Disposal of Clinical Waste

What Is It?

Clinical waste contains potentially harmful microorganisms that can infect residents, employees, and the general public.  The facility can prevent infection and transmission of antimicrobial organisms by providing a clean, waste-free environment.  To protect people from harm when handling waste or hazardous substances, specific procedures should be followed.

Procedure For Handling Clinical Waste


Apply standard precautions to protect against exposure to blood and body substances during the handling of waste

Appropriate protective attire must be worn when handling clinical/contaminated waste bags, bins, or containers (i.e., general-purpose utility gloves, waterproof aprons)

Always wash hands following procedures

Handling Waste

Segregation should occur at the point of generation

Waste should be contained in the appropriate receptacle (identified by colour and label) and disposed of per the facility waste management plan and local authority

Waste bags and bins should be stored in a restricted area

All waste contaminated by blood or other body fluids or considered infectious must be disposed of in an appropriate yellow clinical waste bag

Employees should avoid any exposure to clinical/contaminated waste by

Slowly pour liquid waste down a drain connected to any sanitary sewer system, then flush immediately

Minimising splashing and contamination of skin and mucosa

Contaminated waste bags and containers away from the body and using trolleys whenever possible to transport waste bags and containers

Disposing of Sharps

Sharps must be disposed of into a rigid sharps container and be sealed securely when 3/4 full or when the fill line is reached. Sharps containers should be left in a safe and secure place for employees to collect and remove to the locked waste storage area.

Use of Trolleys

Trolleys used for transporting waste must be

Clearly identifiable

Cleaned regularly (at least weekly)

Used only for waste transport

Never overfilled

Fitted with drip trays to contain leaks or spills

National Standards and Guidelines

Residential aged care facilities should refer to relevant standards and their local authority for comprehensive information on the management of clinical and related wastes.