Whether it’s removing waste chemicals from a factory or asbestos from organisation premises, disposing of hazardous business waste can be a legal minefield.
Here are 5 important things you need to know about disposing of hazardous waste to protect yourself and ensure you don’t face a hefty fine:
- You have the legal duty of care to ensure business hazardous waste produced or stored by your organisation 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.
- 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 www.gov.uk/guidance/hazardous-waste-consignment-note-supplementary-guidance
There is different paperwork for imported international waste, or if you’re going to export it. See more here: www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-and-exporting-waste.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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