The clinical and related waste stream includes discarded sharps, infectious or potentially infectious waste, cytotoxic drugs, chemical, pharmaceutical and radioactive materials, and animal tissue or carcasses used in research. These wastes have the potential to cause infection, injury, chemical contamination, odour or visual offence and require special management.
An Approved Management Method for Clinical and Related Waste has been developed under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Waste Management) Regulations 2010 (Waste Management Regulations). The Clinical and Related Waste AMM specifies new minimum standards and recommended controls in relation to waste classification, segregation, safe packaging, labelling, storage, transport and disposal of clinical and related wastes to minimise risks associated with the management of these wastes. A key feature of the Clinical and Related Waste AMM is a ban on landfilling untreated clinical and related wastes which took effect on the 1st October 2008.
The Clinical and Related Waste AMM has been developed to allow those responsible for waste management in health care settings to provide safer working environments, minimise waste generation and costs associated with managing that waste, and reduce the environmental impact of waste treatment and disposal. Compliance with the minimum standards under the Clinical and Related Waste AMM satisfies legal obligations under the Waste Management Regulations with respect to managing clinical and related waste. Practices other than outlined in the Clinical and Related Waste AMM will require separate approval from the Director of the EPA.
The Clinical and Related Waste AMM is available as part of a broader package entitled "The AMM Companion Book" which also provides broad guidance on organisational and occupational health and safety issues, advice on formulating waste management strategies and conducting on-site waste audits.