Highway Maintenance

Dealing With Clinical Waste on the Highway

1. Introduction

1.1 Clinical waste is defined in Regulation 1(2) of the Controlled Waste Regulation 1992 (SI 1992/588) as meaning:

"Any waste which consists wholly or partly of human or animal tissue, blood, other body fluids, excretions, drugs or other pharmaceutical products, swabs or dressings or syringes, needles or other sharp instruments, being waste which unless rendered safe may prove hazardous to any person coming into contact with it."

1.2 The five clinical waste categories identified by the Health and Safety Commission and Health Services Advisory Committee are detailed in Appendix A:

1.3 Clinical waste which has properties that are hazardous, such as toxic, very toxic, harmful, corrosive, irritant, infections etc, as specified in the Special Waste Regulations 1996 is therefore also classified as special waste.

1.4 Due to the fact that on finding this waste the department is unable to establish if it is non hazardous, the worst scenario will be assumed and it should be dealt with as special waste.

2. Relevant Legislation

2.1 Advice has been sought from the Chief Executive’s Department regarding whose responsibility clinical/special waste is when found in situations such as Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs). Their view is that any such clinical/special waste found on the highway network whilst carrying out routine maintenance operations or when attending RTAs should be considered as litter and therefore becomes the responsibility of the District Councils’ Environmental Health Departments.

2.2 However, due to the fact that not all District Councils’ Environmental Health Departments have a 24 hour collection and disposal service and the County Council has a duty of care under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act to ensue that the waste does not escape its control, the County Council will have to arrange the necessary collection and disposal or making safe until the District Council can deal with the work.

2.3 This duty of care applies to any person who produces, carries, keeps, treats, imports or disposes of clinical/special waste and also applies to anyone who acts as a broker.

3. Policy

3.1 Hampshire County Council shall ensure that any clinical/special waste that cannot be dealt with by the relevant District Council will be collected and disposed of in an approved method.

Version No:   1.1

Effective from:   14/10/2010

If copied or printed, this document should be treated as uncontrolled and correct only at the date it was copied or printed.