What is Offensive Waste?

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The main sources of offensive waste are from human and animal healthcare sectors. Any waste that isn’t infectious and doesn’t contain pharmaceutical or chemical substances and is likely to cause offense to the senses is offensive waste.

Offensive waste also known as “human hygiene” and “sanpro” waste. Therefore, in addition to the human and animal healthcare waste, any item that is stained or contaminated with any bodily fluid that is non-infectious and doesn’t contain medications or chemicals is classed as offensive. Due to its nature, the waste is likely to be unpleasant to anyone who comes into contact with it.

Offensive Waste Management

Because offensive waste is low risk to public health it doesn’t need to be transported as dangerous goods. Therefore, the collection and disposal costs are considerably cheaper in comparison to clinical waste or other hazardous waste items.

Effective waste segregation

Whilst there is a legal obligation to segregate waste, clinical waste can and often does contain offensive waste. However, offensive waste cannot include clinical waste. If offensive waste and clinical waste is segregated effectively there are savings to be made. There are potential savings when offensive and clinical waste are effectively segregated.

According to research published by Waste Management World – Weighing up the Cost of Medical Waste Disposal – it is estimated that 40% of clinical waste disposed of by hospitals could be classified as other waste streams. This represents a significant opportunity to make commercial savings when you consider that to treat and dispose of clinical waste is more expensive than for offensive waste. There is a potential savings for hospitals running into the tens of thousands of pounds.

Offensive Waste Disposal Processes

There is a range of offensive waste disposal options depending upon the source and classification of the waste. For example, offensive waste from a non-healthcare environment (20 01 99) can be sterilised; the resulting material being shredded, recycled or used in waste to energy process as a fuel.

Waste generated in the human healthcare (18 01 04) or animal healthcare (18 02 03) is normally sent to an energy from waste plant or to landfill.


Quotes The Campus has been using Novus Environmental for nearly 20 years now. The quantity of waste that we now dispose of has more than doubled in those years. We have always found them to both competitive and cooperative.The service is just as good now as it was then.