Waste Management in Healthcare

Managing healthcare waste safely and efficiently saves costs while preventing injury and infection.


Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children

Influencing Best Practice

The support provided by our waste management experts to healthcare clients worldwide is informed by our experience providing guidance to the UK’s healthcare authorities and supporting healthcare operators, who must implement some of the most stringent classification and segregation requirements for healthcare waste in the world. As authors of the guidance on waste management for both the National Health Service and the Royal College of Nursing, we were influential on changing the approach to the management of certain healthcare waste streams, including infection risk and offensive waste arising from healthcare practices, residential care homes and laboratories.

Get it Right at Design Stage

We are currently designing the waste requirements for a number of healthcare projects in the UK and the Middle East. By far the most cost-effective approach is to ensure that waste management is correctly factored in at the design stage. Our role involves ensuring that provision is made in the designs for the specific activities that will take place in different parts of each facility, ranging from wards to operating theatres to high-tech diagnostic equipment; and facilitating the correct procedures for storage, treatment and disposal. It is of particular importance that hazardous material is segregated from other wastes and isolated to avoid the danger of injury or cross-infection.


Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, UK

Designing out Construction Waste in Construction

There is also a compelling case for minimizing construction waste, particularly on large projects, for commercial, environmental and logistical benefits. We were appointed to advise on a strategy for managing construction and demolition waste arising from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. This included a full design stage waste minimization review using tools to identify potential waste reduction opportunities throughout the design stage of the project, the development of a site waste management plan and post-implementation monitoring.

We also provided support in gaining regulatory approval for an innovative on-site waste sorting area which resulted in clean segregated waste streams being removed from the site, significantly increasing the project recycling rate. This approach resulted in a 6,500-tonne reduction in construction waste and 90% of waste being diverted from landfill.