What are the 5 simple steps to dispose of hazardous business waste?


If you’re looking to dispose of hazardous business waste, you must ensure that you operate within the law and protect the public and the environment.

Though regulations can be complex, the potential legal consequences of breaching them are severe. The most serious breaches face fines running into hundreds of thousands of pounds and criminal charges.

Here are our five simple steps to dealing with your hazardous waste correctly…


  1. Identify whether you have hazardous waste and classify it correctly.

You’ll firstly need to decide if your waste is hazardous or non-hazardous. Examples of hazardous waste include batteries, asbestos, chemicals, solvents, non-edible oils, pesticides, and items containing substances which deplete the ozone layer, such as fridges. It also includes waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

It’s illegal to mix hazardous and non-hazardous waste, so these must be stored separately.

Then, you’ll need to classify your waste.

Each different waste classification has a code that must be used in correspondence and documentation, and each different class of waste must be handled in a specific way, so getting the classification right is vital.

There are different classifications for chemical waste, waste motor oils, and electronic or electric waste, for example, and different rules about how they should be handled.

Taking the construction industry as an example, here are some of the classifications building waste might need.

The simplest way to get through this step is to retain the services of a waste consultant, like our experts at Inspire Waste Management. They keep abreast of all the latest regulations and understand the classification process.


  1. Ensure it is stored in accordance with the hazardous waste regulations.

Each hazardous substance must be stored separately. You must not mix them.

Different categories will have different storage rules. For example, asbestos must be stored in sealed containers and certain chemicals must be stored at the right temperature to avoid combustion.

All hazardous waste must be stored so that it doesn’t pose a threat to public health or the environment, even if that threat isn’t immediate. So, chemicals and leachate must not be able to seep into local watercourses.


  1. Find an authorised business to transport and process your waste.

Your waste carrier and processer must be registered with the relevant authority. In England, that’s the Environment Agency.

They must be licensed to carry or process hazardous waste, so you should ask them for proof of that license. You have a duty of care as a business to ensure your waste is handled properly, or you could face a substantial fine.

Experienced waste management companies like ours know the right processing centers for your waste and ensure you have all the correct paperwork.


  1. Ensure your consignment note is filled in correctly.

When you send your waste for processing, it will need to have a consignment note which shows the origin of the waste, how it is being stored, its categorisation, the carrier moving it, and its destination.

Filling in these consignment notes correctly is vital. If mistakes are made, the processing center may refuse to accept your waste and it may have to be returned.


  1. Make sure your records are kept correctly.

If there is a problem regarding your hazardous waste and a subsequent investigation, the authorities will be looking to see how your business handled its duties under the regulations.

You’ll need proof that you stored your waste correctly, selected a reputable, licensed waste carrier, and that the waste was destined for a licensed facility.

Maintaining an audit trail of paperwork is an important way for your business to protect itself from potential legal action.


Do you need help disposing of hazardous business waste? If you need the advice of our experienced waste consultants call our Inspire Waste team on 0800 002 9282.

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Does your business need hazardous waste collections? It does if the waste contains oily rags, solvent-based paints, oils, or contaminated paint filters

Think your business doesn’t need hazardous waste collections? It may be time to think again.

The strict regulations which cover this type of waste don’t just include drums of chemicals or electrical and electronic items.

Hazardous waste collections are needed for waste paint containing organic solvents, waste paint, and varnish remover, contaminated paint filters, waste adhesives and sealants containing solvents, waste engine oils, and waste diesel, petrol, and brake fluid.

Some of the businesses which produce these items include:

  • Garages and body shops
  • Upcyclers and furniture restorers
  • Manufacturers
  • Painters and decorators
  • Flooring companies
  • Construction companies
  • Plumbers and tilers

What do government regulations say about hazardous waste collections?

Your business has a duty of care to the environment, your staff, and the public under the hazardous waste regulations.

Hazardous waste must be classified correctly, stored appropriately and safely, and you must use a licensed carrier to transport the waste to a licensed treatment facility.

You must have the correct information about the source of the waste and its destination on its consignment note, too.

Businesses that contravene these regulations face substantial fines.

Sentencing guidelines for the majority of environmental offenses were strengthened by guidance issued in 2014.

Fines can now be over £20 million for the most serious offenses involving large companies. For smaller businesses with less serious offences, a fine could still be in the tens of thousands of pounds.

Read more about the hazardous waste regulations.

How can an experienced waste transfer company help you?

Experienced waste transfer businesses, such as Inspire Waste Management, help you navigate the complex regulations surrounding hazardous waste and keep your business on the right side of the law.

Our waste management consultants, who are always on top of the latest changes to the regulations, can audit your business and help you find the right solutions.

We’ll help you categorize your waste correctly, store it properly, and send it to the right facility.

We’ll also ensure your consignment notes are accurate.

Our clients receive all the paperwork they need to create an audit trail to show their waste is being handled correctly.

Here are some useful questions to ask a prospective waste transfer company:

  1. What ISO accreditations do you hold? Inspire Waste holds ISO 9001, 14001, and 27001. They show the highest standards in quality management, environmental management, and information security management.
  2. Are you a licensed carrier under hazardous waste regulations? Any unlicensed carrier is breaching those regulations, so ensure you see their licence.
  3. What facilities will you use to dispose of the waste? You need to ensure they take the waste to a properly licensed facility.

Do you need hazardous waste collections or advice about the Waste Regulations 2011 (England & Wales)? Call our friendly Inspire Waste team on 0800 002 9282.

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Why is it so important that my business gets hazardous waste removal right?

hazardous waste removalMillions of tonnes of hazardous waste are produced in the UK every year, so it’s vital that any business deals with its hazardous waste removal correctly.

The latest figures show that, in 2014, 4.3 million tonnes of hazardous waste was produced in the UK. Of that, 1.9 million tonnes was categorized as commercial and industrial, 1.2 million tonnes as household, and 700,000 tonnes as from construction, demolition, and excavation.

The regulations surrounding hazardous waste removal are complicated, but businesses ignore them at their peril.

Doing so can be hugely costly.

Your business needs to know it has followed the rules right the way along the chain of hazardous waste transfer and disposal.

A legal firm which researched the average fine per prosecution brought against businesses by the government’s Environment Agency showed it has increased six-fold over the past five years.

In 2013/14, the average fine imposed on a company was £23,731. In 2017/18, the average fine was £147,575.

The penalties for the majority of environmental offences were strengthened by sentencing guidance in 2014. Now, fines can be in excess of £20 million for the most serious offences involving large companies.

Any prosecution can be devastating whether your business is an SME or a large company.

For example, in 2017, a quarry company was ordered to pay £17,000 compensation to a farmer and £26,500 in fines and costs for breaching the hazardous waste legislation after waste containing asbestos was found dumped on a farm.

A Hertfordshire waste company was fined more than £500,000 this year for illegally storing thousands of tonnes of hazardous, potentially combustible waste. The Environment agency had ordered it to be moved to a permitted site, some were moved to another illegal site and some which went to a permitted site had inadequate waste transfer notes.

A company director was also ordered to complete 180 hours of community work. The Environment Agency estimated clean-up costs at £1.9 million.

If the waste transported is a risk to human health, businesses could also face costly civil claims from anyone affected by it.


What do you need to know about hazardous waste removal?

Your business needs to protect itself from prosecution, ensure you’re not polluting the environment, and ensure you’re not putting people’s health at risk. So you need to think about these subjects:

  • How your waste is categorised – Waste must be correctly categorised before it is sent for disposal so that you handle it correctly. Find out more here.
  • How it should be transported – What kind of vehicle must be used? A closed skip must be used to transport asbestos, for example, while tankers are needed for chemicals or slurry.
  • How to write a transfer note for it – This can be a complicated process as you need to note the source and category of waste.
  • Where it should end up – Different waste types, electrical waste items, chemicals, asbestos, or batteries, for example, need different facilities registered to handle them.
  • Whether your hazardous waste removal company is correctly registered – Carriers who don’t comply face a fine of up to £5,000 and businesses which use them could also face legal action.


How do I choose the right waste management company for my hazardous waste?

You need a company with a successful track record in hazardous waste removal, such as Inspire Waste Management. They will understand the complex regulations and will carry out disposal correctly.


Do you need advice on hazardous waste from our Inspire Waste Management team? Contact us on 0800 002 9282.

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Need help with solvent paints disposal ? Read our handy guide…

solvent paints disposalMany businesses have left-over paint, coatings, or varnishes from refurbishments or expansion projects and need help with solvent paints disposal.

So, we decided to put together a useful guide with all the questions you’ll need to ask about how to handle the waste.

Solvent-based paint is often used on metal equipment, metal walkways, metal doors, and railings, and is especially useful for protecting steel structures. However, if you have waste, here’s what you need to know about solvent paints disposal…


Q: Why is solvent-based paint used?

A: Solvents are used to disperse paint pigments and when they dry, they leave the pigment and oxidized oil, forming a hard film. This makes the painted surface durable.


Q: What is the difference between water-based and solvent-based paint?

A: Solvent-based paint is often referred to as oil-based or alkyd, and it contains a higher level of organic compounds that water-based paint. When the solvents evaporate, they release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). They have a strong odour and a toxic impact on the environment, which is why the correct solvent paint disposal is vital.


Q: Can epoxy coatings and resins also use solvents?

A: Yes they can. They are popular in industry because they give a quick-drying, tough and protective coating to concrete floors and metal structures which resists water, acid, and alkali.


Q; How could solvent paints disposal affect my health?

A: Solvents can get into the body by breathing in vapours or fumes or if they come into contact with your skin. They can cause eye irritation, lung irritation, headaches, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, and dermatitis. So, waste solvent-based paints need to be handled carefully and correctly and dealt with by experienced professionals.


Q: Are they considered hazardous waste?

A: Yes, solvent-based paints are a hazard and must be stored, classified, and transported according to the hazardous waste regulationsfrom the Environment Agency. That means your business has a legal duty to comply with the regulations, ensuring your waste is transferred by a licensed company and sent to a licensed facility for disposal or recycling. Failure to do so can result in a substantial fine.


Q: Why is classifying the waste important?

A: It will help you decide how to store it and deal with it, and it will help your waste handlers manage it. You must give them correctly filled-in paperwork as part of your business’s duty of care to people and the environment.


Q: Where can I find guidance on classifying the waste?

A: The Environment Agency has a guide to construction and demolition waste which includes paints and varnishes. Access it here.


Q: How do I choose the right waste management company for my solvent paints disposal?

A: Choose a company with a track record in successfully dealing with hazardous waste, such as Inspire Waste Management. They will understand the complex rules associated with it and help you ensure your solvent paints disposal is carried out correctly.


Do you need advice from our Inspire Waste Management team? Contact uson 0800 002 9282.

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Why are regulations dealing with hazardous waste so strict – and why should my business comply with them?

Hazardous Waste In 2016, strict regulations came into force which ensured hazardous waste was properly categorised and dealt with in the correct manner.

The responsibilities for each producer, carrier, and consignee (the end receiver) of hazardous waste were made clear.

There also has to be a detailed note of how the waste was produced, a chemical and physical analysis of it, and it should be classified according to the List of Waste or European Waste Catalogue.

Hazardous and non-hazardous waste should not be mixed. Discover more guidance from the UK Government here.

The most commonly-produced hazardous materials include:

  • Propane – often used as a fuel
  • Sulfuric acid – often used in the production of fertilisers, cleaning agents, and in oil manufacturing
  • Asbestos – often discovered during demolitions and renovations of old buildings
  • Carbon dioxide – often used to chill or freeze food
  • Solvents – used in the production process in several industries
  • Argon – often used to produce lightbulbs
  • Non-edible oils – such as car oil
  • Pesticides – often used in farming
  • Chlorine – often used in water purification, swimming pools, and bleaches
  • LPG – often used in refrigeration and as a fuel
  • Electronic waste and batteries – containing heavy metals, battery acid, and other hazards

More than 5 million tonnes of hazardous waste is produced every year in the UK and in recent years, that figure has been growing by around 8% per annum.

This waste is a hazard to human health and to our environment, which is why regulations are stringent and compliance with them is so important.


So, what are the risks?

The risks depend on the type of waste.

People could find themselves with severe injuries such as burns or frostbite or asphyxiation from carbon dioxide, for example.

Sulfuric acid can cause severe burns and severe lung damage if it is inhaled, asbestos can cause cancers such as mesothelioma, argon can cause tissue damage, and incorrectly-stored LPG could cause a major explosion.

There is a risk that hazardous waste could pollute the water table and have a hugely detrimental effect on the environment – from plants and trees to wildlife.

The aim of the categorisation process has been to ensure waste is handled and processed correctly to reduce that risk to people and the planet.

Any business which fails to comply with the rules could find itself being taken to court, facing the prospect of hefty fines and clear-up costs.

Any injury to a staff member or member of the public could also result in a substantial claim for damages.

Alongside the financial damage, the reputational damage to a business can also be huge.


How do I choose the right waste management company for my business?

Look for a company with consultants with a track record in dealing with hazardous waste, such as Inspire Waste Management. They will understand the complex rules associated with it and help you ensure your waste is correctly categorised.


Do you need advice from our Inspire Waste Management team? Contact us on 0800 002 9282.



Is asbestos a headache on your construction project? It’s time to call in the experts

Developers and builders know that any project which involves asbestos means they need to act with great caution.

Any waste which has 0.1% asbestos is covered by stringent regulations.

Breathing in asbestos fibres, which can cause lung cancer and the fatal lung disease, asbestosis, is dangerous to their employees and the general public – and all businesses have a legal duty of care to protect both from harm.

Anyone coming into contact with asbestos in work must also be trained to deal with it safely and comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The Health and Safety Executive has issued guidelines which say asbestos waste must be packed in UN-approved packaging.  A CDG hazard label and information about the asbestos code must be visible.

Asbestos should be double-wrapped and labelled. The HSE advises using a red inner bag with asbestos warnings, and a clear outer bag with the CDG label.

It says large pieces should not be broken up, instead they should be double-wrapped in 1000-gauge polythene sheeting and labelled.

Asbestos is also covered by the hazardous waste regulations, which means that removing and transporting it is governed by strict regulations.

You must classify it, that includes describing its chemical make-up and how it was produced, and you cannot mix it with non-hazardous waste, or different types of hazardous waste

It must be transported by someone with a waste carrier’s licence in a sealed skip or a vehicle with a segregated compartment.

It must also be taken to a suitably licensed waste disposal site

You need a consignment note to transport any commercial hazardous waste, including moving it between your own sites. That also includes removal by registered waste carriers.

Any site accepting hazardous waste without a consignment note, or an incomplete one, may be committing an offence.

You need to keep a copy of the consignment note for three years.


How do you choose the right registered waste carrier?


Check on their registration– Ensure the carrier is registered with the proper authorities. In England, that’s the Environment Agency, in Wales, Natural Resources Wales, in Scotland, it’s the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, in Northern Ireland it’s the Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs.


Check on their experience– Have they transported asbestos waste before? Do they understand all the regulations surrounding it, and the implications of the 2012 Act? Can they put you in touch with companies for whom they have worked in the past?


Check on the end destination– Choose the suitable end destination yourself or ensure your carrier is taking the asbestos waste to a facility which has the correct licence. If a consignment is turned away by a facility, you could find it coming back to your site and the process of waste removal could end up being more time-consuming and costly than you imagined.

Do you need advice from our experts in transporting with asbestos at Inspire Waste Management? Call us on 0800 002 9282. Our waste consultants will also help you plan your removal project before you begin.

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How is your farm dealing with its hazardous waste? Is it time to call in the experts?

hazardous wasteWhen we hear the words ‘hazardous waste’, we don’t often associate them with farms.

However, several substances used on farms – or produced by them – could be categorised as hazardous.

Tightened regulations mean that farms need waste handlers to help them dispose of several categories of waste such as plastics and oils.

In fact, an estimated 135,500 tonnes of agricultural plastic waste is produced annually in the UK.


Farms produce non-natural waste including:

  • Used syringes and needles for animal treatment, and unused medications
  • Plastics, bags, and sheets
  • Asbestos from farm buildings
  • Tyres
  • Batteries
  • Old farm machinery
  • Oils
  • Discarded pesticide cans

They also produce natural waste including slurry and manure. One survey found that slurry and manure was 93% of all agricultural waste, 43 million tonnes in one year.

The banning of unlicensed farm tips and burning waste in the open changed the way farmers dealt with hazardous waste forever.

Instead, it must now be dealt with under these pieces of legislation:

  • Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 in England and Wales
  • Special Waste Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2004 in Scotland
  • Hazardous Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 in Northern Ireland

That means they must either send or take their waste to licensed sites, register an exemption with the appropriate regulatory body to recycle waste on the farm, or apply to a regulatory body for a licence to continue waste disposal on the farm.


So, what is hazardous waste?

It’s waste which is harmful to the environment or humans and that may be chemicals, batteries, asbestos, solvents, oils, or pesticides.

Every business – including farms – has a legal duty of care to ensure the hazardous waste it produces or deals with does not cause harm to people or the environment.

Hazardous waste must be categorised correctly and it must not be mixed with non-hazardous waste. Hereis the official government guide.

Anyone transporting it must have the correct licence and the waste classification code which details the name of the substances, where it was produced, a report of its chemical analysis, a description of how the waste was produced, and any special problems or knowledge about it.


Why choose an experienced carrier?

Carriers such as Inspire Waste have experience of dealing with the complex rules surrounding hazardous waste. It’s easy to get on the wrong side of the law by failing to comply with regulations.

Inspire Waste ensures its clients have the correct certifications, comply with the law, and contractors used are audited properly.

We understand how busy farmers are raising stock and producing crops. Our services including tankers, skips, and dealing with waste certification and transport, help them concentrate on their core business.


Need some advice on farm waste disposal? Call our friendly team on 0191 6824142 about our services.


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Does your oil, water, or cooler tank need cleaning?

haz waste If your business has a tank where you store oil, cooler, or water, it’s vital that you inspect it and ensure it is cleaned regularly.

There are several types of oil which businesses store in tanks:

  • petrol
  • biofuels
  • diesel
  • vegetable oils
  • kerosene
  • synthetic oils
  • solvents
  • biodegradable lubricating or hydraulic oils
  • liquid bitumen-based products, such as waterproofing or damp proofing products
  • cutting fluids
  • insulating oils

There are many industries where these oils are used, and each must be stored in the correct way to comply with environmental and health and safety regulations. Here is a UK Government guide to the rules covering the storage of oil. There are different rules for oil tanks stored on agricultural premises.

For water storage systems, thorough and regular cleaning is a key way to prevent contamination and the spread of diseases. Water storage systems at hotels, leisure facilities, and pools are especially under scrutiny.


Why would your tank need cleaning?

Build up

Sludge can build up in your tank and can damage it and make its way into your systems. That can then affect the operation of your machinery, for example.

If sludge is present in your cooler tank, your machines could be at risk of seizing up if the cooling system isn’t working properly. Every hour your machines are out of action is an hour’s cost to your business.

So, regular cleaning is important to ensure your systems are working to their maximum efficiency and are not at risk of breakdown.

If your tank is damaged, you may find that oil, water, or coolant is leaking out into your secondary ‘drip tray’ system and filling it, endangering the land around it. Fir underground tanks, this could mean oil seeping into the ground.


If water systems are contaminated, this can lead to serious health problems such as Legionnaire’s Disease, and the potential that you or your staff could be put at risk.

Oil and cooler tank contamination can lead to machines breaking down, which could cost your business dearly.

For oils used in food processes, it is vital that any contaminated product is removed swiftly and does not affect the fresh product which will be stored in the tank.


If you’re looking to remove the tank, you need to ensure it is cleaned efficiently before you do so to ensure the land around it isn’t contaminated and that the tank can be transported safely.


How do I choose the right company to clean my tank?

  • Accreditations – Your company should meet the environmental and health and safety regulations, just like Inspire Waste, and should have the relevant ISO accreditations
  • Testimonials – See whether they have good testimonials and feed back from businesses similar to yours
  • Cost – Compare the cost and the level of service you’ll receive for your money
  • Audit trail – Ensure you will have the correct paperwork to show your tank is being cleaned regularly


Need advice on the best tank cleaning for your business? Call our friendly Inspire Waste team on 0800 002 9282

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Disposing of hazardous waste in the North East?

Whether it’s removing waste chemicals from a factory or asbestos from a house, disposing of hazardous waste can be a legal minefield.

Here are 5 important things you need to know to protect yourself and ensure you don’t face a hefty fine:

  1. You have the legal duty of care to ensure hazardous waste produced or stored by your business does not harm anyone else or damage the environment.

Hazardous waste includes asbestos, chemicals, batteries, solvents, pesticides, items containing ozone-depleting chemicals like fridges, and oils.

You need to classify it – including how it is hazardous, its chemical make-up, and how it was produced – and decide how to store and handle it. It’s illegal to mix different types of hazardous waste or mix it with non-hazardous refuse.

  1. You must have a consignment note for the transport of any commercial hazardous waste, unless it was imported under international waste shipment controls.

That includes collection for disposal by waste carriers, moving it from one site in your business to another, and moving it from a customer’s premises.

For more details on the regulations, go to

There is different paperwork for imported international waste, or if you’re going to export it. See more here:

  1. You also need a consignment note if you’re removing asbestos waste from a domestic property.

Your contractor needs to sign the note as the waste producer. The same rules about filling in the note need to be followed.

  1. You need to employ a reputable waste contractor.

You need to ask to see the company’s certifications to handle different types of waste, and ensure they are properly insured. Find out what health and safety precautions your contractor will be taking.

You also need to know how they will be disposing of the hazardous waste material.

If your waste ends up being dumped, and you didn’t ask all the right questions, you could still find yourself liable in some way.

  1. You need to ensure your own health and safety is protected during removal.

Don’t try to remove hazardous waste yourself, or rely on a mate to do it. You need to ensure your own health and safety, or that of your staff, is protected.

You need to know your contractor’s plan to ensure you’re protected – before work begins.


If you need advice on disposing of hazardous waste in the North East, call us on 0191 6824142