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Does your oil, water, or cooler tank need cleaning?

haz waste If your business has a tank where you store oil, cooler, or water, it’s vital that you inspect it and ensure it is cleaned regularly.

There are several types of oil which businesses store in tanks:

  • petrol
  • biofuels
  • diesel
  • vegetable oils
  • kerosene
  • synthetic oils
  • solvents
  • biodegradable lubricating or hydraulic oils
  • liquid bitumen-based products, such as waterproofing or damp proofing products
  • cutting fluids
  • insulating oils

There are many industries where these oils are used, and each must be stored in the correct way to comply with environmental and health and safety regulations. Here is a UK Government guide to the rules covering the storage of oil. There are different rules for oil tanks stored on agricultural premises.

For water storage systems, thorough and regular cleaning is a key way to prevent contamination and the spread of diseases. Water storage systems at hotels, leisure facilities, and pools are especially under scrutiny.


Why would your tank need cleaning?

Build up

Sludge can build up in your tank and can damage it and make its way into your systems. That can then affect the operation of your machinery, for example.

If sludge is present in your cooler tank, your machines could be at risk of seizing up if the cooling system isn’t working properly. Every hour your machines are out of action is an hour’s cost to your business.

So, regular cleaning is important to ensure your systems are working to their maximum efficiency and are not at risk of breakdown.

If your tank is damaged, you may find that oil, water, or coolant is leaking out into your secondary ‘drip tray’ system and filling it, endangering the land around it. Fir underground tanks, this could mean oil seeping into the ground.


If water systems are contaminated, this can lead to serious health problems such as Legionnaire’s Disease, and the potential that you or your staff could be put at risk.

Oil and cooler tank contamination can lead to machines breaking down, which could cost your business dearly.

For oils used in food processes, it is vital that any contaminated product is removed swiftly and does not affect the fresh product which will be stored in the tank.


If you’re looking to remove the tank, you need to ensure it is cleaned efficiently before you do so to ensure the land around it isn’t contaminated and that the tank can be transported safely.


How do I choose the right company to clean my tank?

  • Accreditations – Your company should meet the environmental and health and safety regulations, just like Inspire Waste, and should have the relevant ISO accreditations
  • Testimonials – See whether they have good testimonials and feed back from businesses similar to yours
  • Cost – Compare the cost and the level of service you’ll receive for your money
  • Audit trail – Ensure you will have the correct paperwork to show your tank is being cleaned regularly


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

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Disposing of hazardous waste in the North East?

Whether it’s removing waste chemicals from a factory or asbestos from a house, disposing of hazardous waste can be a legal minefield.

Here are 5 important things you need to know to protect yourself and ensure you don’t face a hefty fine:

  1. You have the legal duty of care to ensure hazardous waste produced or stored by your business 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.

  1. 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

There is different paperwork for imported international waste, or if you’re going to export it. See more here:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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