The College of Optometrists

Safe disposal of waste

You must take all reasonable steps to deal appropriately with controlled, clinical and offensive waste, including both non-hazardous and hazardous waste196 197 198 199  (refer to COVID-19 guidance)
Controlled waste is defined as waste from households, industry or commerce.
Clinical waste means waste from a healthcare activity¸ and waste of a similar nature from a non-healthcare activity, that:200
  1. contains viable microorganisms or their toxins which are known or reliably believed to cause disease in humans or other living organisms
  2. contains, or is contaminated with, a medicine that contains a biologically active pharmaceutical agent
  3. is a sharp, or a body fluid or other biological material (including human and animal tissue) containing, or contaminated with, a dangerous substance within the meaning of Council Directive 67/548/EEC on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances.
Offensive waste means waste that:201
  1. is not clinical waste
  2. contains body fluids, secretions or excretions
  3. falls within code 18-01-04, 18-02-03 or 20-01-99 in Schedule 1 to the List of Wastes (England) Regulations 2005, in relation to England,202 or the List of Wastes (Wales) Regulations 2005, in relation to Wales.203

    Is covered within the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency’s Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste.204

    Is covered within the waste management section of the Northern Ireland Regional Infection Prevention and Control Manual.205

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