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Cambridge City Council

Domestic clinical and hygiene waste

Three different collection arrangements are available depending on the type of waste:

  • Hygiene waste: You can put non-infectious waste in your black rubbish bin
  • Needles and syringes: If you're self-medicating, you can take your ‘sharps’ boxes to a participating pharmacy – see the list below
  • Clinical waste: Our clinical waste service can collect and incinerate waste that is infectious to humans

We do not currently provide a commercial clinical waste service.

Hygiene waste

Some types of healthcare-related waste are suitable for disposal in your black bin. This waste can have an offensive odour or appearance but is not infectious.

We recommend putting this waste in tied bags to reduce the chance of leakages.

Examples include:

  • Catheter and stoma bags (drained)
  • Wound dressings (non-infectious)
  • Soiled bedding (vomit, human waste)
  • Nasal and respiratory secretions
  • Condoms
  • Sanitary waste
  • Nappies
  • Plasters
  • Incontinence pads

If your current black bin capacity is insufficient for your hygiene waste, we might be able to provide an additional bin. This will be a 140-litre bin unless you request a standard 240-litre bin. Contact us on 01954 713000 to discuss this.

Needles and syringes (‘sharps’)

You can take used needles and syringes in a ‘sharps’ box to a pharmacy that accepts self-medicating patients’ returns. Your GP surgery can provide you with empty sharps boxes.

If you’re self-medicating and unable to take your sharps to a pharmacy, you can ask us to collect them from you. We will collect a minimum of three full boxes approximately once a quarter. Contact us on 01954 713484 to request this.

Local participating pharmacies

  • Boots, Unit 3, Cambridge Retail Park, 320 Newmarket Road, Cambridge CB5 8WR
  • Boots, 25 High Street, Sawston CB22 3BG
  • Cherry Hinton Pharmacy, 39a High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge CB1 9HX
  • Lloyds, 9 High Street, Cambourne CB23 6JX
  • Trumpington Walfare Pharmacy, Hobson Square, Hobson Avenue, Trumpington CB2 9FN
  • Well Pharmacy, 222 High Street, Cottenham CB24 8RZ

Clinical waste

You can request free clinical waste collections if you’re treating yourself at home under the guidance of a GP or healthcare professional.

This service is only for infectious waste such as dressings, surgical waste, and pharmaceutical products.

You cannot use this service if you are being cared for at home by a healthcare professional.

Your GP or healthcare professional must apply on your behalf - the application form also tells us what sort of waste needs collecting.

We currently use an external contractor to collect clinical waste. We will need to share your details with them.

Clinical waste collections

We’ll collect your clinical waste every two weeks.

Leave the sacks outside your front door the evening before your scheduled collection. We’ll leave you the same number of empty bags as we take away.

You must use the sacks we provide and tie them shut. Do not put clinical waste in your normal rubbish bins – the collection crew will not be able to empty them.

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form