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Types of Hospital Waste | Risk Waste, Non-Risk Waste

By: Syed Ahmad Amin Shah / On: Jan 21, 2017 / Types of, Solid Waste
Hospital Waste

Types of Hospital Waste:

There are two types of hospital waste

Types of Hospital Waste
Types of hospital waste


  1. Risk Waste
  2. Non-Risk Waste

Risk Waste:

Risk waste is further subdivided in seven (07) groups.

  1. Infectious waste
  2. Pathological waste
  3. Sharps
  4. Pharmaceutical waste
  5. Genotoxic waste
  6. Chemical waste
  7. Radioactive waste

Types of Hospital Risk Waste:

Infectious Waste:

This is the waste contaminated by any type of bacterium, virus, parasites or fungi, which includes:

  1. Cultures (the growing of microorganisms in a nutrient medium (such as gelatin (Proteins from bone & skin) or agar) from laboratory work.
  2. Waste from surgery and autopsies (post-mortem).
  3. Waste from infected patients.
  4. Waste from infected hemodialysis patients.
  5. Infected animals from laboratories.
  6. Any material having been in contact with infected patients.

Pathological Waste

Pathological types of hospital waste includes:

  1. Human or animal Tissues
  2. Human or animal Organs
  3. Body parts
  4. Fetuses (Unborn Vertebrates)
  5. Blood and body fluids


Sharps include the following whether infected or not:

  1. Needles
  2. Syringes
  3. Scalpels (A thin straight surgical knife used in dissection and surgery)
  4. Infusion sets
  5. Saws and knives
  6. Surgical blades
  7. Broken glass
  8. Any other items that can can pierce the skin, cut and puncture.

Pharmaceutical Waste:

Pharmaceutical WastePharmaceutical Wastes include:

  1. Expired or unused pharmaceutical products.
  2. Spilled or contaminated pharmaceutical products.
  3. Surplus drugs, vaccines or sera.
  4. Discarded items used in handling pharmaceutical, for example bottles, gloves, masks, tubes.

Genotoxic Waste:

These wastes include:

  1. Cytotoxic drugs and outdated material.
  2. Vomiting, feces or urine from patients treated with cytotosic drugs or chemicals.
  3. Contaminated materials from the preparation and administration of the drugs such as syringes, vials (A bottle that contains a drug (especially a sealed sterile container for injection by needle) etc.

Chemical Waste:

These are disinfectants, solvents used for laboratory purposes, batteries, and heavy metals from medical equipment such as mercury from broken thermometers. Chemical waste can include the following:

  1. Chemicals from diagnostic and experiment work
  2. Cleaning processes
  3. House keeping and disinfecting procedures.
  4. Mercury waste such as from broken clinical equipment spillage.
  5. Cadmium waste, mainly from discarded batteries.

Radioactive Waste:

These wastes include Liquid, solid or gaseous waste contaminated with radio nuclides generated from invitro (outside) analysis of body tissue/fluid, invivo (body organ imaging) and tumor localisations and investigations and therapeutic procedures. It can also consist of any glassware or other containers contaminated with radioactive liquids.

Non-Risk Waste:

Non-risk waste is that, which is comparable to normal domestic garbage and presents no greater risk, therefore, than waste from a normal home. This general waste is generated by almost everybody in the hospital, I.e., administration, patient's risk, cafeterias rooms, cafeterias and nursing station. Such waste may include:

  1. Paper and cardboard.
  2. Packaging.
  3. Food waste, i. e., left over food, fruit and vegetable peelings.
  4. Aerosols.(spray)

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