Hazardous and Special Waste

Hazardous Waste Regulations

From 16th July 2005, The Hazardous Waste Regulations and The Hazardous Waste (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2005 replaced The Special Waste Regulations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Special Waste (Amendment) Regulations 2004 had previously amended the Special Waste 1996 Regulations in Scotland. Certain clinical, medicinal & dental wastes are affected by the new Regulations. The responsibility for determining if waste is special/hazardous rests with the producer, although Cannon can assist & advise. 

What is Classed as Hazerdous Waste?

  • Soft/Hard Clinical Waste
  • Sharps
  • Pharmi-Sharps
  • Dental
  • X-Ray

This waste may be classed as hazardous (or special in Scotland) due to its infectious nature. The Department of Health have produced important new guidance in 'Safe Management of Healthcare Waste' (April 2012), which can be downloaded at the bottom of the page (9MB). An important aspect of this Guidance is whether clinical waste is from a healthcare or non-healthcare activity and how that affects whether it needs to be consigned as hazardous or special (Scotland) waste. The Environment Agency, SEPA and EHS(NI) ('The Agencies') have jointly produced Guidance in 'Interpretation of the Definition & Classification of Hazardous Waste' ( 'WM2' ) on determining if your waste is hazardous or special (Scotland). This was revised in November 2005. The relevant section of this can be downloaded at the bottom of the page. Cannon Hygiene have also produced interpretation of these documents as they relate to our Customers in the form of a flowchart and associated guidance notes. They can be downloaded on the associated pages for England & Wales or Northern Ireland & Scotland to which links are provided below. The British Dental Association has also produced guidance which can be downloaded from the BDA website by members. Feminine hygiene, nappy & incontinence wastes are not classed as hazardous or special (Scotland) waste.

Amalgam / spent capsules, x-ray developer & fixer remain hazardous under the New Regulations. The British Dental Association has also produced guidance which can be downloaded from the BDA website by members.

What is Special Waste?

  • Medicines

Although previously prescription only medicines were always special waste, only cytotoxic & cytostatic medicines are hazardous or special (Scotland) under the new Regulations. Although cytotoxic medicines are well recognised, cytostatic medicines are not defined in UK legislation. In June 2010 new Cannon guidance based on Environment Agencies and Department of Health Guidance was produced and can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.