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.

 

What is a waste management consultant – and why do I need one?

Have you ever seen the job title of waste management consultant and wondered what they do?

These consultants can help your business save money, comply with complex waste regulations, reduce pollution, and reduce the impact of the work you do on the environment.

They:

  • Ensure hazardous and non-hazardous waste is disposed of safely, legally, and efficiently
  • Help companies design waste management systems which comply with environmental protection laws
  • Analyse systems for efficiency and cost
  • Carry out risk assessments
  • Highlight the benefits and drawbacks of different waste management systems
  • Suggest improvements, including new equipment or procedures

Generally, they have expert knowledge in chemistry, physics, and mechanical engineering.

This knowledge is combined with a dee[p understanding of the hazardous waste legislation and how businesses must comply with it when it is stored, categorised, transported, and disposed of.

They use research skills online and in the field to ensure the law is complied with and businesses are given the best options for them.

A substantial part of the job is writing detailed technical reports, explaining the complex rules in clear language to businesses.

They also draw up blueprints and carry out simulations to test systems and may carry out air and soil tests.

 

Why would I need a waste management consultant?

Any business undertaking a major new construction project, or the installation of new plant and machinery, would need to know the cost of removing waste from their site

One of the key reasons to employ a waste management consultant is to help prevent spiraling project costs.

Businesses which produce hazardous waste as part of their process, or which store it, must understand and comply with strict rules.

An experienced waste management consultant will help businesses ensure they have the right storage facilities, the right transportation, and that they have the right waste transfer notes.

Categorising hazardous waste correctly is vital to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.

Your consultant will assist you in doing that and ensure that notes are filled out correctly.

Businesses which fail to comply with hazardous waste regulations can be fined substantial amounts.

For example in 2017, a Bristol company and two of its directors were told to pay more than £32,000 in fines and costs for illegally supplying 64,000 of tonnes hazardous waste to a development site, where workers reported getting sore, runny eyes. There was the potential risk of exposure to asbestos contained in the material, the Environment Agency said.

 

How do you choose the right waste management consultant?

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 consultants? Contact us on 0800 002 9282.

 

 

 

 

Worried how your business will deal with waste batteries after Christmas? Ask the experts…

waste batteriesIf there’s one thing everyone needs tons of at Christmas, it’s batteries.

New toys, gadgets, and beauty products such as electronic toothbrushes all need so many of them these days. In fact, Britons use more than 600 million batteries every year.

Little wonder the UK brought in updated battery recycling rules in 2010. Here’s how they affect retailers and producers:

 

Retailers

If you sell 32kg of batteries a year or more, you have a duty to take back batteries which can be carried by someone, including AA, AAA and 9v batteries, rechargeable batteries, and batteries from:

  • laptops
  • mobile phones
  • watches
  • hearing aids
  • portable cameras
  • electric toothbrushes
  • torches
  • razors
  • hand-held vacuum cleaners

 

You must have a safe collection point for customers to return batteries, and you have to let people know how they can do this.

Those batteries can be collected by a battery recycling scheme.

If you transport them yourself, you must have a waste carrier certificate and follow the rules on transporting hazardous waste.

Breaches in the scheme could land you with a fine of up to £5,000.

 

Producers

Battery producers have a duty under the WEEE rules to pay or collection, treatment, recycling, and disposal of used batteries.

Producers are the first people in a selling chain (including importers) to supply or sell the batteries on the UK market.

Batteries can be portable, automotive batteries for cars, vans, or lorries, or batteries for industrial use.

 

What else should producers do?

  • Register with the environmental regulator
  • Record the tonnage and chemistry of the batteries placed on the market

 

Portable batteries

If you produce portable batteries – the type which are generally used in domestic appliances – and put more than a tonne a year on the market, you must register with a battery compliance scheme.

For a fee, the scheme registers you with the correct environmental regulator and pays them £600 each for every member.

The scheme sends information on the batteries you have produced to the regulator, it gets evidence on the collection, treatment, and recycling of waste batteries, and sends that to the regulator.

If you produce less than a tonne a year, you must register directly with the right regulator for your part of the UK. Find out which is right for you here.

You must submit the weight of batteries and heir chemistry to the regulator every year.

 

What happens when you sell products containing batteries?

You’ll need to report the weight of the equipment without batteries and the weight of the batteries.

 

Automotive batteries

You must register with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy within 28 days of putting the first batteries on the market.

You’ll need to provide the tonnage, chemistry, and the brand name of the batteries.

Producers have a duty to collect waste batteries free from places such as garages and scrapyards.

You have to give these people information about how to organise collection, perhaps on your website.

Waste batteries must go to an approved battery treatment operator or exporter for treatment and recycling.

 

Industrial batteries

You must register with the DBEIS within 28 days of first selling the batteries, and provide the total tonnage, chemistry, and brand name of the batteries.

You have a duty to take back waste batteries and to inform customers how this can be arranged.

Waste batteries must go to an approved battery treatment operator or exporter for treatment and recycling.

 

Do you need advice on disposing of waste batteries in your business? Call Inspire Waste on 0191 6824142. Our experts are always up on the latest rule changes.

3 key ways a waste consultant could save your project money

waste consultantAre you planning a project which will generate waste?

From expanding your premises to installing new manufacturing processes, it’s important you’re your business considers the impact and cost of waste at the outset.

Hiring a waste consultant is something which will help you in three key ways:

  1. It helps you factor in all waste costs from the start. With the help of a consultant, you can examine the types and amounts of waste your project will be producing and the sort of solutions you will need to deal with it. If you’re installing a new manufacturing process, you may need tankers to deal with waste chemicals or water, skips to deal with off-cuts, and hazardous waste handlers to deal with electronic or chemical waste. You may forget to factor in some of the more ‘hidden’ costs such as the costs of dealing with confidential waste shredding or packaging from components. The good thing about having a dedicated waste consultant is that they are experienced in looking for all these costs. That way, you will have no unforeseen surprises with expensive solutions
  2. It helps you source bespoke waste solutions which match your budget, some of which might earn you money back. An experienced consultant has excellent contacts and the latest moves in the marketplace at their fingertips. Give them a budget and they will seek out the best options for you, tailoring the solutions you find to your business needs. In fact, you may earn money back on some waste, such as recyclables like glass, cardboard, and paper, and some oils or chemicals.
  3. It helps you comply with the law. Waste consultants are aware of the laws regarding the storage and handling of waste. For example, they know how you classify hazardous waste, how it should be stored, the consignment notes you need to move it, how a waste handling company should be certified to handle it, and how health and safety should be protected in the process. They also know which companies have the relevant ISO classifications to deal with confidential waste such as documents or old hard drives, and the potential penalties for data breaches if these matters are mishandled. Hiring an experienced waste consultant helps avoid nasty surprises from enforcement action.

If you’re thinking of leasing or buying equipment to help your business process waste, a waste consultant can help you make the right choice for your circumstances.

They can help you work out the potential return on any investment by looking at the cost, how much that could save on external waste handling costs, and whether your business could find a new revenue stream from selling on some waste items.

Need an experienced waste consultancy service for your business? Call Inspire Waste on 0191 6824142.

Why pubs and restaurants should get their glass recycling organised before Christmas

Bars and restaurants are gearing up for the busiest time of their year.

The pre-Christmas and festive week trade can make a hospitality business for the next three months – even though it puts the owners and staff under a great deal of stress.

Christmas parties and festive drinks can, however, produce a great deal of glass to be dealt with.

Empty beer, cider, and wine bottles must either be recycled or sent to landfill, and stored safely before they are taken away.

Bars, restaurants, and pubs throw an estimated 200,000 tonnes of glass into landfill every year.

Sending items to landfill is expensive for any business.

Depending on where you are in the UK, there’s an average cost of between £80 and £90 per tonne for landfill waste, including the landfill tax.

Waste prevention charity WRAP says businesses can spend up to 4% of their turnover on dealing with waste.

What does the law say?

Under waste regulations 2011 (England & Wales), businesses have a legal duty to do as much as they can to keep waste to a minimum by:

  • Recycling and reusing items
  • Recovering items from waste

Waste must also be sorted and stored safely.

Companies must also complete a transfer note for each load of waste which leaves their premises.

Any waste carrier must be registered to deal with their waste, and businesses must check this.

They must also check that no loads are dumped illegally.

Any businesses dealing with their own waste must register was a waste carrier.

Breaching these regulations could land a business a large fine.

The case for glass recycling

Glass is 100% recyclable. It can be reprocessed an endless number of times and retains the same excellent quality it had the first time it was made.

Recycling it helps conserve fossil fuels and reduces carbon emissions – it’s more harmful to the environment to make glass from scratch.

To make new glass, a furnace must use the equivalent energy of burning 250kg of wood. That is reduced when waste glass is used.

It’s estimated recycling waste glass also saves 1.2 tonnes of raw materials for every furnace load.

What can the owners and managers of bars, restaurants, and pubs do?

Reduce your costs and help save the planet by calling in an experienced waste management company.

Your staff will be busy with the Christmas rush, serving your customers and building your business.

An experienced company, such as Inspire Waste Management, has all the registrations you’ll need to ensure your business stays on the right side of the law.

We also do not send items directly to landfill, helping you reduce costs and reduce your impact on the environment.

It’s a win-win situation!

We provide wheelie bins for glass recycling sized from 240 litres to 1,100 litres. We can also arrange collections daily, weekly, or fortnightly.

That’s perfect for a busy pub or restaurant needing to ensure waste glass bottles are stored safely and dealt with promptly.

 

To find out about our glass recycling option, call us on 0191 6824142.

What is GDPR and how will it affect my business?

What is GDPRAre you thinking What is GDPR?

You may have seen several news stories in recent months about the potential impact of new data protection rules.

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulations – come into effect across Europe in May 2018. Britain’s decision to leave the EU won’t exempt our businesses and organisations from these new rules, the UK government has confirmed.

It’s the biggest change to rules about the way data is handled, processed, and held in the past 20 years.

It presents a big challenge for businesses of all sizes.

The main changes:

  • There will be a more rigorous regime for data protection and steeper fines of up to 4% of global turnover or €20 million for more serious breaches, whichever is the higher. Now, the Data Protection Act has an upper limit fine of £500,000 for breaches. In the future, there is the real danger that serious a data protection breach could bankrupt a company.
  • Individuals now have the right to be forgotten online as well as the right to know what information is held about them and to amend it.
  • Categories of data controllers and processors are created. Processors have significantly more legal liability if there is a breach than under the current system. They must keep records of what personal data is held and how it is used. Controllers must show their contracts with processors comply with GDPR rules.
  • The definition of personal data is expanded to include IP addresses. Special data will include biometric data which can be applied to an individual, and genetic data.
  • The rules now also govern paper records.
  • Data breaches where there is a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals must be reported to the relevant authorities within 72 hours, and businesses must inform the individuals affected directly where there is a high risk.

How does this affect the way you deal with waste?

It’s clear that protecting data and dealing carefully with confidential records is more important than ever.

Your business’ future may depend on it. It won’t be enough to have a good firewall and security system online, if the way you deal with paper records is sloppy, for example.

There are key things you need to do:

  1. Have systems in place to deal with confidential paper waste and waste such as old hard drives or flash drives which might contain data.
  2. Have a chain of evidence in place that items were dealt with safely. If there is a breach, you need to prove you’ve done everything you can to avoid it.
  3. Ensure anyone processing confidential waste for you understands their legal obligations under GDPR.
  4. Have systems in place for reporting breaches to the authorities or those affected.

Why choose Inspire Waste Management?

We have all the systems you need to handle confidential waste.

Alongside secure shredding of confidential waste paper, we also offer businesses services such as hard drive shredding.

We offer certificates of destruction, allowing you to prove your business has acted responsibly.

All the paper and media we process is collected by BS7858-vetted staff.

It is also destroyed or recycled to the BS15713 standard.

That means you know your confidential waste is in safe hands.

We also free up your own staff to do their core work – rather than spending hours shredding items.

Need advice on getting your business ready for GDPR? Call our experts on 0191 6824142.

 

Do i need a skip licence

Getting work done on your premises over the summer? Do i need a skip licence?

Do i need a skip licenceAre you thinking do i need a skip licence?

Summer is often the prefect time for building work to business premises.

The weather’s better than at other times of the year, the working days are longer and lighter, and some premises still have summer shut-down periods.

If you’re having work done, you’ll need to consider how to remove builders’ waste, where to site skips, and whether they need licences.

How to work out if you or your skip hire company needs a licence

You need to ask these questions:

What are your local council’s rules? You can find out what you need to know by contacting them. In some areas, you will need to apply for a skip licence or permit yourself. In other areas, that will need to be done by your skip hire company.

Is it totally on private land? You won’t need a licence if the skip is entirely on private land.

Is it on the road? You will need permission from your local authority. Please also remember skips cannot be placed on pavements.

 

What else do you need to know?

Your council will have its own rules about the safety lights and markings you may need, and you need to comply with them.

Don’t forget that you have a duty of care to road users, people in public places, and your own employees.

It’s also important to check your insurance to ensure it covers the skips and work.

If your waste is hazardous, such as waste containing asbestos or chemicals, you’ll need to make special arrangements for collection and disposal and understand the strict rules about moving hazardous waste.

Find out more here.

What are the penalties for failing to get skip licences?

Any business which fails to get the right permits faces a fine of up to £1,000.

You can apply for a skip licence here.

 

One of the best ways to ensure you comply with the regulations is to use a reputable skip hire company such as Inspire Waste.

We understand what you need – whether it’s open or closed skips, skips for general waste, soil, or other categories of waste.

Find out more about our services here.

 

Looking for skip hire for business? Call our friendly team on 0191 6824142.

hazardous waste

Manufacturers – have you correctly classified your hazardous waste?

hazardous wasteIf your business produces hazardous waste, it’s vital that you know how to classify it correctly.

How waste is classified decides how it must be dealt with and incorrect classification could lead to prosecution.

You will need a permit to dispose of your waste, and you’ll need to classify it correctly before that permit is issued. The company you choose to deal with your waste will also need to know the classification, to ensure they have the capacity and equipment to move it or process it.

What is hazardous waste?

This waste is harmful to the environment or humans. It may be chemicals, batteries, asbestos, solvents, oils, or pesticides.

As a business, you have a legal duty of care to ensure the hazardous waste you produce or deal with does not cause harm to people or the environment.

 

How do you classify hazardous waste?

Firstly, check the government’s waste classification guidance. You can find that here. It will give you a waste classification code (also called a List of Waste or European Waste Catalogue code) for your waste. Generally, a code with an asterisk next to it is hazardous.

Some waste will be a mixture of hazardous and non-hazardous materials.

If your manufacturing process produces packaging waste, see the government’s guide on that here.

For electronic waste, see this guide, and for oil waste, check the codes here.

Secondly, you will need to describe your waste. You must include:

  • the waste classification code
  • whether the waste is hazardous
  • the name of the substances
  • the type of premises or business where the waste was produced
  • a report of the chemical and physical analysis of the waste
  • a description of the process that produced the waste
  • any special problems, special requirements, or special knowledge about to the waste

 

What the law says

To comply with the law, you’ll need to ensure different hazardous wastes in different classifications and hazardous and non-hazardous wastes are not mixed.

You will usually need more than one code if you have two types of hazardous waste.

Why you should get expert advice

Dealing with hazardous waste is a complex undertaking. There are a great many rules and there is huge potential to fall foul of the law.

An experienced company, such as Inspire Waste Management, will help you through the process.

We ensure our clients across the UK are fully compliant with the law and that all the contractors used have the correct certifications and are audited properly.

Find out more about us here.

Need some advice on hazardous waste disposal? Call our friendly team on 0191 6824142.

Do you know the importance of wiping hard drives when you recycle IT equipment?

Would you throw a piece of paper containing your customers’ bank details and addresses into the general waste?

Would you put papers with your employees’ national insurance numbers into an ordinary rubbish bin?

The answer’s obviously no.

Every business owner knows they must comply with the Data Protection Act when it comes to dealing with these details – and if they don’t, they could face a stiff fine.

So, when it comes to recycling old computers and smartphones, why would you not ensure the hard drive is completely wiped?

Most people wrongly believe that deleting files from your desktop or laptop computers will mean they cannot be retrieved.

That isn’t the case.

The files are still on those devices somewhere. They’re just hidden from view.

All you’ve done by deleting these items is remove the site map to find them.

Data recovery software can find them and the information contained in them.

This information could fall into the hands of unscrupulous people who could use it to defraud or steal from your customers and employees. Or, they could be out to ruin the reputation of your business.

The financial cost could be substantial.

What’s the importance of wiping your hard drives? It’s of vital importance.

What’s the difference when I erase a file?

This is when a special program permanently wipes or scrubs a file.

For one file, you’d tend to shred it – using a program which overwrites the contents with binary code.

When you wipe a whole hard drive, that means you erase everything on it and anything you have deleted previously.

Don’t be fooled into thinking a factory reset or a reformatting will do the trick. They tend to be the equivalent of deleting files, rather than erasing them.

How can I wipe the hard drive securely?

There are products like SafeErase and DBan which will wipe your PC hard drive with one wipe. Anyone using the computer afterwards will have to install all of their own software as a result.

On Macs with mechanical hard drives, you can put it into Recovery Mode then use Disk Utility – an application on all Macs – to wipe the hard drive.

It can be trickier to wipe the hard drive on smartphones. A factory reset won’t wipe the drives on Android phones and tablets unless you encrypt the storage first, then erase it and restore the factory settings.

Should I call in the experts?

Yes – if you want your sensitive information to be dealt with securely, hire a company like Inspire Waste Management with a long track record in dealing with top companies and their confidential waste.

Our expert staff understand our clients’ need to be legally compliant and to deal with sensitive information in a secure way.

 

Are you a North-East business owner who needs advice on wiping hard drives on your computers and smartphones? Call Inspire Waste Management on 0191 6824142. Discover our range of services here: https://inspirewaste.co.uk/services/.

Make securing your confidential waste your New Year resolution

Is securing your confidential wast your New Year resolutions?

When it comes to your business, one of the most important resolutions to make for 2017 would be to overhaul the way you deal with confidential waste.

Business owners and managers have become far more aware of the threats they face in terms of cyber security, and the potential for large fines if data is not properly protected.

Neglecting the basics when it comes to information on paper, however, could also lead to a substantial fine if you breach the Data Protection Act, substantial losses for a business, and a massive hit to a company’s reputation.

The Information Commissioner’s Office reported a rise in data breaches from items being posted or faxed to the wrong location during the second quarter of 2016, and an increase in data breaches from the loss or theft of paperwork.

Of the 545 data breaches between April and June 2016, 81 came from the loss or theft of paperwork.

Find out how you can comply with the Data Protection Act here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/.

What could thieves do with your data?

  • Defraud your customers posing as you, a particular threat if your paperwork contains bank or credit card details.
  • Sell information about your business and customers to competitors.
  • Gain access to your cyber systems if passwords and other relevant data are printed out and thrown out in the insecure waste. That could lead to online data theft.
  • Find details of staff rotas and shifts, and details of when your business premises are empty. Imagine what thieves and burglars could do with that information.

What action could you face?

The ICO has issued actions including notices to comply with data protection rules and substantial fines during 2016.

The largest fine it issued was to Talk Talk for £400,000, which was a record fine, while one care home in Northern Ireland was fined £15,000.

Any business which suffers a data breach may well also find itself liable in the courts for any financial loss customers face as a result of the breach.

Health companies are vulnerable to data breaches

Companies operating in the health sector should be particularly wary of how they deal with paperwork, the ICO says, because of the level of detail which is often contained in patient reports and medical records.

They often contain national insurance numbers, names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and details of prescribed medicines

So, for care homes, care providers, therapists, doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists, and opticians, having a secure method of dealing with confidential waste is vital.

What can you do?

Ensure your confidential waste is deal with securely by employing a company which is experienced in helping businesses comply with the law – like Inspire Waste.

All the confidential waste we process is collected by BS7858-vetted staff and destroyed or recycled to the BS15713 standard – complying with the code of practice for securely destroying confidential information.

Need help dealing with confidential waste in the North East? Call us on 0191 6824142.