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Craven District Council

Hazardous and clinical waste

Find out about the disposal and collection of hazardous and clinical waste.

What is hazardous waste?

Waste is hazardous when it contains substances that might make it harmful to human health or cause harm to the environment.  Some everyday items such as computer monitors, televisions and fluorescent tubes are now considered hazardous, along with substances such as asbestos, industrial chemicals and clinical waste.  The term 'hazardous does not always mean that such waste is toxic.

By improving the way in which we manage hazardous waste we reduce the risk it may pose now and in the future.

Hazardous waste disposal (for domestic householders only)

Please see North Yorkshire County Council’s website for more information on hazardous waste disposal:

Hazardous Commercial Waste 

The Council does not provide a collection service of hazardous waste from commercial premises.  Companies that require these collections should engage the services of a specialist waste management contractor.  Information on service providers can be found in the commercial section of the telephone directory or Yellow Pages listings under 'Waste Disposal Services'. 

For more information about legislation surrounding hazardous waste, please download the Business Waste Handbook [4Mb] .

Disposal of Clinical Waste from domestic premises

Hypodermic needles and other hazardous healthcare wastes should never be disposed of in the domestic waste stream. If patients are treated in their home by a community nurse or a member of the NHS profession, any waste produced as a result is considered to be the healthcare professional's waste. If the waste is non-hazardous, and as long as it is appropriately bagged and sealed, it is acceptable for the waste to be disposed of with household waste. This is usually the case with sanitary towels, nappies and incontinence pads (known collectively as sanpro waste) which are not considered to be hazardous when they originate from a healthy population.  If the waste is classified as hazardous, the healthcare professional can remove that waste and transport it in approved containers (ie rigid, leak proof, sealed, secured etc) and take it back to the trust base for appropriate disposal. If patients treat themselves in their own home, any waste produced as a result is considered to be their own. Only where a particular risk has been identified (based on medical diagnosis) does such waste need to be treated as hazardous clinical waste.

Where hypodermic needles are produced in the home, on no account should soft drink cans, plastic bottles or similar containers be used for the disposal of needles, since these could present serious hazards to staff if they were disposed of in domestic waste. Sharps bins can be obtained on prescription (FP10 prescription form) and can be returned to your doctor for disposal when full.  Residents should contact their doctor or healcare professional in the first instance regarding the disposal of clincal waste.  

If you require extra capacity for your waste due to medical requirements, please contact Waste Management for advice on 01756 700600 or email


Household Waste - Waste generated by a property used for domestic purposes: house, caravan, vessel, etc.

Offensive Waste - Household waste containing bodily fluids, secretions, or excretions, which are not infectious. Examples include: dressings, gloves, nappies, incontinence pads and sanitary products. This waste can be collected through the normal domestic bin collection service.

Clinical Waste - Waste containing infectious material, such as something for which antibiotics may be prescribed. The material must be secured in bags (or boxes for sharps), which are yellow or orange and marked for incineration.  Sharps are clinical waste. Containment and transport are closely regulated. A charge can be levied for collection but not disposal of clinical waste.


If you see a syringe on the street or footpath, do not under any circumstances attempt to pick it up and dispose of it yourself. Please contact Waste Management Services on 01756 700600 as soon as possible and we will arrange for it to be collected by one of our operatives.