As a business, when dealing with hazardous waste, it’s important that your organisation has an effective waste management solution put in place. When hazardous waste is improperly handled, it can be harmful to human health and environmental safety.
Hazardous waste can be found in many forms, including solids, liquids and contained gases; in these forms, it can regularly pollute the surface of groundwater supplies. The UK government stipulates strict guidance on how to monitor and implement an effective hazardous waste solution, and together with Reconomy – hazardous waste skip hire – this guide will ensure that business’ manage these wastes appropriately.
The government stipulates that any business producing and/or holding hazardous waste have a ‘duty of care’, which means that they are required to handle and identify their waste responsibly.
Hazardous waste is identified simply based on the following two conditions: is it harmful to humans or is it harmful to the environment. There are many examples of hazardous waste, but the most common include the following:
- Chemicals such as brake fluid and printer toner
- Oils such as car oil
- Equipment that contains ozone depleting substances such as fridges.
If a business identifies the following, then the idea would be to store the waste separately to other waste within the organisation.
Correctly storing waste
Before storing hazardous waste correctly, it’s important for businesses to attempt everything possible to reduce the amount of waste it produces. Although not exclusive to these types, waste, and hazardous waste can be categorised within four main sub-categories:
Once the business has minimised the amount of waste being produced, the aim then would be to store hazardous waste in a secure place, and all containers should be able to prevent waste from escaping, as a general rule. When storing waste that is hazardous, it should be labelled accordingly, so that everyone on-site can identify it as such. In terms of contamination, waterproof covers should be used so that hazardous substances do not run off onto the floor or any other areas.
All the types of hazardous waste should be stored separately, and if it is a liquid, a barrier should be put in place in order to prevent any spills and leakages. When storing waste that is hazardous, it should be labelled accordingly, so that everyone on-site can identify it as such. In terms of contamination, waterproof covers should be used so that hazardous substances do not run off onto the floor or any other areas.
The last thing would be to ensure that the business maintains a classified inventory of all the hazardous waste on the premises, and where it is being stored. This means if any incident does occur, the emergency services can deal with it effectively and safely.
Keeping your records
To ensure that all of the hazardous waste to the premise is accounted for once it is collected, a consignment note will need to be completed. A business should make sure this note is complete before the waste is taken away.
This note is required for all hazardous waste in the following scenarios:
- Collections from businesses that are registered waste carriers.
- Movements from one premises to another within the same organisation.
- When another business has produced waste, movements from customer premises.
However, in the following scenarios, this note is not needed:
- The movement of domestic hazardous waste – other than asbestos.
- Waste has been imported and exported under international waste shipment controls that require a different movement note.
Describing the hazardous waste
For the consignment note to filled in correctly, so that approved hazardous waste handlers can remove the waste, details of the waste will need to be provided.
A full description of each type of waste or hazardous waste that is required to be taken away.
The weight of the hazardous waste will need to be in Kilo’s or converted into appropriate volumes if the waste is in a liquid form – ensuring that they are reliable measurements.
The chemical and biological composition of the waste materials will need to be identified, which include hazardous and non-hazardous items.
The form that bests describes the waste that the business is disposing of will need to be given, whether it’s a solid, liquid, gas, power, sludge or mixed.
Once your consignment note has been completed, payment is required. In England and Wales, the charge is £10 for a single collection. If this collection is a milk round (multiple collections), then this is reduced to £5 per note. Depending on applicability, the fee is set at £15 in Northern Ireland and Scotland.