Domestic clinical waste collections in bad weather

More on the problems of clinical (and other) waste collections in this difficult wastes, the difficulties faced by collection authorities and the very considerable difficulties this creates for patients.

The accumulation of uncollected wastes is a real nuisance. Storage space in the patients’ homes may be limited and for many outside storage space in short supply. For those without a garden, is it appropriate to place wastes on the footpath to await collection?  Spillage or leakage may occur, and waste security has to be abandoned. If wastes are stored indoors, leakage from sanitary and clinical wastes is a yet greater problem and with heating on high the resulting odour may be distressing.

No doubt collection authorities are doing their best, but some of the decisions are perhaps questionable.

“The Neighbourhood Management Team of Gloucester City Council is currently out in 4×4 vehicles to empty dog bins where possible. Clinical waste customers will be contacted regarding their collections

Well, that offers some hope of help for their clinical waste customers, but not so much as for their canine community! Somehow, it seems that the priorities are back-to-front.

And in Somerset, the Somerset Waste Partnership has provided advice to householders updating information about their waste collection services during this difficult time:

No catch-up services will be provided for garden waste or clinical waste collections missed because of severe weather, and these collections may be temporarily suspended to focus resources on restoring waste and recycling collections

That’s no better, and may create particular difficulties for some patients.

Using limited resources wisely is always a challenge and it may be right to devote those resources to serve the majority, or perhaps simply to collect the biggest waste fractions. But that alone is no reason to forget about the most vulnerable members of the community who may now face even further problems during the additional disruption of the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

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