Fears allayed over medical waste collection changes

Keith Cook and his step-daughter Joanne and the letter from North East Derbyshire District Council.
Keith Cook and his step-daughter Joanne and the letter from North East Derbyshire District Council.

Council chiefs have sought to allay fears over the way medical waste will now be collected from households in the area.

NE Derbyshire District Council has sent a letter to residents telling them to put any health care waste in their black bin- sparking concern among some householders.

One resident, Keith Cook, 57, contacted the Derbyshire Times worried about how the changes would affect him and his disabled step-daughter Joanne Hardy, 45, who has spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Due to Joanne’s conditions, it means that Keith has to dispose of a large bag of medical waste every week at their home on North Street, Holmgate.

Previously, this was collected separately by the council.

“My step-daughter is disabled and she had a lot of medical waste,” Keith said.

The letter states that the decision has been taken due to ‘operational reasons’.

“I have spoken to quite a few people and they think it is ridiculous. I just want to know why?”

But in response, a council spokesman said Mr Cook would not be affected ‘due to the amount of waste he generates, so he will remain on the special (medical) collection arrangement’. The spokesman said: “We are not ceasing collecting clinical waste; but where it is Category E (ie incontinent pads) and is in small amounts, we are advising residents to mix it with general household black bin waste (ie similar to infant nappies) and present it at the kerbside for collection in their black bin.

“We are merely changing the method we collect Category E waste in line with a change in clinical waste collection arrangements following the NHS Clinical Commissioning Service reviewing collection arrangements for health care waste from patient’s homes.

“Residents currently in receipt of a clinical waste collection service are provided with an extra black bin to store the waste in. We are now asking that they present it with their other black bin in place of a special collection arrangement.”