Disposing of hazardous waste is a major challenge for organisations in the North East. Not only are there regulations to consider, but there are also potential risks to human health and the environment if dangerous waste is not disposed of properly. It is, therefore, essential that businesses have a clear understanding of their responsibilities when it comes to disposing of household hazardous waste and business waste. This includes knowing the relevant regulations of hazardous waste disposal, identifying the types of unsafe remains they have, and ensuring that appropriate collection services are in place.
What is Hazardous Waste?
By definition, hazardous waste is debris that is harmful to the environment (such as ozone-depleting substances) or human health.
Solid waste, liquid waste, sludge and gaseous remains can all be made from hazardous materials. Because of its health, environmental, and physical effects, it is very harmful, and some of the properties, substances and chemicals which make this so can include:
- Organic pollutant
- Produces toxic gases
- Acute toxicity
- Pollutes water and air
This is why there are waste management services to remove hazardous waste safely.
Types of Hazardous Waste
Debris that contains dangerous properties can take many forms. Almost everywhere has them. Items that are considered hazardous to people and the environment include:
- Asbestos chemicals
- Batteries (like print toner batteries)
- Printer waste
- Clinical waste
- Oils and oil filters
- Pressurised cylinders
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- Electrical equipment (WEEE waste)
- Cleaning agents
- Brake fluid
- Fridges and freezers
- Hazardous waste containers
- Solvents and paints
- Pesticides oils
- Radioactive materials
- Fluorescent tubes
There are a lot of harmful materials, and this is only the beginning! The list includes items you might have yet to consider dangerous materials, so learning what they are and how to dispose of them is crucial.
The Laws & Regulations of Disposing of Hazardous Waste
The Hazardous Waste Regulations took effect in July 2005, controlling and tracking hazardous waste. These regulations allow hazardous waste producers to register and track their detritus movements.
For further information about dealing with chemicals and hazardous waste recycling, check the government website or talk to the local authorities.
Hazardous waste regulations are full of nuances, and your business must understand them. Listed below are some examples of rules.
Businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure hazardous waste stored or produced by them does not harm others or the environment.
In addition to the waste classification code, you must determine how it was produced, its chemical makeup, and how it is considered hazardous. A dangerous waste mix cannot consist of non-hazardous refuse or other types of waste.
Consignment Notes for Disposing of Hazardous Waste
As part of the regulations, remains are removed from the premises every time and must be documented. As far as the debris producer is concerned, the consignment note is the most important form. Before waste can be removed, this must be completed, and detailed information must be provided, including:
- The process that generated the waste
- Quantity of remains
- Components and concentrations of chemical or biological components
- Hazard codes and LoW codes
- Types, sizes, and numbers of containers
- Destination of the debris
- A unique code assigned to the consignment note
Waste Contractor Employment
You need to ask to see the company’s certifications to handle and collect different types of hazardous waste collection and ensure they are appropriately insured. Find out what health and safety precautions your contractor will be taking. You also need to know how they dispose of hazardous waste material.
You could still be liable if your remains are dumped without asking all the right questions. Waste producers and contractors must pay attention to the rules. You must notify the Environment Agency if you produce more than 500 kg of hazardous debris annually. Furthermore:
- Any unregistered site cannot be used for collecting hazardous materials.
- Non-registered waste producers violate the law.
- It is illegal for waste contractors to move the waste from non-registered areas.
- A unique code number will be needed to verify waste producers’ registration with contractors.
- Renewal of registrations is required annually.
Don’t try to store waste or remove hazardous waste yourself or rely on a mate to do it, whether it is business or household hazardous waste. You must ensure your health and safety, or that of your staff, is protected. Before work begins, you must know your contractor’s plan to move hazardous wastes and protect you.
Symptoms which can be caused by unsafe waste if not properly managed can include:
- Eye and skin irritation
- Genetic mutations
- Breathing problems
- Behavioural issues
- Chemical burns
- Many more…
Human health and the environment can also be adversely affected by the mismanagement and disposal of hazardous waste. We and the atmosphere can be negatively affected by pollution caused by contaminated air, soil, and water. This is why there is environmental legislation.
Creating hazardous waste can lead to adverse environmental effects. In acute toxicity, a substance has only one negative effect after release. The effects of some substances are not an immediate risk and only become apparent once they are repeatedly exposed to them for long periods. In other words, chronic toxicity. Lead acid and mercury are two examples of toxins. Continuously present in our surroundings, these toxins accumulate over time. Those toxic substances contaminate fish and other prey, which wildlife and people eat, causing long-term environmental damage.
Hazardous Waste at Inspire Waste Management
Now you have learnt more about hazardous waste specialist disposal and recycling, we hope you can see we know our stuff! Other favourable things we can offer your business if you produce hazardous waste are:
- Our facilities are licensed to dispose of hazardous waste, and we have years of experience transporting dangerous waste.
- We follow all of the waste acceptance criteria from the European Waste Catalogue, ensuring safety and your company’s reputation.
- Our experienced team can help you categorise and document your waste correctly.
- A certificate of destruction is also provided after we dispose of hazardous waste.
- We simplify the hazardous waste disposal process.
- As a certified ISO 14001 company, we try recycling waste whenever possible if it is deemed non-hazardous waste.
- As a service provider across all regions of the UK, we offer you excellent service at a competitive price.
Contact us to talk more about our services or get a quote below.