Nuclear SignHazardous waste is anything that is could be dangerous to human health or to the environment, if not disposed of properly. While dangerous waste only accounts for a very small percentage of waste produced, it still has the potential to cause harm if not managed correctly. Strict controls apply from the point of waste production to its recovery and disposal, which are outlined in the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005, and the 2009 amendments.

Commercial Hazardous Waste

Most businesses produce some sort of dangerous waste, and they have a legal Duty of Care to ensure that any waste they produce is managed properly, by themselves and by others.

The type of commercial waste containing dangerous substances varies greatly depending on the nature of the business and can include the following:

•    Construction and Demolition Waste – including unused, unset concrete, asbestos, treated wood, coal tar and tarred products, metals contaminated with asbestos, oil or other hazardous coatings, and contaminated soil, glass or plastic.
•    Chemicals and Contaminated Packaging – including acids, solvents, alkalines, adhesives, toner, photochemicals, pesticides and herbicides, aerosols, gas bottles, solvent or oil based paints and unrinsed packaging with traces of chemical substances.
•    Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment – including fluorescent and energy-saving light bulbs, batteries, fridges and freezers, TVs, computer monitors, laptops and notebooks, lead acid or Ni-Cd batteries, and electrical devices containing oil, fuel, lead acid or Ni-Cd batteries, fluorescent tubes or asbestos.
•    Vehicle Waste – including waste vehicles, oil, petrol, diesel, lead acid batteries, oil filters, anti-freeze and brake fluid.

Domestic Hazardous Waste

Domestic residents do not have responsibilities under the Hazardous Waste Regulations. However, many of the products used in the home for cleaning, vehicle maintenance and gardening contain dangerous substances and should not be thrown into the general household waste.  

Items include:

•    Car batteries
•    Ni-Cd Batteries
•    Certain waste electrical products, including fridges, freezers, computers and TVs
•    Oil and solvent based varnishes, paints, and paint strippers
•    Oil and oil filters
•    Cleaning products, including bleach
•    Fluorescent and energy-saving light bulbs
•    Aerosols
•    Building materials containing asbestos.

Contractors working at a domestic premises producing or collecting hazardous waste have a legal Duty of Care for any waste they produce and it’s their responsibility to separate and dispose of it correctly.

Skip Hire

Every commercial premises that produces waste must be registered with the Environment Agency, should appoint a registered hazardous waste carrier, and ensure that it’s disposed of correctly by a licensed waste management organisation.

Many skip hire companies offer a specialist hazardous waste collection and disposal service. They will ensure that your premises are registered, that all waste is disposed of safely, and that the necessary paperwork is in order.

Please note that it is illegal to dispose of waste containing dangerous substances into a general waste skip. If hazardous waste is found in a general skip, the skip company reserves the right to refuse to collect the waste, remove the dangerous waste and leave it on your premises, or charge an additional handling fee.

If you have any queries regarding the storage, removal and disposal of hazardous waste, contact your local skip hire company for further details.

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