Clinical waste crackdown launched

Clinical waste may be left to fester at GP practices from next month unless they provide detailed information about what they are throwing away.

Waste treatment sites may refuse clinical waste (Photograph: SPL)
Waste treatment sites may refuse clinical waste (Photograph: SPL)

Practices are among providers being targeted in a crackdown by the Environment Agency from 1 October.

Under the watchdog’s rules, waste treatment sites that accept clinical waste must obtain detailed information about its composition before they accept it.

GP practices and other producers of clinical waste must regularly provide data on the ‘quantity of waste produced; individual constituents of the waste stream; and, hazards associated with the waste’.

Failure to comply could trigger ‘enforcement action’, and waste sites may refuse to accept the clinical waste, a briefing paper by the Environment Agency warns.

The Environment Agency advice says practices may be charged a fee by their waste collector if they want them to help compile ‘pre-acceptance data’ about their waste.

The watchdog advises practices that fear they will be unable to compile the information to contact their waste collector.

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