haz waste

Why you should never carry out industrial tank cleaning yourself

industrial tank cleaningHave you ever been tempted to try to carry out industrial tank cleaning yourself?

We understand that you need to prepare them for inspection and clean up any contamination, but the process can be complex and there can be many health and safety and environmental rules to consider along the way. The last thing you want to do is put yourself or your staff at risk.

That’s why it’s so important that industrial tank cleaning is carried out by qualified, experienced professionals such as Inspire Waste Management.

How do we start?

Tanks are safely drained of their contents before we begin the clean.

They can contain anything from water and foodstuffs to chemicals and slurry, so we adhere rigorously to the environmental regulations for each substance.

We may transfer the contents of a static tank to our tanker for removal to an appropriate waste facility. If the waste is hazardous, it will need to be correctly classified and we will need a detailed transfer note to ensure we comply with the hazardous waste regulations.

There are two basic methods of industrial tank cleaning, using high pressure water cleaning or cleaning using solvents.

Water cleaning

How water cleaning is used will depend on the type of tank to be cleaned, what it has contained, and whether it is accessible to jetting robots which can deliver high pressure cleaning.

It’s generally preferable to use robots and clean tanks remotely. That way, staff don’t come into contact with anything hazardous.

The high pressure water removes blockages and residue internally and externally, so that you will be able to see any potential problems such as the development of rusk in metal tanks.

Sometimes, tanks aren’t accessible to robots so high pressure lances need to be used and workers have to go into the tanks.

These workers are highly trained and have specialist equipment such as harnesses. Using a powerful lance is not something which should be attempted without this training and the right protective clothing.

Underground tanks may require the use of breathing apparatus, pumps, and gas detection monitors

Solvent and degreaser cleaning

A biodegradable solvent or degreaser can be used in some circumstances, such as when tanks contain hardened greases, crude oils, and tars. This can be sprayed on the surface and interior of tanks.

This is rinsed off using hot water.

Although using high pressure water cleaning can be seen as more environmentally friendly, the cleaning solvents used today can be water rinseable, many aren’t classified as skin irritants or a highly flammable, and they are made using non-toxic chemicals.

How to choose the right company for your industrial tank cleaning

Ensure the company has relevant ISO accreditations, as Inspire Waste Management does, and ask them how they would meet the environmental and health and safety regulations.

Ask for testimonials from clients for whom they have cleaned tanks and ensure you’ll have a full audit trail for any waste items you have removed. Make sure your company knows the location of licensed waste facilities.

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




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.

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.


  • 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.