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Clinical waste

Apply for clinical waste collections

Types of waste

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

  • Hygiene waste- non-infectious waste that can be collected via your normal black bin rubbish collections. 
  • Sharps only- if you are self-medicating, your sharps boxes containing hypodermic needles and syringes can be taken to a participating pharmacy (see list below).
  • Clinical waste- this is waste which is infectious to humans and needs to be collected separately and incinerated via our clinical waste service.

Hygiene Waste that can be collected via your normal rubbish collection

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 this waste is bagged and tied to reduce the chance of leakages.

Examples may 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 may be able to provide an additional bin to cater to your needs. This will be a smaller 140 litre bin unless you request a standard 240 litre one. Please contact us on 01954 713 000 to discuss this further and tell us which size you need.

Sharps only that can be taken to a pharmacy

Empty sharps boxes can be collected from your GP surgery. Used sharps that are contained within a sharps box can be taken free of charge to a pharmacy that accepts self-medicating patient returns. Please refer to the list below to find your closest participating pharmacy.

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Unit 3, Cambridge Retail Park, 320 Newmarket Road, Cambridge



25 High Street, Sawston

CB22 3BG

Cherry Hinton Pharmacy

39a High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge



9 High Street, Cambourne

CB23 6JX

Well Pharmacy

222 High Street, Cottenham

CB24 8RZ

Trumpington Welfare Pharmacy

Hobson Square, Hobson Avenue, Trumpington


Melbourn Community Hub

(Monday - Friday between 10am and 1pm only)

30 High Street, Melbourn


Self-medicating patients treating themselves at home who are unable to take their boxes to any of the pharmacies listed above can request a collection from the kerbside. We will collect a minimum of three full boxes approximately once a quarter. Please contact our Refuse Team on 01954 713 484.

Clinical Waste that needs to be collected and disposed of separately

You can apply for free Clinical Waste collections if you are treating yourself at home under the guidance of a GP or healthcare professional. This service is for infectious waste only, such as swabs and dressings, surgical waste and pharmaceutical products.

If you need a Clinical Waste collection, your GP or healthcare professional must complete and return an application form [PDF, 0.1MB] to confirm that you are treating yourself at home and what waste you are producing.

This service is not for residents who are being taken care of by a community nurse or other healthcare professional at home as this waste is the responsibility of the healthcare provider. 

All of our clinical waste is currently collected by an outside contractor. If you require a clinical waste collection, please be aware your details will need to be shared for collections to take place.

How Clinical Waste collections work

Apply for Clinical Waste Collections

Clinical waste sacks will be provided and replaced bag for bag after each collection. Sacks should be put out for collection outside your front door the evening before your scheduled collection day. Collections can be scheduled fortnightly or collected on an ad-hoc basis, depending on volume. 

All the clinical waste must be contained in the sacks provided and they must be tied at the top. Please do not place clinical waste sacks in your normal rubbish bin as this will not be collected.

Please note: We do not currently provide a commercial clinical waste service.

For further advice or information, to request a clinical waste collection application form by post, or to request a temporary clinical waste collection, please contact our Refuse Team on 01954 713484.

Contact Details