Disposing of hazardous waste can be a complicated and time-consuming process that needs to be handled with a lot of care and expertise. There also now laws in place which all businesses need to adhere to in respect to hazardous waste disposal.
Many businesses find it a challenge to deal with waste and asbestos disposal themselves, and many end up hiring a professional waste management company to take on the task for them. This is the most effective way to ensure that your hazardous waste is being disposed of in the safest and most eco-friendly fashion.
Hazardous waste can not only lead to pollution, but it can also be incredibly unsafe for anyone who accidentally comes into contact with it. There have been many accidents related to incorrect hazardous waste disposal over the years, including burns and poisoning. Some of these accidents have even led to fatalities, fires and explosions.
Chemical manufacturers and construction companies are often the biggest contributors to hazardous waste, but any type of business could be in need of a specialist hazardous waste and asbestos removal company. If you work for an organisation where even just a portion of the waste contains hazardous substances, your business has a legal obligation to ensure that it is disposed of in the correct way.
What items require hazardous waste disposal?
The following items are all classified as hazardous and must be disposed of correctly:
- Oils and greases
- Acids and alkaline solutions
- Solvents including degreasers
- Sand with metals or chemicals
- Computer monitors
- Fluorescent bulbs
- E-waste such as mobile phones, tablets, TVs, etc.
What are the laws around hazardous waste disposal?
The government laid out its Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in 2010. This was created to offer businesses support and advice on how they should properly dispose of their hazardous waste.
In 2011, the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations became even stricter on waste management policies, offering more guidance on waste hierarchy and how to rank waste management options based on what was most suitable for different types of waste and what would be the least harmful to the environment.
These regulations created a waste hierarchy pyramid and favoured prevention as the most effective way to manage waste. Companies were encouraged to minimise the use of hazardous materials in their production methods and manufacturing process. The guideline also stressed the importance of recycling by turning waste into new products where possible, after cleaning and repairing them and checking that they meet safety standards. If this can’t be done, then businesses should incinerate items for energy recovery. Sending your waste to landfill was put forward as something that should be done as the very last resort, when there is truly no other option
One of the main problems with hazardous waste disposal is that it can be so dangerous. Often the safest option for many companies is to destroy it by incineration without energy recovers as the materials are too dangerous for reuse. However, this is also the most harmful for the environment.
Businesses can start by labelling their waste correctly
The first step to proper hazardous waste management and asbestos removal is ensuring that you’re labelling your waste. This makes it much easier for anyone involved in the disposal process to identify what constitutes hazardous waste. As many companies are now scared of breaking the law in this regard, they often end up treating non-hazardous waste as hazardous and disposing of it an expensive and harmful way.
Although there are currently no laws regarding labelling waste, companies should take care to do this correctly as the government has strongly advised against cross-contamination. If an organisation is regularly mixing hazardous and non-hazardous water materials, they may have to pay quite a hefty fine and they could even be criminally liable.
Educate your staff on this subject and label your substances clearly with toxic or danger signs or the required colour coding. This should include all materials and items classed as hazardous, including oils, batteries, aerosols and solvents.
If you’re not sure on what exactly to label, get in touch with a local company that specialises in professional waste management and disposal of hazardous materials. Once the labelling is done, it becomes much easier for you and your employees to dispose of things correctly in the right bins and containers.
Be vigilant about the storage of hazardous waste
How you store hazardous waste is also something to be mindful of. It is illegal to store hazardous and non-hazardous waste in the same space. You also need to ensure that all containers are properly sealed, covered and label. Opt for waterproof containers where needed. Disposing of these containers themselves will also need to follow the same process as hazardous waste disposal as they may still have some residue within them.
Businesses need an environmental permit for hazardous waste disposal
All businesses that carry out their own hazardous waste management and disposal will need to register for a permit. This may not be required if you are just storing the waste while you wait for it to be removed by a specialist company. You can also transport your own business waste to an authorised waste management site without the need for registration.
Many businesses are turning to professional waste management companies
To avoid breaking any laws or harming the environment, many manufacturing businesses use professional waste collection companies to deal with and remove the hazardous waste from their commercial premises. This is the easiest and most effective way to give you peace of mind that any waste will be disposed of safely and in the correct manner as required by environmental laws.
Make sure that anyone you hire for this task is fully authorised for the collection, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste. Not all general waste management companies are registered to do that.
Remember, if you fail to manage your waste properly, you could incur fines and tarnish the reputation of your company. You could also be putting yourself and your employees at risk of contamination and accidents from hazardous waste materials. Get a handle on the situation by hiring a hazardous waste management specialist.
Committed waste disposal solutions throughout North East Lincolnshire
At Paul Riddel Skips, we have over 36 years of professional waste disposal experience. We are fully registered to deal with both hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal.
If you are looking for a reliable waste disposal solution across Louth and North Lincolnshire, get in touch with a member of our expert staff today. We work with a wide range of materials and can offer a high-quality and inclusive waste management and recycling solution.