Guidance for the storage and treatment of healthcare waste

Closed 29 Apr 2022

Opened 4 Mar 2022


In Scotland, the storage and treatment of healthcare waste is regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) under the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012 (PPC installations) and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (WML facilities).

Historically, when developing its regulatory approach to the healthcare waste sector, SEPA has incorporated guidance from various sources such as, the WHO ‘blue book’, EU prepared BAT references documents or joint UK agency (SEPA, Natural Resources Wales, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and Environment Agency (EA)) prepared documents, such as pollution prevention guidance notes and sector technical guidance notes.

Since its introduction in 2010, EPR 5.07 (Clinical waste guidance published by the EA) has been the primary source of guidance for the healthcare waste sector in England and Wales. Differences in regulatory regimes and approach, prevented SEPA from being able to simply adopt EPR 5.07. SEPA did however incorporate parts of EPR 5.07 into the existing Scottish regulatory framework, where appropriate to do so.

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Why your views matter

To support SEPA’s regulatory delivery and to align our approach with other parts of the UK, SEPA has prepared consolidated guidance, which will benefit operators who work across the UK. 

Our guidance, Storage and treatment of healthcare waste: Appropriate measures and supporting guidance 1.0 (Healthcare Waste: AMSG 1.0), is aimed at those who store and treat healthcare waste and those who produce healthcare waste. Application of consolidated guidance will help operators (PPC installations and WML facilities) to meet their compliance obligations, go beyond compliance standards, and ensure waste is managed in a manner that minimises pollution of the environment or harm to human health.  Those who operate under paragraph 28 or 39 exemptions are expected to follow relevant sections of the guidance. Producers and transporters of healthcare waste are expected to follow sections on classification and segregation and waste pre-acceptance.  

This is your opportunity to have a say on our proposals and how they will work for your sector.  

How to respond to this consultation

Respond online by entering through the link below. Alternatively, download the document and send your replies to by 29 April 2022. 

What happens next

Thank you for your response to this consultation. SEPA is now reviewing the responses received to consider whether the draft guidance should be revised. During this process SEPA will consider the following:

  • all responses received;
  • potential impacts across the sector as a whole;
  • SEPA guidance and policy;
  • guidance and policy in other parts of the UK;
  • guidance and policy in the wider healthcare sector.

After reviewing all responses, SEPA will re-engage with all those who have responded to the consultation, to let them know of the proposed outcome. Where SEPA is minded to revise the draft guidance, a copy of the revision will be made available.   


  • Local Authorities
  • Industry
  • Waste


  • Regulated activities