Sevearl sources are reporting that clinical wastes from Scottish hospitals are being shipped to Wales for treatment. The BBC reports that under a new contract, “yellow bag” waste and sharps waste is to be sent to Wrexham, North Wales. Additionally, lesser grade “orange bag” waste, will also go there, at least initially.
The new waste disposal contract for Scotland has been awarded to the Spanish-owned firm Tradebe Healthcare National and is due to commence in August.
The Scottish government’s health secretary, Jeane Freeman, gave details of the new disposal sites in answer to questions from the Conservative MSP for Central Scotland Graham Simpson.
In her response she said “yellow bag” waste would go to Tradebe’s Wrexham site.
The “orange bag” waste will eventually be treated at a new plant at Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, once it is operational, but in the meantime it will also be sent to the Welsh town.
The Scottish Conservatives claimed the long distances to disposal sites operated by the new contractor Tradebe were at odds with the Scottish government’s stated climate change goals.
MSP Graham Simpson said: “No sooner had Nicola Sturgeon announced a climate emergency than her government confirms plans to send clinical waste 250 miles (402km) away.
“That has an obvious negative impact on the environment, yet her SNP administration presses ahead with it anyway.”
A Scottish government spokesperson said: “There is no bigger priority than tackling climate change, and the first minister has made clear that we will take action to ensure Scotland continues to be recognised as a world leader in this area. . . . . .
And yes, they really did say “a world leader”!