Hazardous waste can be a minefield for waste producers and management alike. With reams of legislation having been passed by both the British and European parliaments, it is of vital legal – and environmental – importance that its disposal is properly managed.
Here’s a quick outline of the steps you need to take if you think you might be handling hazardous waste clearance, and where you can find more information about your responsibilities.
What is hazardous waste?
Hazardous waste is any waste that can be considered harmful to human health or the environment. In practical terms, it is defined and classified by legislation. If you think any waste is or could be hazardous, you should be able to isolate and identify a unique classification and corresponding code on this list.
If you are unsure as to whether the waste being produced is safe, it is often best to assume it is not and treat it accordingly.
How do I dispose of hazardous waste?
Most businesses dealing with hazardous waste will be waste producers – people who create waste in the day to day workings of their businesses, which is eventually passed on to waste collection services like Skip It. As waste producers, you’re unlikely to be responsible for the eventual destination of the waste, but there are still certain responsibilities to which you are legally required to adhere.
Firstly, it’s important to ensure that everything potentially hazardous is properly recorded and classified. This information should be passed on to the waste carrier once your waste has been cleared.
Here is an outline of the information you should pass on to the waste collector:
- The waste classification code, which can be defined by the European Waste Catalogue.
- The business or premises where the waste was produced.
- The name of the waste substance.
- The process by which the waste was produced.
- A chemical and physical analysis of the waste product.
- Special problems or requirements of the waste product.
Mixing hazardous waste
The most important thing to remember is that anything defined as hazardous waste cannot be mixed with any other type of hazardous waste, or any type of non-hazardous waste. In practice, that means individual items of waste should be packaged, classified and recorded separately.
Items can be stored in the same vehicle or container as long as they cannot cross-contaminate each other or any other substances.
What else do I need to know about dealing with hazardous waste?
You should ensure that you keep records on any hazardous waste for at least three years after it has been cleared. You should also fill out a consignment note, of which two copies should be given to the waste collector, and one kept for your records.
Hazardous waste must only be collected by authorised waste collection services, which are registered by the government, and hold environmental permits that allow them to dispose of the materials responsibly.
Here at Skip It, we are able to deal with certain types of hazardous waste, depending on the individual circumstances of your business and the process by which the waste was produced. We’ll always let you know what we can and can’t take and be upfront with you about our services.
Contact Skip It today to find out more about how we can help you handle your hazardous waste and everything else you might need to know about our business waste collection services.