Clinical waste treatment facility allowed at North Tyneside industrial estate

An application to convert an industrial unit within the North Tyneside industrial estate, previously a chilled food store, to a clinical waste management facility is approved by North Tyneside Council.

The Healthcare Environmental Services’ proposal involved the use of the building and its cartilage for treatment of clinical waste by autoclave alongside a new, purpose designed medical waste reusable healthcare sharps process. The applicant had secured a contract to serve the waste needs of various NHS trusts in the north east of England. It was proposed to use the latest autoclave technology to sterilise the clinical wastes and to dispose of the resultant materials to landfill.

Waste would be delivered to the site in containers and transferred to a conveyor before being loaded into carts for treatment in one of two autoclaves for treatment. Waste would be shredded prior to transfer to the autoclave and would be compacted afterwards ready to be sent to landfill or an energy from waste plant.

The healthcare sharps system was designed to allow hospitals to reuse sharps containers, reducing the demand for raw materials. Upon arrival at the treatment plant the containers would be emptied and the needles bulked for offsite treatment. Up to 500 containers a day would be subjected to a high temperature and high pressure cleaning process using 150 litres of water that would be recycled through the day.

The facility would operate round the clock and up to 50 staff would be employed. The council noted that the proposal would bring a vacant industrial unit back into use and would provide employment opportunities.

In terms of amenity, an odour management plan had been submitted but the building was not designed to control odour within the building, although the conveyor would have negative pressure and a carbon filter. Conditions were applied requiring a more detailed odour management plan and a noise survey for external equipment.

Proposal: Change of use of building and land to waste treatment, storage and transfer
Site: Former Patterson distribution depot, Chollerton Drive, Benton
Authority: North Tyneside
Applicant: Healthcare Environmental Services
Decision: Approved 25 August 2015
Reference: 15/00842/FUL


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