If your business is a producer, carrier or consignee (receiver) of hazardous waste, it is your responsibility to manage it properly; your so-called ‘duty of care’ in line with the government’s Hazardous Waste Regulations.

Dangerous waste can be harmful to human health and the environment, so it needs to be treated responsibly. Read on for everything you need to know about hazardous waste management: Hazardous waste types Businesses in many different industries produce and handle hazardous waste. Waste is considered dangerous if it is toxic to health or the environment. Hazardous waste could consist of gas, liquids or solids. Some examples of the industries that produce hazardous waste, and the types of material concerned include:

Construction and demolition waste

  • unused, unset concrete
  • asbestos
  • treated wood
  • coal tar and tarred products
  • metals contaminated with asbestos
  • oil or other hazardous coatings
  • contaminated soil, glass or plastic

Chemicals and contaminated packaging

  • acids
  • solvents
  • alkalines
  • adhesives
  • toner
  • photochemicals
  • pesticides and herbicides
  • aerosols
  • gas bottles
  • solvent or oil-based paints
  • unrinsed packaging with traces of chemical substances

Waste electronic and electrical equipment

  • fluorescent tubes and energy-saving light bulbs
  • batteries
  • fridges and freezers
  • TVs, computer monitors, laptops and tablets
  • lead acid or Ni-Cd batteries
  • electrical devices containing oil, fuel, lead acid or Ni-Cd batteries, fluorescent tubes or asbestos

Vehicle waste

  • waste vehicles
  • oil
  • petrol
  • diesel
  • lead acid batteries
  • oil filters
  • anti-freeze
  • brake fluid

Healthcare waste

  • cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines (used in cancer treatment)
  • infectious clinical waste
  • anatomical waste
  • medicinally contaminated and non-medicinally contaminated sharps
  • hazardous chemicals

Domestic Waste

  • car batteries
  • Ni-Cd batteries
  • electrical products
  • oil and oil filters
  • aerosols
  • building materials containing asbestos
  • cleaning products, including bleach
  • fluorescent and energy-saving light bulbs
  • oil and solvent based varnishes
  • paints and paint strippers

How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste

Every commercial premises that produces waste must be registered with the Environment Agency. You should also appoint a registered hazardous waste carrier and ensure that the waste is disposed of correctly by a licensed waste management service. It is illegal to dispose of waste containing dangerous substances into a general waste skip. However, many skip hire companies do offer a specialist hazardous waste collection and disposal service. They will ensure that your premises are registered, waste is disposed of safely, and all necessary paperwork is in order. Here are the steps that must be taken when disposing of hazardous waste:

Step 1

Any producers or holders of hazardous waste must first classify the waste. Make a note of all the key facts, such as the name of the substance, any special requirements and the waste classification code. You must separate the hazardous waste from the rest of your waste and ensure safe storage. Only use authorised businesses for recycling and disposal. You will also need to fill out a consignment note and keep records for three years.

Step 2

A business that collects or transports hazardous waste, known as a carrier, has slightly different responsibilities. First, you need to register as a waste carrier. Before transporting waste, check the consignment note and fill in the parts pertaining to your business. Again, make sure the dangerous waste is separated safely. Transport the waste to the authorised waste site named on the consignment note.

Step 3

Consignees, who receive, treat or dispose of hazardous waste need an environmental permit. Before accepting the waste, check the consignment note and reject the waste if there is no note or the note was filled in incorrectly. Complete your section of the consignment note (part E). You will then need to send your consignee returns to the Environment Agency and the waste producer or holder - consignee returns are reports on any hazardous waste received, treated or disposed of by a business. In general, hazardous waste collection and treatment should be quite straightforward, as long as you follow the right protocols. If, however, you have any queries regarding the storage, removal and disposal of hazardous waste, contact our experts for further information.

Blog home

Add a comment