If 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.
The UK’s hazardous waste regulations require of you to obtain 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?
Hazardous 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. 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.
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 regarding hazardous waste classification
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 InspireWaste here.
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