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Coronavirus: Updates and information

We are adapting our services as the situation changes. For details and to find out how to get help or volunteer to help others, visit our 'Coronavirus: Help for communities' page. Please follow the official NHS and government advice.

Green bin collections suspended until further notice

These services are to be suspended between 23 March and 4 May to allow crews to concentrate on emptying blue and black bins

Customers asked to not take items to recycling points

These cannot currently be emptied so please do not take items to recycling points until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Domestic clinical and hygiene waste

Due to external collection staff logistics, the clinical waste collection service will be changed to fortnightly instead of weekly. For Cambridge City residents this will be effective as of 15 April (15 April, 29 April, 13 May, 27 May, and so on). We apologise for any inconvenience cause and appreciate your understanding.

Three different collection arrangements are available depending on the type of waste:

  • Hygiene waste: non-infectious waste that can be collected via your normal black bin rubbish collections. 
  • Sharps only: if you are self-medicating, your sharps boxes containing hypodermic needles and syringes can be taken to a participating pharmacy (see list below).
  • Clinical waste: this is waste which is infectious to humans and needs to be collected separately and incinerated via our clinical waste service.

Apply for clinical waste collections

We do not currently provide a commercial clinical waste service.

Hygiene waste that can be collected via your normal rubbish collection

Some types of healthcare-related waste are suitable for disposal in your black bin. This waste can have an offensive odour or appearance but is not infectious. We recommend this waste is bagged and tied to reduce the chance of leakages.

Examples may include:

  • Catheter and stoma bags (drained)
  • Wound dressings (non-infectious)
  • Soiled bedding (vomit, human waste)
  • Nasal and respiratory secretions
  • Condoms
  • Sanitary waste
  • Nappies
  • Plasters
  • Incontinence pads

If your current black bin capacity is insufficient for your Hygiene Waste we may be able to provide an additional bin to cater to your needs. This will be a smaller 140 litre bin unless you request a standard 240 litre one. Please contact us on 01223 458282 to discuss this further and tell us which size you need.

Sharps only that can be taken to a pharmacy

Empty sharps boxes can be collected from your GP surgery. Used sharps that are contained within a sharps box can be taken free of charge to a pharmacy that accepts self-medicating patient returns. Please refer to the list below to find your closest participating pharmacy.

  • Boots: Unit 3, Cambridge Retail Park, 320 Newmarket Road, Cambridge CB5 8WR
  • Boots: 39a High Street, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge CB1 9HX
  • J T Gregory Pharmacy: Hobsons Square, Hobson Avenue, Trumpington CB2 9FN

Self-medicating patients treating themselves at home who are unable to take their boxes to any of the pharmacies listed above can request a collection from the kerbside. We will collect a minimum of three full boxes approximately once a quarter. Please contact our Refuse Team on 01954 713484.

Clinical waste that needs to be collected and disposed of separately

You can apply for free clinical waste collections if you are treating yourself at home under the guidance of a GP or healthcare professional. This service is for infectious waste only, such as swabs and dressings, surgical waste and pharmaceutical products.

If you need a clinical waste collection, your GP or healthcare professional must complete and return an application form [PDF, 0.2MB] to confirm that you are treating yourself at home and what waste you are producing.

This service is not for residents who are being taken care of by a community nurse or other healthcare professional at home as this waste is the responsibility of the healthcare provider. 

All of our clinical waste is currently collected by an outside contractor. If you require a clinical waste collection, please be aware your details will need to be shared for collections to take place.

How clinical waste collections work

Clinical waste sacks will be provided and replaced bag for bag after each collection. Sacks should be put out for collection outside your front door the evening before your scheduled collection day. Collections are scheduled at a frequency to suit your needs, normally weekly. 

All the clinical waste must be contained in the sacks provided and they must be tied at the top. Please do not place clinical waste sacks in your normal rubbish bin as this will not be collected.