Skip to main content

beta This is a new site, your feedback will help us to improve it.

FOI release

FOI – 000185 NHS Scotland & Health board waste stream costs (HTML)

Published on 07 September 2022

Date received - 10 August 2022 | Date responded - 07 September 2022

Request

Good Afternoon,

I would like to enquire as to the following information, after Public Health Scotland referred me to you, as they did not hold the information themselves.

  • The total amount of Clinical Waste generated within the NHS Scotland.
  • The total cost of this.
  • In addition the following information broken down by Health Board, for the following years: FY17/18, FY18/19, FY19/20, FY20/21.
  • The Amount of waste generated and cost of it's disposal of the following waste streams
  • Incineration (clinical waste)
  • Alternative treatment (clinical waste)
  • Offensive waste
  • Clinical waste processed on site (excluding incineration)
  • Domestic waste (landfill) volume
  • Domestic waste (recycling)
  • Domestic waste (food)
  • Domestic waste (textiles
  • Domestic (incineration)
  • Domestic waste processed on site (excluding incineration)
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • Confidential waste

Response

I refer to your freedom of information request that we received on 10 August 2022. I can advise you that we have now completed the search of our records and can provide you with the following information:

I would like to enquire as to the following information, after Public Health Scotland referred me to you, as they did not hold the information themselves.

The total amount of Clinical Waste generated within the NHS Scotland.

18,468 tonnes generated in the period 2021/2022.

The total cost of this.

Under Section 33 (1) (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2002 an organisation does not require to provide information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person (including, without prejudice to that generality, a Scottish public authority) and as such the cost information for contracted waste from the period 2020/21 is being withheld as it is commercially sensitive.

We are able to provide Health Board approximated cost information for the following years 2019 & 2020. This reflected a period where National Services Scotland (NSS) supported some waste collection and processing under temporary contingency arrangements.

Please find attached Appendix 1 – Contingency Tonnages and Cost 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 & Appendix 2 – Contingency tonnages and cost.

Please note costs are only provided covering the period of contingency arrangements and as such costs were higher at that time. Due to complexities of the operations in contingency and in order to provide requested costs we have taken a Health Board calculated apportioned approach. For clarity these are calculated costs based on volume of waste tonnage per board during this period, covering logistics and treatment of waste, using the same methodology that was used for a previous FOI-000089 response. This FOI can be found on our website using the following link: Common Services Agency (nhs.scot).

Health boards can be contacted for any other specific information:

In addition the following information broken down by Health Board, for the following years:

FY17/18, FY18/19, FY19/20, FY20/21.

The Amount of waste generated and cost of its disposal of the following waste streams

• Incineration (clinical waste)

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. National Services Scotland (NSS) does not hold this information. We are unable to provide any such information before 2019 as this was not centrally managed by NSS. I would advise you to contact each individual Health board to attempt to obtain the information pre 2019 who may be able to help.

Under Section 33(1) (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2002 an organisation does not require to provide information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person (including, without prejudice to that generality, a Scottish public authority) and as such the cost information is being withheld as it is commercially sensitive.

What we can provide are the contingency agreement data costs. Please find attached the following appendices for the information that we hold in relation to Incineration (clinical waste):

• Alternative treatment (clinical waste)

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. NSS does not hold this information.

We are unable to provide any such information before 2019 as this was not centrally managed by NSS, as per the previous response above, I would advise you to contact each individual Health board.

Under Section 33(1) (b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2002 an organisation does not require to provide information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person (including, without prejudice to that generality, a Scottish public authority) and as such the cost information is being withheld as it is commercially sensitive.

What we can provide are the contingency data costs. Please find attached the following appendices for the information that we hold in relation to Alternative Treatment (clinical waste). Note calculation methodology described above:

  • Appendix 1 - Contingency Tonnages and Cost 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020
  • Appendix 2 - Contingency Tonnages and Cost 1 April 2020 to 3 January 2021
  • Appendix 3 - Contract Tonnages 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021
  • Appendix 4 - Contract Tonnages 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

• Offensive waste

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. NSS does not hold this information. We are unable to provide you with the data on offensive waste, as NHS Scotland does not have an offensive waste stream, although the material that would be in that classification of waste is captured in the orange (alternative) and yellow (incineration) waste stream as per the attached appendices.

• Clinical waste processed on site (excluding incineration)

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. NSS does hold some of this information which we have detailed below. With regard to what we do not hold we would advise you to contact each individual health board who may be able to provide you with the requested information, as per previous response above.

• Domestic waste (landfill) volume

Please find attached Appendix 5 - Domestic waste (landfill) volume.

• Domestic waste (recycling)

Please find attached Appendix 6 - Domestic waste (recycling).

• Domestic waste (food)

Please find attached Appendix 7 - Domestic waste (food).

• Domestic waste (textiles)

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. NSS does not hold this information. Domestic waste (textiles) is not currently isolated as an individual domestic waste stream.   • Domestic (incineration)

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. NSS does not hold this information. Under the current contract, domestic waste does not get disposed of via incineration.

• Domestic waste processed on site (excluding incineration)

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. NSS does not hold this information. We would advise you to contact each individual health board who may be able to provide you with the requested information, as per previous response above.

• Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

Please find attached Appendix 8 - Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

• Confidential waste

Please find attached Appendix 9 - Confidential waste.

I trust you will find the information of assistance and if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how we have dealt with your request you can make representations to us asking us to review the handling of your request.

If you require any further information please contact Associate Director Information Security & Governance, within 40 working days of the date of this correspondence.

Contact

Email: nss.foi@nhs.scot

Address

NHS National Services Scotland Headquarters Gyle Square 1 South Gyle Crescent Edinburgh EH12 9EB

If after a review you are still unhappy, you also have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at Kinburn Castle, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS, or via their application form.

National Services Scotland (NSS) is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. You can view all FOI responses within our FOI Publications repository.