All care services generate different types of waste during the delivery of care, for example,  food, general, hygiene, infectious and sharps to name but a few.  

 Incorrect management, including disposal of waste can present a risk of infection, compromise health and safety of all those involved, cause offence to others and can in some cases result in legal proceedings.

Confusion has arisen regarding the correct and safe disposal of personal care items such as used continence pads, nappies and feminine hygiene products and often leads to complaints by the public or misunderstandings with other organisations. Commonly services have disposed of such items as clinical waste, which is misleading, incorrect and very expensive. 

The new waste document produced by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in consultation with the Care Inspectorate provides an easy to understand guide to correct management of hygiene waste. 

Care services registered with the Care Inspectorate should use the document when:

• negotiating with waste contractors for disposal of waste contracts

• developing waste management policies and procedures

• training staff at inductions and at regular intervals

• monitoring staff waste management practices

• upgrading existing facilities or building new service premises.

Care Inspectorate staff should use the information to inform all regulatory activities such as registration, inspection and complaints investigations. 

The public and other organisations should use the information as a source of reassurance on the correct disposal of waste.