contains blood or other bodily fluids (this excludes incontinence waste in nappies or pads)
  • is contaminated with medication or contains medication residues

What are typical clinical waste items?

Typical items are:

  • sharps including syringes, needles, finger pricking devices and lancets
  • home dialysis equipment including plastic tubes, bags and pouches
  • swabs and bandages

Your GP / healthcare professional needs to refer you for collections.

We can not collect your clinical waste without a referral.

This service is only for residential households in Tower Hamlets.

Please ask your healthcare professional to refer you for the service.

NHS surgeries, health centres, and hospitals have access to the referral form via the EMIS system.

If your clinician does not have access to EMIS, they must contact us at clinical.waste@towerhamlets.gov.uk 

Who cannot arrange clinical waste collections?

Healthcare professionals that treat residents at home must remove and dispose of any clinical waste it causes.

We do not collect from non-residential places such as health centres and pharmacies.

We don't provide commercial clinical waste collections at the moment.

If you're a business, you need to arrange for an authorised/licensed carrier to collect your clinical waste.

How do you prepare your clinical waste for collection?

Clinical waste must never be put in wheeled bins, recycling, or black sacks. 

It must be handled with care to prevent harm to collectors and the environment.

  • sharps and needles should always be securely placed in the plastic yellow boxes
  • other clinical waste items should be put in yellow sacks

When does clinical waste get collected?

Clinical waste is collected between 8am and 5pm on your scheduled day.

Someone needs to be at home for the collection.  

It will normally be picked up each week or on a 6-weekly cycle. Your clinician will advise you. 

A new replacement box/bag will be left after collection.

It can take up to two weeks to process your referral. 

After it is processed, you can use this form to check your collection days.

Missed collections

Please use our report a missed clinical waste collection form.

Ad Hoc and One Off collections

You can book as and when needed or one-off collections if you have been advised to.

Please use our request adhoc collections form.

Other types of healthcare waste

Incontinence pads

If these are non-infectious, they can be put in with your black sack collections.  

They must be:

  • double bagged and securely tied
  • never put into the bin loose

If you’re not sure if you are producing infectious waste, please speak to your healthcare professional.

Medication

You can take old, out of date or surplus medication back to your local pharmacy.

Your personal data

Our operational services privacy notice explains how we will handle your personal information.

Any other questions?

If you have any other questions about our services, you can contact us at clinical.waste@towerhamlets.gov.uk 

If you are unable to use online forms, please call 020 7364 5000.