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Dealing with Hazardous waste as a business

Posted on September 04, 2018 by Andrew

If you’re a business that is handling hazardous waste, not matter the type, then it’s vital that you have an effective waste management plan put in place to tackle any problems that could occur and can cause unpleasant damage to your company. It’s something that all companies should avoid, especially when the waste can be harmful to employees and the environment.

Hazardous waste is often assumed to come in gas form, which is not true at all. Hazardous waste can be presented in many different forms, ranging from solids, liquids, and sludges and this can often lead to groundwater and surface contamination. Trace amounts of metals might also be included and taking care of these scraps of metal would not be easy. Therefore businesses would want to contract some machinery hire equipment providers to process, recycle and isolate the metals from other hazardous wastes. The British government has strict direction on how businesses should be handling this issue.

Identifying your waste
The government expects that if you’re producing or carrying hazardous waste as a business, you have a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously, and that is identifying all wastes that you come across.

When it comes to identifying your waste, you would need to consider two points to be able categorise its type: Is it harmful to humans? And is it damaging to the environment? Here is a list of the most common type of hazardous waste:

  • Solvents
  • Oils such as car oil
  • Chemicals such as brake fluid and printer toner
  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • Pesticides
  • Equipment that contains ozone depleting substances such as fridges

As a company handling waste, if you identify any of the above, you need to store them separately from other waste in order to make your premises a safe working environment for all.

Doing everything in your power to establish a safe working environment for your employees is something that every employer should strive for. Regardless of the type of business that you run, and the materials that you handle, the last thing that you want to deal with is worrying about the health and safety of your employees, especially when there are things that you can do in the first place to guarantee it. In turn, the employer should make sure that there are adequate workplace safety resources and disincentives for those who tend to violate any workplace policies that have been introduced.

So, if you are working with hazardous waste, you need to make sure that you are following all the necessary rules and regulations to ensure that you are promoting a safe environment.

Storing your waste safely
It may seem that storing your waste is an easy solution, and even easier to reduce the amount of hazardous waste you produce. But once the storing process begins, hazardous waste can be put under four different sub-categories, however these are not exclusive:

  • Agriculture
  • Demolition
  • Construction
  • Industry

You will need to store your hazardous waste in a secure area once the amount of waste your business is producing is reduced. It’s important to make sure that none of your hazardous waste escapes the containers that they have been placed in – this should be at the forefront of your mind when storing. After waste has been place its appropriate containers, it’s important to then label it accordingly so that all people who are operating near it are aware of what it is. Remember to place waterproof covers over containers to prevent any hazardous liquids running onto the floor causing a greater danger to people working in the surrounding area.

It’s crucial to have different compartments to store all types of hazardous waste. If the waste your business is producing is a liquid, you will require a bund or a barrier that can be put in place to reduce the risk of any spills or leakages. If your waste is being kept on the grounds of your business, make sure that your employees are routinely checking storage areas for any damaged containers as well as the surrounding area to make sure that they are all operating in a safe place.

It’s equally important for all employers to keep a record of all the hazardous waste that is kept on the premises and the location of its whereabouts. It is beneficial that if an incident does occur, emergency services are able to deal with the situation instantly without having to ask any unnecessary questions that could prevent them from dealing with the scenario sooner. Thus, a technology similar to a dumpster Software could prove useful for business owners to implement efficiency and a streamlined way of work.

Hazardous waste collection
Once hazardous waste has been collected and taken away from the premises, a consignment note will need to be completed. This is an important part of hazardous waste collection as business owners need to be able to account for waste that enters and leaves their business.

Consignment notes are required for hazardous waste for the following:

  • Collections from businesses that are registered waste carriers.
  • When another business has produced waste, movements from customer premises.
  • Movements from one premises to another within the same organisation.

A consignment note is not needed in the following scenarios:

  • Waste has been imported and exported under international waste shipment controls that require a different movement note.
  • The movement of domestic hazardous waste – other than asbestos.

Details of your hazardous waste
in order for waste to be removed from your premises, you will need to provide details of the waste that you want to be disposed of in your consignment note – this means that the hazardous waste handlers will be able to remove it more efficiently.

Provide a description
You need to note down all types of waste you want to be removed.

Amount of waste
When you describe the amount of waste you want to be removed, it is important that you give the weight in kilos – when it comes to hazardous liquids, you need to convert this into the appropriate volumes in order to give accurate measurements.

You need to detail the form of the waste, whether it’s a solid, liquid, gas, sludge, power or even mixed.

Consignment notes aren’t free to submit and once you’ve completed it, it will need to be paid for. The charge in England and Wales is 10 per collection. If there are multiple collections, the price is reduced to 5 for each consignment note. This charge varies across Northern Ireland and Scotland but depending on applicability the fee is around 15.

We brought you this article, teaming up with waste experts, Reconomy, who are unbeatable on 8 Yard Skip.

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