20 Dec Manage your hazardous waste effectively
Waste in itself has been a hot topic in recent months as both businesses and individuals are striving to have a minimal impact on the environment through the safe and effective disposal of their waste. However, this focus should also be applied to hazardous waste specifically as materials in this category can prove incredibly harmful to the population as well as the environment. As a legal requirement, the safe disposal of hazardous waste falls into the ‘duty of care’ requirement for businesses who produce and handle this type of waste. Therefore, this means that there needs to be effective waste management strategies in place to ensure that the highest compliance standards are met, but this comes with careful planning and consideration. For our blog this week, we’re talking about managing hazardous waste and how to do this effectively.
What is hazardous waste?
Hazardous waste typically comes from chemical production, manufacturing and other industrial activity. Materials regarded as hazardous can take many different forms including solids, liquids, sludge among others, and can prove harmful to human health and environmental safety. This includes but isn’t limited to pesticides, asbestos, acids, batteries, paints and much more. Most empty containers that contained hazardous substances must also be treated and disposed of as Hazardous. Therefore, organisations who produce these products have a responsibility to ensure the safe collection, treatment and disposal of these waste materials, and ultimately meet high standards of compliance to protect all those who could potentially come into contact with this waste.
Hazardous waste requires the safe transport to a treatment, storage or disposal facility and the government deems each business responsible for the care and monitoring of this waste disposal at all points. Therefore, hazardous substances should be separated from all other waste that your business creates such as general waste or recycling to avoid contamination. Plus, this should be done as hazardous waste will require specific handling and a different approach to disposal in order to adhere to legal guidelines. This structure has been in place for over a decade following the prohibition of the co-disposal of hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste at the same landfill on July 16 2004. Instead, this now requires a specialist disposal tailored to the materials and you can seek advice on this with your waste management provider.
Additionally, as the producer of the waste, it is your responsibility, even if this is collected by an external provider to ensure a consignment note is complete upon collection and the waste is going to a licensed facility. Therefore, it’s crucial that you stay informed about how your waste is disposed of, and any credible waste management company will ensure that you have all information and documents readily available should you be audited. These records will need to be kept for three years at the premises alongside any related documents for optimum compliance.
It’s important to remember that hazardous waste can contaminate surfaces as well as groundwater supplies, which can prove incredibly damaging environmentally as well as for human health, which is why it’s so important that these materials are treated carefully. As a business, you have a legal responsibility to dispose of your hazardous waste safely, meeting strict government standards of compliance at all points of the process. In adhering to these requirements, it can help to reduce the threats that these materials pose both at present and also in the future, as well as protecting the overall reputation of your business. At CHC, our UK-wide collection and disposal services cover a wide range of hazardous solid and liquid wastes so if you would like to speak to us about your waste management requirements, contact us today on 0800 085 7829.