Many companies produce hazardous waste like cleaning chemicals, fluorescent tubes and clinical waste. If your business creates hazardous waste, then you must know how to dispose of it safely and in line with the relevant waste regulations.
Are you unsure how to dispose of hazardous waste in your workplace?
We’ve put this article together to tell you everything you need to know about hazardous waste removal, including why it’s important and how you can arrange professional hazardous waste disposal services for your business.
What is hazardous waste?
According to GOV.UK: “Waste is generally considered hazardous if it (or the material or substances it contains) are harmful to humans or the environment.”
Here are some common examples of hazardous waste that businesses produce:
- Clinical waste
- Oils such as car oil
- Hazardous containers e.g. paint cans
- Chemicals e.g. cleaning solutions or print toner
Hazardous waste is often associated with the construction and manufacturing industries, but many types of businesses produce hazardous waste.
You can visit the GOV.UK website or contact the Environmental Agency to check whether your waste is classed as hazardous.
Why is hazardous waste removal important?
Many types of hazardous waste present an immediate health hazard to anyone who comes into contact with it. Hazardous substances like chemicals can cause sickness, injuries and even fatalities.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency: “Hazardous substances may irritate the skin or eyes, cause headaches and nausea, or make it difficult to breathe.” Some hazardous materials can cause severe health conditions including cancer and birth defects.
Hazardous waste also has a significant impact on the planet as it can cause severe pollution if it’s not contained and dealt with properly. Hazardous substances can make their way into waterways, soil, or even the air and harm plants and wildlife.
Millions of tonnes of hazardous waste are produced in the UK every year and this waste must be disposed of correctly.
How should I dispose of hazardous waste?
You can instruct an authorised waste carrier to collect and dispose of your hazardous waste. They will be responsible for your hazardous waste once it leaves your premises and will ensure that it is disposed of safely and in line with the relevant waste regulations.
You can compare hazardous waste disposal companies online and find a provider local to you. Make sure you choose a company that is registered and has environmental permits on their waste sites.
How should hazardous waste be stored in the workplace?
Hazardous waste must be stored safely and securely until it is collected by a waste disposal company. Here are some tips on how to store hazardous waste in the workplace:
- Place hazardous waste in suitable containers that are leak-proof and tamper-proof.
- Place labels on hazardous waste containers clearly stating what they contain.
- Store hazardous waste in a secure location.
Don’t forget that you are prohibited from mixing hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste or another type of hazardous waste. This means you must keep hazardous waste separate and you cannot place it in your general waste bins.
If you want to mix hazardous waste, then you must apply for an environmental permit. Click here to learn more about hazardous waste segregation and mixing.
Who is responsible for hazardous waste cleaning?
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) states that employers have a legal duty to carry out a risk assessment for any hazardous materials on-site. Failing to comply with the hazardous waste disposal regulations can lead to hefty fines and even prosecution.
These rules are in place to protect employees and other visitors from the risks associated with potentially hazardous substances in the workplace.
How can Ultima help?
At Ultima, we have many years of experience providing hazardous waste disposal in London and throughout the UK. Our fully regulated hazardous waste services include chemical waste removal, asbestos removal, waste electrical clearance (WEEE) and paint waste disposal.
Trust the hazardous waste cleaning experts
To maintain our excellent industry standards, we are part of the NACSC (National Association of Crime Scene Cleaners) programme. This provides our employees with in-depth training on hazardous waste removal and maintains our reputation as one of the leading hazardous waste disposal companies in the UK.
Having NACSC accreditation means that you can have complete confidence in the skills and expertise of our cleaning experts.
Hazardous waste disposal London
Our specialist team has been providing hazardous waste disposal services in London and nationwide for more than 20 years.
We can arrange regular hazardous waste removal from your facility or provide urgent assistance in an emergency involving hazardous materials.