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Waste Container Colour Codes Explained

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Waste segregation at the point of generation enables the safe management of healthcare wastes. It is an essential part of ensuring that healthcare activities don’t pose a risk of infection to carers and anyone else coming into contact with the waste containers.

Healthcare waste segregation processes are vital to ensure the waste is stored, transported and treated correctly. By adhering to waste segregation processes, different waste types can be processed using the most appropriate treatment or disposal process. Consequently, it is easier for organisations to manage their waste management costs.

Which waste container should I use?

Waste TypeColour CodingEWCDescription
Infectious Clinical WasteYellow LidHuman: 18 01 03*

Animal: 18 02 02*

Items used that are contaminated with blood and or medicines.
Infectious Clinical WasteOrange LidHuman: 18 01 03*

Animal: 18 02 02*

Items that are contaminated with blood.
Offensive/non-infectious WasteBlack & Yellow stripped containerHuman: 18 01 04

Animal: 18 02 03

Any waste that isn’t infectious and doesn’t contain pharmaceutical or chemicals and is likely to cause offence to the senses is offensive waste.
Pharmaceutical WasteBlue LidHuman: 18 01 09

Animal: 18 02 08

Includes out-of-date, unused, unwanted or contaminated pharmaceutical drugs. This includes products contaminated with pharmaceutical residue such as gloves, masks, connecting tubes and vials.
Cytotoxic and Cytostatic wastePurple LidHuman: 18 01 08*

Animal: 18 02 08

Hormone and chemotherapy medicines must be separated from other pharmaceutical waste.
Controlled DrugsPurple LidHuman: 18 01 08*

Animal: 18 02 07*

Some controlled drugs are considered hazardous – for advice on whether a CD should hazardous or non-hazardous please call an advisor on 0330 221 1281.
Controlled DrugsBlue LidHuman: 18 01 09

Animal: 18 02 08

Once controlled drugs have been rendered safe or beyond use then  they can be disposed of with other non-hazardous medicine waste.
Anatomical Waste1Red LidAnimal: 18 02 02*Animal carcasses / body parts arising from healthcare that pose a risk of infection
Anatomical Waste1Red LidAnimal: 18 02 03Animal carcasses / body parts arising from healthcare that are non-infectious.
Sharps WasteYellow LidHuman: 18 01 03*

Animal: 18 02 02*

Sharps waste used in a healthcare setting where there is a risk waste becomes contaminated with infectious bodily fluids or pharmaceutical residue.
Sharps WasteOrange LidHuman: 18 01 01

Animal: 18 02 01

Sharps waste used in a healthcare setting where there is no risk of infection or contamination with pharmaceutical residue.

* denotes hazardous waste

1 At Novus Environmental we hold the relevant permits to process anatomical waste from veterinary activities not from human healthcare activities. The EWC quoted is for animal anatomical waste.

Further advice

We have also published a downloadable guide on segregation. Alternatively, you can speak with our specialist waste advisors.

Customers

Quotes We would be hard pushed to find another provider who offers the personal level of service and consistent standards that Novus Environmental do, whilst remaining approachable on all our waste issues.