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Follow the colour code: red (anatomical waste)

14 September 2016

Initial Medical is releasing a series of blogs to help people understand the purpose of the healthcare waste colour codes, and also how important segregation of healthcare waste is. Every month we will be selecting one colour of the colour coding guide; this month’s colour of the month will be Red, which represents anatomical waste.

The Colour Red (Anatomical Waste)

Within the healthcare waste industry, red is the assigned colour for anatomical waste. As part of the clinical waste colour coding system, set by the department of health. Red is among the eight colour uses to help segregate and dispose of waste effective and safely.

Anatomical waste might be hazardous or non-hazardous, and includes any waste generated from the body. This might include:

  • Body parts
  • Organs
  • Blood bags
  • Blood preserves
  • Animal parts

Where can it be found?

Red waste can be found in many different places. Different clinics and providers will have varying needs for red waste disposal, but for obvious reasons, it is most required by hospitals, medical or emergency health clinics, those performing any surgical procedures on the premises, including cosmetic treatments, and veterinary practices.

Transportation & Segregation

All anatomical waste should be placed into a yellow, rigid and leak-proof container with a red lid. The container should be clearly marked as ‘anatomical waste – for incineration ONLY’ and should display the theatre name or site number and date for easy identification. 

Different sized bins are available depending on the volume of red waste being generated, with the leading products designed to help prevent spillages and unpleasant odours.

Once you have packaged and stored your red waste in rigid clinical waste containers, it is necessary to arrange collection with a licenced contractor. A service technician will then visit your premises at pre-determined intervals to collect your sealed containers.

Once collected, all waste is then transferred back to the warehouse in an appropriately equipped vehicle.

Follow the Colour Code

In order to comply with the relevant regulations and ensure your waste is properly segregated and disposed of, make sure you ‘Follow the Colour Code’. 

It is important to know the different types of colour codes for your waste, if you would like to know more about clinical waste or the different types of waste within the colour coding guide, please view our website.