Clinical waste management services segregation and colour coding

Segregating clinical waste at the point of generation is critical to the safe management of healthcare wastes, which not only aids in the management costs of these wastes, but ensures that the waste is stored, transported and ultimately disposed of correctly.

For clinical waste segregation to work effectively the HTM 07-01 (The Safe Management of Healthcare Waste Memorandum), which is the best practice guidelines published by The Environment Agency for the healthcare sector, recommends that colour coded bins, sacks and waste receptacles are provided to enable easy identification and are placed as close to the point of waste creation as possible.

An organisation can deviate from the colour coding guidance provided they have an equivalent or better solution in place.  However, most keep to the HTM 07-01 recommendations to avoid any confusion.

Our website at can help your organisation segregate your clinical waste correctly. Click on the link to access this information today.

Waste Type


Colour Coding


Infectious Clinical Waste Hazardous

Yellow Colour Coded Waste

Poses a known or potential risk of infection including anatomical waste, diagnostic specimens, regent or test vials.
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Infectious Clinical Waste Hazardous

Orange Colour Coded Waste

Potentially infectious waste, autoclave and laboratory waste.
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Offensive/non infectious waste Non Hazardous

Yellow & Black Colour Coded Waste

Healthcare waste which is classed as non infectious, including nappy, incontinence, sanitary waste and other waste produced from human hygiene.
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Pharmaceutical waste Non Hazardous

Blue Colour Coded Waste

Includes expired, unused, contaminated and spilt pharmaceutical drugs, products and vaccines. Including bottles, boxes or vials with residues. Also including products contaminated from the use of handling pharmaceuticals including gloves, masks, connecting tubes, syringe bodies and drug vials.*
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Cytotoxic and Cytostatic drugs Hazardous

Purple Colour Coded Waste

Hormone and cancer treatment medicinal waste must be separated from other medicinal waste as they are classed as hazardous. Located list can be found in BNF or NIOSH list of medicines. Failure to segregate from non-hazardous medicines will mean that the waste must be treated as hazardous and incur associated hazardous waste charges.
Find out more about our cytotoxic and cytostatic waste services here


Controlled drugs Non Hazardous

Blue Colour Coded Waste

Controlled drugs must be denatured to render them safe and without value and then disposed of with other non hazardous waste medicines.*
For more information on our controlled drugs kits and service, click here

* Please note that the HTM 07:01 Technical Memorandum: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste provides recommendations. Our pharmaceutical waste container is green but still complies with latest legislation and is compliant with correct disposal routes and is nationally recognised and excepted by the Environment Agency.

Download more information and improve your business's waste disposal standards.Clinical waste management segregation and colour coding guidance