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Domestic Clinical Waste

This page contains information on types of clinical waste and the collections the Council offers.

Diabetic Sharps Collections

Bedford Borough Council provides a free collection of diabetic waste for private individuals. Diabetic sharps boxes are available on prescription from your GP or Pharmacist.

Please click this link to request a diabetic waste collection.

Diabetic sharps include:

  • needles
  • syringes
  • lancets used with finger-pricking devices
  • clippers

Please DO NOT dispose of sharps in the black bin as needles can cause injury, and pass on infections.

If you are already registered and wish to arrange the collection of a diabetic sharps box from your property please complete the diabetic sharps waste collection online form or alternatively call 01234 718060.

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Domestic Clinical Waste Collections

Bedford Borough Council provides a chargeable clinical waste collection. We recommend that private individuals should contact their health visitor, district nurse, care assistant, or the place that supplied the clinical sacks/sharps box, who may be able to arrange an alternative.

Bedford Borough Council collects the following from domestic households (charges apply):

  • Clinical waste (infectious and non-infectious) e.g. swabs and dressings contaminated with bodily fluids or medicine
  • 'Sharps’ e.g. needles contaminated with bodily fluids or medicine
  • Offensive and hygiene wastes e.g. incontinence pads, stoma bags and bed pans


Collections for commercially generated clinical, offensive and hygiene waste including sharps can also be arranged. Visit our Commercial Clinical waste collections page to find out more.

How to Classify your Clinical Waste

Non-infectious Waste

Minor first-aid and hygiene items such as nappies, sanitary products, small dressings and plasters from domestic premises are assumed to present no risk of infection unless a healthcare professional provides advice to the contrary.

Offensive or hygiene waste is generally considered to be non-infectious but if produced in large quantities can become offensive and cause waste handling problems, this includes:

  • Incontinence pads;
  • Sanitary waste;
  • Disposable medical items and equipment that do not pose a risk of infection, including bed pans, stoma bags and urine containers.

Such waste is not clinical waste and can be disposed of in small quantities in the black household waste bin, so long as it is securely bagged and free from excess liquid. When it makes up more than half of your rubbish bin it may be necessary to arrange a separate collection of this waste.

Infectious Waste

There are occasions when healthcare waste will be produced within domestic premises, for example self-medicating patients. In these circumstances, all waste items contaminated with blood, pus, wound exudates and similar substances should be regarded as infectious. Such waste is classified as hazardous clinical waste and requires separate collection and specialist treatment. Do not place this waste in your black rubbish bin.


Sharps are items (or parts of items) of healthcare waste that could cause cuts or puncture wounds, including:

  • Needles
  • Needle part of a syringe
  • Lancets
  • Scalpel and other blades
  • Broken glass ampoules
  • Patient end of an infusion set

Sharps contaminated with bodily fluids are classified as infectious and are therefore hazardous clinical waste requiring separate collection and specialist treatment.

If you are in any doubt about whether your waste is classed as clinical waste, please speak to a healthcare professional and seek their advice.

Setting up a Clinical Waste Collection

If you need to set up a regular clinical waste collection of sharps and/or sacks please request a form from tradewaste@bedford.gov.uk or call 01234 718011. 

If you need a one-off collection of sharps and/or sacks please complete the online request form and a member of staff will contact you to discuss your requirements.


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