Hazardous waste management and how to handle it

Written by: Reconomy | Published:

Waste management service Reconomy provides its top tips when managing hazardous waste.

As a business, you need to make sure that you have a waste management solution in place – it is vital, especially when you’re dealing with hazardous waste. When hazardous waste is improperly handled, it can be harmful to human health and environmental safety.

This type of waste can come in many forms and can regularly contaminate surface and groundwater supplies. The UK government stipulates strict guidance on how to monitor and implement an effective hazardous waste solution, and together with.

Classifying the waste

When it comes to hazardous waste, you have a duty of care. This means that you are responsible for the waste and are required to handle and identify it responsibly according to the UK government. Reconomy – providers of skip hire – has created the following guide to help you manage this type of waste appropriately.

There are many ways you can identify different types of waste. Is it harmful to humans or the environment? The most common types of hazardous waste are listed below:

  • Asbestos
  • Chemicals such as brake fluid and printer toner
  • Batteries
  • Solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Oils such as car oil
  • Equipment that contains ozone depleting substances such as fridges.

From the list above, if any are relevant to your business, make sure that they are all stored separately in your organisation.

Securely store your waste

Try and limit the amount of waste that you produce within your company. Although not exclusive to these types, waste, and hazardous waste can be categorised within four main sub-categories:

  • Construction
  • Demolition
  • Industry
  • Agriculture

Securing hazardous waste in a safe place is important and you need to make sure that the waste does not escape the containers. 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.

You need to make sure there are no leaks from your hazardous waste, so it is a good idea to use a bund or barrier to prevent this. When these materials are being stored onsite, employees should regularly check storage areas for damaged containers, or any other potential risks that may harm employees or the surrounding environment.

Keep a classified inventory of your waste so, if any incident does occur, the emergency services can deal with it effectively and safely.

Make records of your waste

Keeping records of your hazardous waste is beneficial because you will need to complete a consignment note. You should make sure this note is complete before the waste is taken away.

The consignment note is required for:

  • 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.

The consignment note is not needed for:

  • 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.

What is your hazardous waste?

You need to provide the waste handler with details of the type of waste you are disposing of.

Description of the waste

You should include a full description of what type of hazardous waste you are asking them to take away.

Quantity of the waste

You need to know the total weight for your hazardous waste. Provide the weight in kilos and the associated volumes for liquids.

Chemical components of the waste

You need to identify the chemical and biological composition of waste materials.

Physical form and payment

Tell them what you’re disposing of, whether this is gas, liquid, solid, powder, sludge, or mixed.

You then need to pay for the services once your consignment note is filled out. 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.

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