Optimising the handling of hazardous clinical waste



The Capital Region of Denmark is working with its ten hospitals to optimise the handling of hazardous clinical waste. The aim is to extract anything useful from the waste for recycling and to simplify the process of handling hazardous clinical waste for the staff. 



Part of the waste that is now collected and destroyed as hazardous clinical waste could be broken down into recyclable parts – e.g. plastic, steel, iron, etc. – so the value could be recovered. But when it comes to hazardous clinical waste, there are special circumstances to be taken into account.


The Capital Region of Denmark has defined a target for reducing hazardous clinical waste. This type of waste is expensive and a lot of waste is incinerated when it could be recycled.

At the same time, there is confusion among staff about how hazardous waste should be handled. The issue is addressed in many different ways in the various hospitals and institutions. 

Hazardous clinical waste is currently handled in sealed, easily recognisable yellow containers, which are collected and taken away to be destroyed (incinerated). The process involves a complex workflow and a​ large amount of extra waste in the form of the sealed containers which are burnt together with the waste.


The project is a public-private innovation partnership. The project involves environmental and operations staff at Bispebjerg and Herlev Hospitals and the Capital Region of Denmark. A number of private companies will be partners.


  • Exploitation of valuable resources in the waste.
  • Simplified handling of hazardous clinical waste in hospitals, including methods of treatment and logistical solutions.
  • Business case, to assess the potential for developing, selling and purchasing such a solution.

Responsible editor