Decision details

Domestic Clinical Waste Collections in Peterborough - FEB20/CMDN/80

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Waste, Street Scene and the Environment

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The Cabinet Member approved and endorsed the option set out in this report to provide a sharps clinical waste and disposal service.

Reasons for the decision:

Local Authorities are legally required under the Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (CWR) and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) to arrange collection of clinical waste from householders of self-treating patients on request and under the CWR and EPA they may make a reasonable charge for this service.


The model being recommended represents the most economical option for the Council whilst still ensuring residents can access the service by providing a network of collection points in the City.  It is also a desirable option as it mimics the current NHS service, controls future growth so a widespread demand for a household collection service for clinical waste is not generated. The relationship between dispensing chemist and patient is retained along with privacy of disposal. Advice from the LPC is that most customers will not want a visible clinical collection and that this increases the risk of other models resulting in sharps being incorrectly disposed of in household waste, causing significant contamination. This model would allow for a single style of approach across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, albeit with slight differences in specific implementation.

Alternative options considered:

Continuing with current kerbside collections and do nothing:


Collection of all self-administered sharps and clinical waste from the household at no cost to the household could have the potential to have a significant financial impact as NHS England can provide no information regarding the volume or frequency of sharps boxes being presented to Pharmacies. It must also be noted that the figures of sharps boxes prescribed is an estimate as this was collated using postcode data which does not correspond exactly to the boundaries between authorities.  The cost to undertake comprehensive collections would be in the region of £25,000 based on 2017/18 sharps box prescription levels.  This is regarded as undesirable on the grounds of cost.


Charge residents for household sharps collections (No Pharmacy Collection Points):


Collection of all self-administered sharps and clinical waste from the household.  A charge of £8 per collection would cover the contractor cost and associated booking arrangements/administration and would mean there is no additional cost to PCC.  This is regarded as undesirable as a charge is likely to result in customers disposing of clinical sharps in normal household waste collections to avoid the charge.


Pharmacy Model with free household collections:


This option would provide residents with an improved disposal service as the pharmacy drop off model would be free of charge to Peterborough residents and provide the customer with the choice of either returning sharps boxes back through the local pharmacy network or arranging a doorstep collection from the household free of charge. This option was regarded as undesirable as it is likely to give rise to increased costs as an unknown number of residents request a home collection. In addition the environmental impact is significantly lower if collections are made from pharmacies, rather than hundreds of houses, and if the resident is at the pharmacy then they have not made a special journey therefore making the recommended model more favourable than this option.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Background Documents:


Publication date: 05/02/2020

Date of decision: 05/02/2020

Effective from: 11/02/2020

Accompanying Documents: