The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has published the latest guidance on waste auditing for large healthcare producers.
The document is set up by the Institution’s Healthcare Waste Special Interest Group, and is designed to provide straightforward and to the point guidance on pre-acceptance waste audits, as required by the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations.
To ensure that healthcare wastes are sent for the correct treatment and disposal, per-acceptance waste audits are essential. Robust auditing and reporting practices are also vital to ensure compliance, in addition the added benefits of good auditing include cost savings as well as carbon footprint reductions that can be reached by effectively setting apart high and low risk healthcare waste streams.
The Royal College of Nursing have estimated that if a mere 20% of incorrectly classified infectious waste were to be reclassified as offensive waste with lower associated waste management costs, the NHS could save approximately £5.5 million.
Mat Crocker, Head of Illegals & Waste for the Environment Agency, says:
“It is essential that producers of waste correctly segregate and describe their waste to ensure that it is managed correctly and gets to the right place. This guidance for producers of healthcare waste sets out how waste audits can help producers both to fulfil their requirements and to enable their waste management contractor to comply with their legal obligations. The Environment Agency welcomes this publication and the work that CIWM has put into its production.”
The guidance has also been recognised by The Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Victoria Sawford, Environmental Services Manager for the Trust, says:
“I believe this will be a very useful tool, especially for those who are new to the waste management sector. It not only highlights the legal requirements but also provides a step-by-step approach to the audit methodology, as well as enabling the user to make an informed decision with regards to the packaging, collection, storage, transportation and disposal routes for the various waste types produced within the healthcare environment.”
Download the Pre-acceptance waste audits: a guidance document for large healthcare waste from the CIWM website (www.ciwm.co.uk).
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