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Waste Container Colour Codes Explained

Waste Container Colour Codes Explained

Posted on June 12th, 2018

Waste segregation at the point of generation enables the safe management of healthcare wastes. It is an essential part of ensuring that healthcare activities don’t pose a risk of infection to carers and anyone else coming into contact with the waste containers.

Healthcare waste segregation processes are vital to ensure the waste is stored, transported and treated correctly. By adhering to waste segregation processes, different waste types can be processed using the most appropriate treatment or disposal process. Consequently, it is easier for organisations to manage their waste management costs.

Which waste container should I use?

Waste Type Colour Coding EWC Description
Infectious Clinical Waste Yellow Lid Human: 18 01 03* 

Animal: 18 02 02*

Items used that are contaminated with blood and or medicines.
Infectious Clinical Waste Orange Lid Human: 18 01 03* 

Animal: 18 02 02*

Items that are contaminated with blood.
Offensive/non-infectious Waste Black & Yellow stripped container Human: 18 01 04 

Animal: 18 02 03

Any waste that isn’t infectious and doesn’t contain pharmaceutical or chemicals and is likely to cause offence to the senses is offensive waste.
Pharmaceutical Waste Blue Lid Human: 18 01 09 

Animal: 18 02 08

Includes out-of-date, unused, unwanted or contaminated pharmaceutical drugs. This includes products contaminated with pharmaceutical residue such as gloves, masks, connecting tubes and vials.
Cytotoxic and Cytostatic waste Purple Lid Human: 18 01 08* 

Animal: 18 02 08

Hormone and chemotherapy medicines must be separated from other pharmaceutical waste.
Controlled Drugs Purple Lid Human: 18 01 08* 

Animal: 18 02 07*

Some controlled drugs are considered hazardous – for advice on whether a CD should hazardous or non-hazardous please call an advisor on 0330 221 1281.
Controlled Drugs Blue Lid Human: 18 01 09 

Animal: 18 02 08

Once controlled drugs have been rendered safe or beyond use then  they can be disposed of with other non-hazardous medicine waste.
Anatomical Waste1 Red Lid Animal: 18 02 02* Animal carcasses / body parts arising from healthcare that pose a risk of infection
Anatomical Waste1 Red Lid Animal: 18 02 03 Animal carcasses / body parts arising from healthcare that are non-infectious.
Sharps Waste Yellow Lid Human: 18 01 03* 

Animal: 18 02 02*

Sharps waste used in a healthcare setting where there is a risk waste becomes contaminated with infectious bodily fluids or pharmaceutical residue.
Sharps Waste Orange Lid Human: 18 01 01 

Animal: 18 02 01

Sharps waste used in a healthcare setting where there is no risk of infection or contamination with pharmaceutical residue.
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