Safe Handling and Disposal of Waste

The management of hospital waste is controlled by the Waste Manual (DH, 2013).

In compliance with this the waste is categorised into domestic, infectious, non-infectious, and special waste as follows:

  • Black bags are for domestic waste and includes paper and food wrappers. This waste is taken to landfill.
  • Orange bags are for infectious and potentially infectious waste and includes anything soiled with blood or body fluids, used dressings, and items used on a patient with an infection. This waste is taken off site and incinerated.
  • Yellow & Black stripe bags (Tiger-Stripe) are for non–infectious waste and includes sanitary waste, incontinence waste, emptied blood bags and other waste assessed to be non-infectious. This waste is taken to landfill.
  • Special waste such as cytotoxic drugs and pharmaceutical waste are disposed of into designated areas only.

Health Waste Disposal – Using the recommended colour coded bins

Waste management is everyone’s responsibility:

If waste bins are more than three quarters full, you must remove the plastic bag, expel the air, swan neck the bag and attach a tie tag that indicates the area where the waste originated.  The waste should then be taken immediately to a secure waste holding room and placed into the appropriate bin or area.