To consider a report from the Head of Finance outlining a redesign of the Clinical Waste Collection Service.
The Group had before it a report * from the Waste and Transport Manager asking for approval for the redesign of the clinical waste collection service.
The Officer explained that if the recommendations within the report were implemented fully it would enable the authority to reduce costs by approximately £16,200 per annum and would also ensure that all relevant legislation was complied with.
The Waste and Transport Manager explained that the authority currently provided a clinical waste collection to approximately 250 households. This service was delivered by a contractor and the budgeted spending on this service was £27k for 2015/16. The service comprised of the collection of needles from a secure sharps box on a ‘on demand’ basis and the collection of offensive and infectious wastes on a weekly scheduled basis, with some ‘on demand’ collections.
The officer explained that throughout Devon it had been customary to collect all of these materials as part of a separate clinical waste collection. However many of the collections made were for waste which was categorised as offensive, such as incontinence pads, and did not legally require a separate collection. These items could be collected as part of normal general waste collections and did not require the more expensive separate collection and disposal as Clinical waste.
It was therefore proposed that the following take place:
· The Waste Service to contact all current customers by letter to ensure they were classifying their clinical waste correctly through a generic form being used across Devon;
· To follow up contact for those that did not reply to letter. This would involve telephone contact and offers to visit householders;
· For those that were identified as putting out offensive waste to receive a 240 litre wheeled bin for storage, to be collected with fortnightly residual waste;
· That a risk assessment be carried out for the collection of offensive waste as part of the general waste stream. This would consider the needs of customers and collection crews. Likely impacts on collection crews were the additional manual handling and handling of offensive wastes. These could be mitigated by the provision of wheeled bins where practicable. The waste scheme introduced in 2015 had created capacity to absorb this very small increase in workload on residual waste rounds.
Discussion took place regarding:
· The need to supply wheeled bins to customers to prevent problems with wildlife and smells when the waste had to be stored for two weeks;
· The need to ensure that staff were fully trained;
· The waste classifications set out in legislation;
· The need for clear instructions advising customers how to store the waste;
· The suggestion that the bins be identified via a sticker inside the lid to avoid publicising the fact that the bin contained offensive waste.
It was RECOMMENDED to the Cabinet that:
a) That a separate clinical waste collection be offered only for hazardous or infectious clinical waste. This meant that offensive waste, such as sanitary protection products, would be collected and disposed of via ordinary residual waste collections;
b) That additional waste capacity be provided to households generating offensive waste. This would mean providing a black wheeled bin, for the period that offensive waste was being generated. The normal bin supply charge will be waived;
c) That Mid Devon District Council work with healthcare providers to ensure they remove clinical waste that they generated in clients’ homes, or that they pay the Council to collect this waste.
(Proposed by the Chairman)
Note: - Report previously circulated and attached to Minutes.