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Clinical, hazardous and commercial waste

We provide services for domestic asbestos and plasterboard disposal as well as clinical waste collections.

Clinical, hazardous and commercial waste 

The council offers disposal of items that you can't put in your bin, including some clinical and hazardous and commercial items. 

Clinical waste

  • Clinical waste is any healthcare waste that may cause disease, contains or is contaminated with a medicine or fluids contaminated with a dangerous substance
  • You should have been told by a medical professional if the waste you are producing requires specialist treatment as clinical waste. They should advise you of how to dispose of any equipment that you are prescribed to manage your health, and provided training if required
  • Items such as sanitary towels, nappies, stoma bags, disposable bed pans, catheters and incontinence pads are not normally considered to be clinical waste. Small amounts of plasters and dressings are also unlikely to be clinical waste. These items can all be double bagged and disposed of in your household waste bin
  • Most sharps (needles, syringes and lancets) are treated as clinical waste and must be contained in a sharps box that can be obtained from a GP
  • Swabs and dressings used to treat wounds or used for other healthcare reasons may be infectious and are likely to be treated as clinical waste. However, if a medical professional advises you that the waste does not require special treatment, then the waste can be double bagged and disposed of as household waste
  • If you are treated in your home by a community nurse, a member of the NHS profession or other healthcare professional, any waste produced is the responsibility of the healthcare professional. Any clinical waste generated should be removed by the healthcare professional and returned to the NHS trust base, for example, for appropriate disposal
  • Any non-clinical waste produced can be put in your household waste bin
  • If you treat yourself in your own home, any waste produced is deemed to be yours, including clinical waste
  • We offer a free collection to residents who need to dispose of any clinical waste from home. This includes infectious items or items that are hazardous to health. Examples include needles and syringes, dialysis products, infectious swabs or dressings
  • Please note that incontinence pads, nappies, disposable bed pans, stoma bags and urine containers are not clinical waste, unless a medical professional has advised you that these should be treated as clinical waste. Double-bag them and put them in your household waste bin
  • Yes – if you are disposing of needles or sharps they must be in a sharps box which you can get by prescription from your GP. Once in the sharps box, needles and sharps are safe to be handled and stored
  • If you are disposing of other waste, including infectious dressings and swabs, we will supply you with orange bags to collect the waste. You should never put sharps into an orange bag
  • Please make sure that boxes and bags are not overfilled and that they are securely closed

What can I put in my sharps box?

  • Needles
  • Lancets
  • Syringes
  • Empty insulin cartridges
  • Insulin pump infusion sets
  • Needles from disposable pens
  • Dressings and swabs
  • Incontinence pads
  • Nappies
  • Sanitary products
  • Dialysis products
  • Disposable bed pans
  • Disposable pens once the needle has been removed

What can I put in my orange bags?

  • Dialysis waste
  • Swabs
  • Soiled dressings
  • Any item on the ‘No’ list marked with an asterisk (*) where a medical professional has assessed that there is an infection risk
  • Incontinence pads*
  • Nappies*
  • Catheter bags*
  • Sanitary products*
  • Emptied stoma bags or pouches*
  • Needles or sharps
  • Syringes
  • Pressurised containers or aerosols
  • Any item on the ‘Yes’ list where a medical professional has advised that special treatment is not needed (e.g. dressings from a non-infectious wound in small quantities)

*Except where a medical professional has advised that the waste should be treated as clinical.


Use the form below or call the council on 0300 456 0102 to register. You will be contacted to arrange your collection dates. Commercial clinical waste collections, such as those from nursing and residential homes are not included as part of this service. Close

Unused medication should be returned to a pharmacist for safe disposal.


Hazardous waste

  • The council provides ways of disposing of some common hazardous wastes, most of which can be taken to some household recycling centres
  • If you cannot take your waste to the household recycling centre, you may be able to find a specialist contractor to collect this waste

You can dispose of domestic, cement bonded asbestos at the Purton, Amesbury and Warminster Household recycling centres by appointment only. Do not take asbestos to any other household recycling centre as they are not licensed to dispose of it.

To make an appointment, contact the relevant Household Recycling Centre between 10am and 4pm:

  • Amesbury – 01980 623160
  • Purton – 01793 778205
  • Warminster – 01985 211427
  • Make sure you comply with the following:

  • Take proof of address to your appointment e.g. photo ID or a recent utility bill.
  • You must be a Wiltshire resident (excluding Swindon) and have proof of residency
  • The cement bonded asbestos must be from your property e.g. a shed roof, drainpipes, water tank
  • You can bring a maximum of 12 sheets of cement bonded asbestos no bigger than 1.5m x 2.5m (do not break the asbestos to fit these dimensions)
  • You must dampen down the sheets to suppress the dust
  • You must wrap all of the asbestos in plastic before taking it to the site
  • You must wear your own protective equipment to dispose of the waste: disposable gloves; disposable mask (type FFP3 recommended by the HSE); disposable overalls (type 5 recommended by the HSE); and you put these in the skip after use
  • Bring along help if required as staff are unable to assist

Failure to comply with any of the points above may result in you not being able to dispose of your asbestos.

If you need to dispose of cement bonded asbestos from a business, or the material has been removed by a builder or any other type of asbestos, contact a specialist contractor.

  • You can take plasterboard to any Household recycling centre and you do not need an appointment
  • Plasterboard and other gypsum-based products are safe to handle but produce toxic gases when buried with biodegradable waste such as food. They need to be collected in dedicated skips and disposed of separately
  • All plasterboard is sent to Mid UK Recycling Ltd based in West Lincolnshire for reprocessing

Small quantities of household chemicals can be taken to our Household recycling centres for safe disposal.


All paints, including oil-based, can be taken to our Household recycling centres for safe disposal.

  • Batteries and all electrical items, large and small, can be taken to our Household recycling centres for safe disposal
  • Alternatively, many supermarkets now have facilities to recycle household batteries
  • We are unable to accept fuel at our household recycling centres
  • If you are unable to make use of fuel, we would suggest first asking a petrol station or garage if they can take this back and dispose of it safely which they may be able to do, depending on the quantity
  • Alternatively, there are companies specialising in hazardous waste removal that may be able to assist

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) canisters can be taken to our Household recycling centres for safe disposal.  Alternatively, you may be able to get them refilled at a LPG supplier, or they may have a take-back scheme that ensures these are safely stored and recycled.


Help your local authority and NHS service by returning unused medical equipment.

  • Hoists
  • Hospital beds
  • Chair raisers
  • Riser recliner chairs
  • Bed levers
  • Mattresses
  • Perching stools
  • Cushions
  • Trolleys
  • Wheeled adjustable frames
  • Bath seats/lifts
  • Shower chairs/stools
  • Local NHS and council services lose thousands of pounds each year due to missing equipment
  • Loan equipment which is issued to the community should be returned when no longer used
  • Whatever it is, whatever state it is in, all items will be assessed and safety tested and either repaired and reused or recycled

Arrange for a free collection by contacting Medequip on:-

01249 815052 or email calnecustomerservice@medequip-uk.com


Commercial waste services provided by Wiltshire Council

From 31 March 2018, the council will cease collecting commercial waste , if your business is one which the council has been collecting from, you will need to use an alternative contractor from this date.  We have written to all of our customers to confirm this.

We have passed your details to our contractor, Hills Waste Solutions who will be in touch with you to discuss what services they can offer you should you wish to replace the service  that you previously had with the council.  You are free to get  quotes from alternative providers in order to ensure you are getting the right service  for your business.


The council has a duty to arrange for the collection of waste if requested to do so by a business but, rather than directly supplying this service, it will be procured from Hills Waste Solutions from 1 April 2018.

We can arrange for the collection of commercial waste by our contractor, if requested by a business to do so, and will add on the council’s  reasonable costs of making these arrangements.


FAQs about commercial waste

As a commercial business you have a legal duty of care to make sure the waste you produce is stored, transported, disposed of, or recycled in a safe and legal manner, either by yourself or by a registered waste carrier.

Note that the cost of commercial waste collections is not included within your business rates.  As the producer of the waste it is your responsibility to ensure it is managed appropriately.

You also need to keep records to show that you are complying with your duty of care.  If you cannot evidence how your waste is being managed and disposed of you are committing an offence and may incur a fixed penalty notice or potentially be taken to court.

For more information, we have produced a leaflet to help you manage your business waste which can be found in the downloads section of this page.


If you have a waste collection contract in place, your service provider should provide you with a copy of a waste transfer note (WTN).  This acts as  your evidence that the waste has been collected by a registered waste carrier and passed on to a licensed recycling or disposal facility.

If you transport your waste to a disposal facility yourself, you will need a waste transfer note (WTN) from the licensed recycling or disposal facility that accepts your waste.  You may also need to register with the Environment Agency as a registered waste carrier in order to transport your waste yourself.

You will need to keep these WTNs for a minimum of two years, and be able to produce them if required by an officer of the Environment Agency or Wiltshire Council.


No. Wiltshire's household recycling centres (HRC) are provided for the recycling of residents' own household waste only. These sites are not licensed to accept commercial waste or commercial recycling.

A business or person who undertakes paid work at a domestic property will produce commercial waste, which cannot be taken to a HRC for disposal.  The business, person or you have a duty to dispose of your commercial waste using a registered carrier.

If your business disposes of rubbish with your household waste or takes it to a household recycling centre, you are committing an offence.


You can employ anyone who is a registered waste carrier and they need to provide you with a waste transfer note for any waste they collect from you.  Registered waste carriers can be small firms or a ‘man with a van', as well as larger organisations.

There are a number of private sector providers of waste collection services who provide a commercial waste collection service throughout Wiltshire. You should be able to find contact details for those companies from a web site search.

Check that your chosen contractor has a valid Waste Carriers Licence number. You can check this with the Environment Agency


Yes. Any waste produced by a business is classed as commercial waste.
If you work from home, or in a small organisation, keep your commercial waste separate from your household waste and arrange for it to be collected by a licensed waste carrier.


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Last updated: 20 August 2019 | Last reviewed: 20 August 2019