Clinical Waste Disposal Regulations
The Scheme has been in place since August 2011 to provide for the control and regulation of the whole path of handling clinical waste from its production through to disposal as well as for the protection and safety of the public in relation to any such activity.
The control scheme seeks to uphold the public health standard in Hong Kong through effective management of the waste. It comprises five key elements to attain the objective:
- establishing a statutory licensing framework for all clinical waste collectors and disposal facility operators.
- requiring clinical waste producers to properly manage their clinical waste by consigning the clinical waste to licensed clinical waste collectors for delivery to a licensed disposal facility for disposal.
- promulgating Codes of Practice to provide guidance for clinical waste producers and waste collectors.
- setting up a consignment note system to track the movement of clinical waste from source to disposal facility.
- designating the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (CWTC) as the facility to treat clinical waste and levying a disposal charge for use of the facility.
Details of the statutory control are set out in the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulation.
The Control Framework
Waste producers, waste collectors and disposal facility operators have to fulfill their responsibilities under the Clinical Waste Control Scheme.
The duties fall into mainly two areas:
- proper handling of clinical waste within the producing premises; and
- proper disposal of clinical waste.
On waste handling, EPD has issued two sets of Code of Practice to provide guidance on the segregation, packaging, labelling, storage, collection, transportation and disposal of clinical waste for major clinical waste producers (e.g. hospitals) and small waste producers (e.g. private clinics).Click here for details.
A waste producer can fulfill the duty of proper disposal of clinical waste by:
- engaging the service of a licensed clinical waste collector to remove the clinical waste from the waste producing premises.
- arranging a healthcare professional to deliver clinical waste not exceeding 5 kg on any occasion to a licensed disposal facility or clinical waste collection point following requirements as prescribed in the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulation.
- disposing of the clinical waste he produces at an on-site licensed clinical waste disposal facility.
A waste producer needs to keep all waste consignment and delivery records for not less than 12 months and, upon request, make them available for inspection by EPD staff.
Note: A healthcare professional is a :
as defined in the various ordinances detailed in the Waste Disposal (Clinical Waste) (General) Regulation.
Clinical Waste Collector
Clinical waste collectors must apply for and operate in accordance with a Clinical Waste Collection licence. They have to deliver the waste to the designated disposal facility within 24 hours of waste collection. Please refer to the relevant code of practice for details.
Disposal Facility Operator
A Clinical Waste disposal facility has to be licensed by EPD and operated strictly in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licence.
Under the Control Scheme, clinical waste producers (e.g. hospitals and clinics) will consign the waste to licensed waste collectors who will transport it to the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre (“CWTC”) for disposal. In accordance with the user pays principle, a charge will be levied on the disposal of clinical waste at the Centre under the “Charge Regulation”