Appropriate measures for permitted facilities that take healthcare waste

Closed 15 Jul 2019

Opened 3 Jun 2019

Results updated 28 Jul 2020

Update from 13 July 2020

The new guidance (Healthcare waste: appropriate measures for permitted facilities) has been published on the GOV.UK website and is available at the following web address:


We ran a consultation on our updated technical guidance Appropriate measures for permitted facilities that take healthcare waste, which sets out the appropriate measures for permitted facilities that transfer or treat healthcare waste.

The consultation was held on the Environment Agency Citizen Space website and ran for 6 weeks, from Monday 3 June 2019 until Monday 15 July 2019.

A full report of our findings can be found here.

A summary of the main findings from the consultation and the actions we have taken in response to them is provided below:

  • We remain of the view that the storage of clinical waste in a building represents Best Available Techniques (BAT) and is an appropriate measure. We expect new facilities (permitted following the publication of the guidance) to be designed to satisfy this requirement from the commencement of operations. We expect existing facilities to work to achieve this requirement to an agreed timeframe. At facilities where the provision of storage buildings for infectious clinical waste is not economically or technically viable this must be justified and measures must be in place that provide an equivalent level of environmental protection.
  • We have revised the appropriate measures contained in the guidance for the storage of odorous wastes. The guidance now identifies the use of an extracted and abated building as one of a range of measures that should be employed where it is necessary to control fugitive emissions to air. This means that the onus will be on the operator of the facility, based upon a site-specific risk assessment, to propose what measures are appropriate.
  • We have considered the consultation comments received on the proposed waste storage times and have increased the maximum storage duration from 7 to 14 days for infectious and offensive waste where it is stored within a building. The maximum duration will remain 7 days for waste stored outside. The guidance will also be revised to state that anatomical waste can be stored for up to 14 days in refrigerated storage, and no more than 24 hours (or 72 hours if over a weekend) if without refrigeration, provided there are no odour issues.
  • We have revised the guidance to remove the specific requirement to check the labelling on all loose packaged items received. We have replaced this measure with a requirement to ensure that all waste can be tracked back to relevant waste acceptance records and documentation.
  • Concerns were expressed that requiring all carts to be arranged in rows could significantly reduce the storage capacity of a site. The guidance has been revised to state that all bulk waste containers must be stored in a way that allows safe and easy access for inspection at all times and minimises the need to remove others that may be blocking access. The guidance also requires that safe access (inspection aisles) must be maintained to at least one side of palletised wastes, which is consistent with existing technical guidance for other packaged hazardous waste.

Following consideration of the consultation responses received we will finalise the text of the guidance for publication. We will publish the finalised guidance on the website. So that the guidance is fully accessible and can be published on the website, we will convert the PDF document that was used for the consultation to HTML format.

If you wish to follow up on any of the responses, or points made within the consultation, in more detail you are welcome to contact us at


Healthcare waste guidance - a summary of consultation responses

Responses submitted via email:

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Currently, appropriate measures and standards for permitted facilities that take healthcare waste for treatment or transfer are set out in published technical guidance note EPR 5.07 Clinical Waste (January 2011). The proposed guidance, which this consultation is for, will replace the original guidance note and will be available as web guidance on the .GOV website.

The proposed guidance aims to deliver improvements in the design and operation of permitted facilities in the healthcare waste sector and ensure that, where relevant, appropriate measures are applied consistently. The guidance also incorporates the relevant requirements of the waste treatment BAT Conclusions publication, made under the European Industrial Emission Directive (2010/75/EU), which apply to waste installation facilities permitted under the Directive.


Why your views matter

The purpose of this consultation is to engage with relevant stakeholders to obtain their views on the proposed technical guidance, which sets out appropriate measures for permitted facilities that transfer or treat healthcare waste and replaces existing guidance EPR 5.07 Clinical Waste (January 2011).

Click this link (or the hyperlinks above) to access the proposed guidance: Environment Agency healthcare waste guidance draft for consultation

Alternatively you can download this document at the bottom of this page.

Responding To The Consultation

Please click on the 'Respond online' link below to answer the consultation questions. 

However, if you prefer, you can submit your response by email or post by downloading the response form (below) and sending it to:

Hazardous Waste Treatment and Transfer
Environment Agency
Trentside Office
Scarrington Road

Or email:

What happens next




  • Metal recycling trade associations and site operators
  • Operators
  • UK Border Force
  • Medium Combustion Plants
  • Trade associations and business
  • Other regulators
  • Members of the public
  • Community groups
  • Non-governmental organisations with an interest in environmental issues


  • Business and industry
  • Waste
  • Permits
  • Environmental permitting