DoE in dispute with waste industry over clinical waste

Large volumes of non-clinical waste are being disposed of expensively in clinical waste incinerators, according to a draft Waste Management Paper from the Department of the Environment (DoE).1 Hospitals and other producers of clinical waste are urged to make more effort to segregate their waste in order to reduce disposal costs - but the waste disposal industry argues that this will create new hazards and is also opposed to a DoE proposal that some clinical waste can be safely landfilled.

The draft Waste Management Paper (WMP) comes ten years after the first edition was issued by the DoE. Since then the Environmental Protection Act 1990 has introduced tougher standards for clinical waste incinerators and the "duty of care" on waste producers. And at EC level, clinical waste management practices are now under scrutiny in one of the European Commission's "priority waste stream" projects (ENDS Report 222, p 42

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