Clinical & Biological Waste


Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the University of Strathclyde has a duty to ensure that all clinical waste generated on campus is accurately identified, labelled with description of each item, including the correct legislative EU coding (Revised European Waste Catalogue (EWC 2002) Treated (autoclaved) where possible and uplifted and disposed of in a controlled manner through a licensed waste carrier. Estates Services manage and co-ordinate this service on behalf of the University.


The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 define Clinical Waste as waste arising from medical, nursing, dental, pharmaceutical, teaching and research or similar practices of which the following will be generated:


The chart below shows the colour coding segregation and accepted waste receptacles adopted by Strathclyde University.

Yellow bags

Waste which requires disposal by incineration

Indicative treatment/disposal required is incineration in a suitably permitted or licensed facility

Orange bags - Autoclaved lab waste

Waste which has been autoclaved

Indicative treatment/disposal required has been “rendered safe” in a suitably permitted facility,

Note: this waste may also be disposed of by incineration.

Sealed rigid container 60ltr & Cytotoxic label


Cytotoxic waste

Indicative treatment/disposal required is incineration in a suitably permitted or licensed facility.

Note: Sealed container and bags must be labelled with a Cytotoxic label.

Rigid container

Sharpse.g., needles, syringes with needles attached, broken glass ampoules, scalpel and other blades, infusion sets (the sharps part ), medicinal waste in the form of:

(i) bottles;

(ii) vials;

Note: containers with sharps contaminated with Cytotoxic/Cytostatic medicinal products must be labelled as Cytotoxic waste.

Sealed rigid container - 60ltr

Offensive waste – e.g. body parts or other recognisable anatomical items, such as small animal carcasses (Larger items can be placed in larger receptacles).

Euro bins 770 ltr & 360 ltr

Euro Bins 770ltr & 360ltr

Final transfer vessels available for larger quantities of waste

Departments are required to keep accurate records on the Clinical Waste they produce. For the purposes of Auditing, departments should retain these records for a minimum of 3 years. Labelling should take the form of cardboard labels with a Pre-printed sticky label on it secured by Cable ties. Both labels can be purchased through PECOS. Below is a guide to the information and its format that should be recorded on the labels.

The labels will contain the following information:

  • the department e.g. SIPBS, BioEng etc
  • the source e.g. human (H) or animal (A)
  • the year e.g. 2012
  • numbers starting from 0001
  • The type of waste, e.g.
    • Cytotoxic (Cyt)-specially labelled-yellow with additional poison label
    • Class 1 animal Pathogens (Sp)-yellow bags
    • Autoclaved Non Infectious (NI)-orange bags
    • Non Autoclaved Potentially infectious (PI)-yellow bags
    • Sharps (Sh)-yellow lidded container
    • Cytotoxic Sharps (Cyt Sh)-purple lidded container or yellow lidded labelled with Cytotoxic warning label
    • Offensive waste (Off)-yellow bags rigid yellow container

Examples of info on label: 

  • BPU/PI/A/2011/2012-00
  • CRCUK/Cyt/H/2012-001
  • BioEng/Off/A/2012-0001


All the above waste shall be deposited in the provided receptacles ready for transfer

Departments requiring Clinical Waste uplifts must complete the University’s Clinical Waste form CW1  accurately detailing the type of waste requiring uplift along with quantities or estimated quantities (Exact numbers being verified on the day of uplift) no later than Thursday Lunchtime prior to the following Tuesday uplift.

The completed Clinical Waste form should be emailed to the University’s Clinical Waste mailbox:

Clinical waste is uplifted from the University on specific dates at specific locations throughout the year. Notification of these dates will be given to those departments registered with Estates as requiring this service.

The uplifts take place every alternate Tuesday and start around 1pm moving around the campus to the locations requiring uplift thereafter. On the day of uplift, Estates will contact the departmental nominated representative to inform them of expected uplift time thereafter the nominated member of staff shall pass the waste to the Clinical Waste Contractor and confirm final quantities to a representative of Estates who will be present at the time of the uplift.

Departments requiring this service should email the Clinical Waste mailbox at, or alternatively contact Estates Services to discuss their requirement on the following numbers:

  • Paul McGowan; Ext 5738
  • Mark Lindsay; Ext 2112

Estates Services retains a small top up quantity of Clinical Waste supplies (Bags/Small Sharps Containers). Larger containers (From 60ltr to 770ltr) are supplied by our Clinical Waste contractor on request. Departments requiring Clinical Waste Bags (Yellow / Orange) or sharps containers or any other containers should email, or alternatively contact Estates Services on the numbers below.

  • Paul McGowan; Ext 5738
  • Mark Lindsay; Ext 2112

An example of European Waste Codes (EWCs) can be downloaded here: Example of European Waste Codes