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How To Manage Your Business's Hazardous Waste

If your business produces hazardous waste, you need to have a sturdy waste management plan in place. 

What Is Hazardous Waste?

All businesses produce waste, but not all of them produce hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is, according to the UK Government, waste that is harmful to humans or the environment. This is quite a broad term, and it's not always clear exactly what kind of waste this includes, so read on to find out exactly what qualifies. 

How Do You Manage Hazardous Waste?

Managing hazardous waste involves gathering and processing materials classified as hazardous. Specialised teams and equipment need to be used to minimise the harm done to both human health and the environment.

 

The management of hazardous waste is costly but extremely important. There are several laws in place to ensure that businesses deal with it properly; whether your business is small or large, you need to make sure you remain within the strict guidelines as not doing so could result in legal action. 

Classifying Your Waste

Before your waste can be sent off for disposal, you need to fill in some paperwork that describes its nature. This will include what the waste is, where it was produced, and a chemical analysis of its components. 

 

You will usually be able to see if your waste is hazardous from the waste code associated with it but, if not, you can check the Government's technical guidance on waste management. 

 

If the waste your business produces is hazardous, you need to make sure that the company or individual responsible for disposing of it is equipped to do so. Not all waste management companies can deal with hazardous waste, so you need to work with one that does. Here are some examples:

 

  • Asbestos
  • Chemicals
  • Batteries
  • Solvents
  • Pesticides

 

If you are unsure about whether the waste your business produces is classed as hazardous, you need to check before you send it for disposal. This means that anyone who deals with it can do so properly. 

Hazardous Waste Regulations

You need to be aware of your obligations regarding hazardous waste management; as a small business owner, you probably can't afford to make any mistakes. 

 

There are various regulations your business must adhere to if it keeps hazardous waste on-site, not the least of which is the requirement to register your business as a 'hazardous waste producer' with the Government. Other rules stipulate how you should collect, store, and label your waste. 

 

First and foremost is the requirement for your business to do everything it can to prevent the production of waste, and any waste you produce must not exceed the maximum capacity of your site. Your hazardous waste must not be mixed with other types of waste, and be stored in appropriate containers. 

 

You should familiarise yourself with these rules, as well as the full list on the Government's website. Sticking to them will mean that you're able to keep your business, employees, and the surrounding environment safe as well as avoid any penalties for hazardous waste mismanagement. 

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FAQs

Your Questions Answered

The UK's current hazardous waste regulations were first introduced in 2005; the regulations set out the rules and procedures that need to be followed when dealing with hazardous waste. The rules mean that hazardous waste is categorised, kept, moved, and disposed of properly.

 

It's important that your business follows the rules; doing so means you're able to keep your employees and the environment safe, as well as avoid any tough penalties for hazardous waste mismanagement. 

Hazardous waste is defined as waste which poses a potential risk to human health or the environment. This is why it needs to be handled and managed correctly and according to law. Any waste that falls into the following categories is hazardous: 

 

  • Carcinogenic
  • Corrosive
  • Explosive
  • Flammable
  • Infectious
  • Oxidising

You need to be licensed to dispose of commercial hazardous waste. As an alternative to this, many small businesses use waste management companies that take your waste for disposal. If you are unsure if your waste is classed as hazardous, you need to check before you send it for disposal. 

 

If you want to find out more about the companies that can take care of disposal, read our guide on some of the UK's top waste management companies. 

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Confidential Waste Disposal: Why You Need to Get it Right

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Different Types of Commercial Waste

Every business and household produces waste but, unlike your domestic waste, your commercial waste demands special attention, and understanding how to handle each type of waste is one of the most important, and often overlooked, parts of responsible business practices.Common Types of Commercial WasteKnowing how to categorise the different types of commercial waste you produce could prove crucial in implementing responsible waste management in your business.  By taking a proactive approach to commercial waste management, businesses like yours can reduce their environmental impact and potentially cut down on waste disposal costs. Common types of commercial waste include:

Five Ways to Keep Your Business Green

How a Green Approach Benefits Your BusinessIn an era of increasing environmental concerns, businesses must prioritise sustainable practices and reduce their carbon footprint.  By embracing green initiatives, companies like yours can contribute to a healthier planet while enjoying numerous benefits, including lower costs and a positive brand image. In this article, we'll explore five practical ways to keep your business green and environmentally responsible.