Skip to main contentAccessibility Statement

Clinical waste and sharps collection

We provide free-of-charge collections of clinical waste from domestic properties. You need to be referred to this service by a health professional or health authority. Yellow bags are provided for this service and are collected weekly.

Clinical waste

The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, defines “clinical waste” as waste from a healthcare activity (including veterinary healthcare) that:

  • (a) contains viable micro-organisms or their toxins which are known or reliably believed to cause disease in humans or other living organisms
  • (b) contains or is contaminated with a medicine that contains a biologically active pharmaceutical agent, or
  • (c) is a sharp, or a body fluid or other biological material (including human and animal tissue) containing or contaminated with a dangerous substance within the meaning of Council Directive 67/548/EEC on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances”

For more information, please call us on 0300 126 7000.

Offensive waste

Healthcare-related wastes such as sanitary towels, nappies and incontinence pads are not considered to be hazardous when they originate from a healthy population.

This category of waste is known as “offensive waste” and can be disposed of in your black bin with the black lid.

“offensive waste” means waste that:

  • (a) is not clinical waste
  • (b) contains body fluids, secretions or excretions, and
  • (c) falls within code 18 01 04, 18 02 03 or 20 01 99 in Schedule 1 of the List of Wastes (England) Regulations 2005(9)


You can request a sharps collection for needles and syringes. These must be placed in a sharps box provided by your GP or healthcare provider.

Sharps collection times

Sharps collections are only available pre-booked in:

  • Daventry area: Thursday
  • Northampton area: Monday and Friday
  • South Northamptonshire area: Tuesday - must be booked by 4pm on Monday

If the clinical/sharps waste is found to be contaminated with other types of waste it will not be collected.

Request a sharps collection

Last updated 27 February 2024