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HTM 07-01 Update 2023

Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe and sustainable management of healthcare waste has recieved a recent updated which was published on 8th March 2023. There have been some key changes to the document to reflect the NHS push towards a Net Zero health system, prioritising

decarbonisation and circular economy measures in alignment with Defra’s ‘A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment’ (2018a) and ‘Our waste, our resources: a strategy for England’ (2018b), as well as the NHS’s ‘Delivering a “Net Zero” National Health Service’ (2020a) and ‘The NHS Long Term Plan’ (2019b).

Some of the key changes are as follows:

This new Clinical Waste Strategy establishes an ambitious roadmap for transforming the handling of clinical waste, outlining targeted initiatives for NHS Estates teams:

All NHS providers are to have Waste Managers who are fully trained to manage it correctly. They will support this with the first-ever NHS-certified Waste Management training course.

  • Encouraging the 20-20-60 waste split* to improve segregation and reduce cost and environmental burden.

  • Waste contract management is to be a priority for all NHS Trusts.

  • The NHS will be empowered to own and manage its own processing assets and is exploring the use of innovative technologies to treat infectious waste on-site.

The 20 - 20 - 60 split is designed to be split as follows:

  • 20% of waste sent for high-temperature incineration;

  • 20% of waste sent for alternative treatment (AT);

  • 60% of waste classified as offensive waste, which can be converted into energy.

Some of the other key changes that are covered include:

  • A strategic approach with the goal of eliminating unnecessary waste, supporting efforts to prevent the incorrect classification and segregation of offensive waste as infectious waste.

Added emphasis on advancing the circular economy and improving carbon performance, with the goal of encouraging practices that prioritise the implementation of the waste hierarchy and enhance resource efficiency.

  • The necessary steps to reducing the use of single-use plastics in line with Government policy and commitment to Net Zero.

  • The key principles of effective contract management including a standardised checklist of activities for monitoring contractors. It also addresses the approach to contingency planning in the event of contractor failure.

  • A focused push to cultivate knowledge and skills within the in-house workforce to promote better decision-making within waste management.

  • Refreshed technical guidance, best practice, and compliance requirements that reflect new and updated legislation, regulations and technical instruments.

  • A defined process to better integrate opportunities within the system including innovation in waste management solutions.

  • A more organised and optimised approach to sectoral guidance to eliminate repetition and redundancy.

If you are unsure of how these changes will effect how you segregate the clinical and non-clinical waste your healthcare waste provider will be in a position to guide you and help with complete implementation of the changes. As the NHS are rolling out a a program of Offensive Waste collections so you will probably start to see the Yellow/ Black sacks filtering through with your bag deliveries.

If you have any questions please get in touch.

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