Medical Waste and Sharps
We operate a weekly collection service for the disposal of domestically generated infectious waste, and sharps (like syringes).
We only collect these types of waste from householders who are self-treating, where these types of waste are being generated by a health care worker, district nurse, or GP working in a private dwelling, the Primary Care Trust (PCT) must make their own arrangements for appropriate disposal.
Infectious waste such as blood or tissue, and dressings, swabs or other equipment contaminated with blood or tissue must be contained in orange bags. Sharps waste must be contained in specially approved lockable containers. We can supply you with whichever containers you need for your waste. Infectious waste and sharps must not be placed in normal household waste containers, they are required to be collected separately so that they can be sent to the correct licensed treatment facilities.
Non-infectious waste such as catheters, incontinence pads, nappies, and stomach pouches can simply be disposed of with your normal refuse, although if you are generating large volumes (more than two black bin bags per week) we can collect this separately.
Examples of Infectious Waste and Sharps
- Syringes, needles and cartridges
- Human Tissue
- Dressings and swabs (including gloves and first aid)
- Other waste from infectious diseases
Examples of Non-Infectious Waste and Sharps
- Items used to dispose of urine faeces and other bodily secretions that are not infectious
- Incontinence pads
- Catheter and stoma bags
- Sanitary waste
- Vomit and soiled human bedding from non-infectious sources
- Dog and cat litter
- Animal hygiene waste, for example animal bedding
Sharps are collected from across the district every Wednesday from 06:00. All requests for a collection must be made by midday on Tuesday.
Infectious waste is collected on a Wednesday from 06:00
Non-infectious waste is collected according to area:
- Monday - Rural West
- Tuesday - Rural East
- Thursday - Lewes and Seaford
- Friday - Newhaven and Peacehaven
To double check your collection day for infectious waste, sharps or a non-infectious waste collection you can contact us online, or call customer services. You can also sign up for email alerts, if you'd like us to let you know about any changes to our services over bank holiday periods.
You can sign up quickly and easily online to receive weekly infectious waste collections or weekly sharps collections, alternatively you can call customer services.
When you first sign up for infectious waste or sharps collections we will email you a referral form to be filled in by your health professional (health care worker, district nurse, GP etc). We need them to confirm the type of waste for collection and sign and return the form to us within 30 days. This is because we have a statutory duty to ensure that your waste is correctly described, so we can treat it and dispose of it in a responsible and legitimate manner. Once we receive the completed referral form we will be in touch with you to confirm the collection arrangements. If we don't receive the completed referral form within 30 days we'll assume that you no longer need the infectious waste or sharps collections, but you can always sign up again later.
If you only need a one-off collection, or if you cannot complete a referral form, please contact customer services online or by phone to discuss your needs.
You can request more infectious waste bags or sharps containers online in just a couple of clicks, and we'll bring them with your next collection.
You can also request more bags or buckets by calling customer services.
If You Discover Discarded Sharps
If you discover discarded sharps be careful not to touch them, and don't allow anyone else to. Please don't kick them into the gutter or drain, and don't throw them away with normal rubbish. Any of these things could pose a serious danger to other people or wildlife!
Wearing thick gloves and/or using tongs or tweezers, carefully place the item sharp end first into a metal can or strong plastic bottle. Make sure you wash your hands afterwards and store the container in a safe place. To arrange collection contact customer services online, or give us a ring.