Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton

Minerals and Waste Local Plan:
Adopted December 1998

Clinical Waste

Main Contents Page

Need for Waste Facilities

Clinical Waste

6. Meeting the Need for Waste Management

Non-Inert Waste Scenarios


General Considerations

Inert Waste Scenarios

Waste Water (Sewage) and Sewage Sludge

Waste Arisings

Landfilling and Landraising

Ancillary Waste Development

Waste Minimisation and Recycling

Waste Processing


Resource Recovery

Difficult and Special Waste


6.85 In 1994/95 6970 tonnes of clinical waste was disposed of by incineration in Hampshire and a further 1059 tonnes was handled by transfer stations for disposal outside Hampshire. Just over half of this waste was generated at National Health Service hospitals, the remainder coming from doctors', dentists', and veterinary surgeries, nursing homes, and private medical establishments. A significant quantity of non-hazardous clinical waste was traditionally disposed of in the household waste stream at the County's household waste incinerators; the rest, mainly hazardous clinical waste, being either disposed of at the specialist incineration facility at St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, or at Ministry of Defence facilities, or exported out of the county to specialist regional facilities. Clinical waste is not disposed of by landfilling in Hampshire.

6.86 Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, hospital incinerators are now required to be authorised by the District Council or the Environment Agency, and new atmospheric emission standards came into effect in November 1996. The already high cost of incinerating health care waste is likely to increase further as existing disposal facilities close. Consequently it is likely that hospitals will improve recycling levels and practice more efficient segregation of the 'clinical' and 'domestic' elements of health care waste.

6.87 Planning permission was granted in 1993 for the installation of a new clinical waste incinerator at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, which will handle up to 4,000 tonnes of waste a year. However, notwithstanding this new facility and possible improved recycling and segregation of waste in hospitals, it is expected that additional specialist incineration facilities will be required to meet the need for the disposal of clinical waste arising in Hampshire.

6.88 In view of the high cost of new clinical waste incineration plants, it is expected that these facilities will, in future, be provided on a sub-regional or regional basis. However, transport costs are likely to be a relatively small element of overall disposal costs and hence the suitability of locations for new incinerators is likely to be more a factor of site characteristics than of position within the waste catchment area. The Waste Planning Authorities will normally permit clinical waste facilities either where there is a need to provide for waste arising mainly within Hampshire or the facility would form part of a regional strategy for clinical waste to which the Authority has agreed. New facilities should be suitable in design and operation for dealing with clinical waste and should not give rise to any unacceptable environmental, traffic or other impact or be likely to cause any pollution or danger. Facilities should normally be located within the curtilage of hospitals which either would generate most of the waste to be handled or would be providing a central facility to serve an agreed wider area. Proposals for clinical waste incineration plants that incorporate energy recovery will generally be preferred.

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