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20 to 25 percent of the total waste generated by healthcare establishments is regarded as hazardous and may create a variety of health and environmental risks if not managed and destroyed in an appropriate manner.

With the large number of health care facilities and hospitals increasing all around the globe, hazardous waste management and disposal is becoming a serious problem.

What Is Bio Hazardous Waste?

medical hazardous waste

Bio hazardous waste is a category of biologically derived waste or a waste type contaminated with biological materials. Any biological process, whether medical, clinical, veterinary or resulting from animal processing produce biological tissue, fluids or potentially infectious substances.

Any items, implements, or materials used in such processes are at high risk of contamination. I left un-managed as a form of waste, they can often become more hazardous with serious environmental and health implications. High-income countries generate on average up to 0.5 kg of hazardous waste per hospital bed per day. Low-income countries generate on average 0.2 kg.

In England, approximately 273,559 tonnes of medical waste was disposed of in 2017.

This represents only a proportion of the total bio hazardous waste disposed of annually in the UK alone. On a global scale with a wider variety of waste, means numbers are even higher. This shows exponential growth and if left un-managed, can manifest as serious environmental pollution.

Where Is Bio Hazardous Waste Generated From?


The types of organisations generating waste include:

  • Veterinary practices
  • Hospitals
  • Dental practices
  • Opticians
  • Podiatrists
  • General practices
  • Pharmacies
  • Health Clinics
  • Residential homes with and without nursing care
  • Research facilities
  • Private and independent healthcare organisations
  • Other non-health practices producing healthcare-type waste (for example tattooists, body piercers)
  • Practices offering complementary and alternative treatments
  • Voluntary organisations

What are Some Bio Hazard Examples?

syringes waste

Bio hazardous waste includes:

  • Human body fluid
  • Sharps waste (IV tubing, needles and scalpels)
  • Human blood and blood products
  • Pathological waste (Unfixed human tissue or waste biopsy materials)
  • Microbiological wastes (specimen cultures, discarded viruses or equipment used to transfer or mix cultures)

What Are The Regulations for Disposing of Bio Hazardous Waste?

In England and Wales, the Hazardous Waste Regulations require that most premises producing hazardous waste be registered with the EA. Premises are exempt from the requirement to register if they produce less than 500 kg of hazardous waste in any period of 12 months.

The Waste Bag Classification System

medical waste

Testing, analysis and classification of bio hazardous waste is critical in every scenario. The waste bag classification system issued by the Government gives some guidelines on how waste should be sorted and temporarily stored before treatment and disposal.

  • Orange bins – For the storage and disposal of sharps not containing or contaminated with medicines. For example, sharps used for blood samples and acupuncture
  • Yellow bins – For the storage and disposal of sharp wastes contaminated with or containing medicines or anaesthetics
  • Red Bags – To dispose of solid or liquid items contaminated with blood or other waste containing infectious materials.
  • Purple bins – For the disposal of sharps and medicines with Cyto-toxic or Cyto-static contents or contamination
  • Blue bins – For the disposal of out of date drugs, used drug denaturing kits and discarded items used for handling of pharmaceuticals. This includes bottles or boxes with residues, gloves, masks, connecting tubes, syringe bodies and drug vials Anatomical waste.

Waste auditing is also important as a means of managing waste, It is also important for managing disposal and the volumes and frequency of waste types. The regulations for disposing of bio hazardous waste are precise and its disposal is strictly controlled.

Waste management is important for bio hazardous waste to prevent the risk of disease and infection to anyone who may come into contact with it.

Why is it so important to follow incinerator legislation?

medical waste

Incineration of waste has been widely practised, but inadequate incineration or the incineration of unsuitable materials results in the release of pollutants into the air and in the generation of ash residue.

Incineration of heavy metals or materials with high metal content (in particular lead, mercury and cadmium) can lead to the spread of toxic metals in the environment.

Only modern incinerators operating at 850-1100 °C, fitted with special gas-cleaning equipment are able to comply with the international emission standards for dioxins and furans.

It is important that you inform your local authority and environmental agency of what materials you are burning. Once they are aware, they can approve or disapprove your incinerator. To avoid any environmental concern, it is necessary that you follow regulations for disposing of bio hazardous waste.

The Benefits of Incineration

Due to the high temperatures of incineration, chemicals or any contaminated materials that pose a threat to health can be completely destroyed.

Incineration provides complete destruction of hazardous waste which would otherwise go to landfill. Sending hazardous waste to landfill can be very dangerous as there is a high risk of ground pollution. Infected waste can contaminate the ground which could make its way into the food and drink supply.

Why Choose Inciner8?

Inciner8 have many years of experience dealing with bio-hazard emergencies. We know the importance in providing the right products quickly to the right locations.

Inciner8 have provided solutions to hospitals and large health clinics around the globe for years. We understand the importance of total destruction at source. Our range of hazardous waste incinerators are specially designed to cope with most kinds of medical waste and hazardous waste in the majority of climates and conditions.

For more information, speak to one of our experts today.

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