Cracking the colour code – part one

According to the Department of Health’s Safe Management of Healthcare Waste Memorandum, best practice waste segregation is performed with the use of a colour coding scheme in all healthcare and associated industries, including dental practices and laboratories.

Applicable to both hazardous and non-hazardous waste, this system ensures all waste substances, equipment and instruments are suitably segregated and then disposed of safely and effectively.

Segregation of different waste types is necessary in order to prevent cross contamination and ensure items are disposed of in the correct manner, according to what they have been used for and how high an infection risk they pose for both the professional teams, the public and the environment. Each category of waste material is designated a colour to make this segregation simpler and more efficient, and the system should be applied in all dental practices throughout the UK. The type and colour of waste container used varies depending on the clinical or infectious waste produced.


In UK dentistry, orange is used for clinical and infectious waste. Waste categorised as orange is that which arises from healthcare activities and which could pose a…

This is just a sample of a verifiable CPD article from
Please subscribe to continue reading and gain verifiable CPD