The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997; Schedule 1 Scheduled Activities - Clause 50 Other definitions, defines clinical waste as follows:

Clinical waste means any waste resulting from medical, nursing, dental, pharmaceutical, skin penetration or other related clinical activity, being waste that has the potential to cause injury, infection or offence, and includes waste containing any of the following:

  • human tissue (other than hair, teeth and nails)
  • bulk body fluids or blood
  • visibly blood-stained body fluids, materials or equipment
  • laboratory specimens or cultures
  • animal tissue, carcasses or other waste from animals used for medical research.

But does not include any such waste that has been treated by a method approved in writing by the Director-General of the Department of Health.

The effect of the clinical waste definition is to allow the Secretary, NSW Health to approve, in writing, of any method which may be used to treat clinical waste so that the waste no longer has the properties of clinical waste and can be re-classified for waste regulatory purposes. That is, the waste is no longer injurious, infectious or able to give rise to offence.  The approval is separate to any licence which may be issued by DECCW. 

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Page Updated: Friday 23 February 2018
Contact page owner: Environmental Health