Stay Compliant: Navigating Hazardous Waste Regulations

16 May 2024
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According to Government figures, the UK produces around 4.3 million tonnes of hazardous waste every year – that’s 38.7 million 110 litre waste drums. Almost half of this (around 1.9 million tonnes) comes from commercial and industrial waste whilst construction, demolition and electronic waste makes up 0.7 million tonnes.  

Following correct disposal of hazardous waste is vital for business owners. Staying compliant protects eco-systems and habitats as it avoids toxic substances seeping into the soil and contaminating areas. It’s our duty as business owners to adhere to Government regulation to limit the damage we are doing and ensure best practice. 

Hazardous waste regulation in England

Businesses in England must comply with the regulations set out in the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005. These regulations place responsibility on organisations to ensure any hazardous waste produced or handled causes no harm or damage. 

These regulations state: 

  • Hazardous waste must be ‘recovered or disposed of without endangering human health, and without using processes or methods which could harm the environment’ 
  • Waste producers must classify their waste and store hazardous waste separately from their commercial waste 
  • Waste producers must ensure that a licensed carrier collects their waste. This means you must work with a registered company, with the appropriate environmental permits. 
  • Each time waste is collected, a consignment form must be filled out. Both the carrier and producer must keep a copy of this note 

Failure to provide evidence of this is an offence with a penalty of up to £5,000. 

How to reduce hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is any type of rubbish containing substances, materials or other properties that are harmful to humans or the environment. Some common examples of hazardous waste your business may use/have include: 

  • Batteries 
  • Chemical waste 
  • Oils 
  • Solvents and pesticides
  • Asbestos 

But there are some ways to reduce the amount of hazardous waste being produced to begin with. 

Quick Wins
Switch to non-hazardous alternatives that can be disposed of in other waste streams
Limit the number of users involved with the handling of waste to decrease amount of equipment and protective gear used
Maintain an accurate inventory by assessing the types and volumes you use to avoid over ordering
More Effort Wins
Properly train staff to use equipment safely and correctly which should reduce the need for excess cleaning and enforce strict hazardous waste storage and disposal policy focused on cutting back waste
Conduct regular maintenance by checking systems, equipment and infrastructure. Keep an eye out for any leaks/spills and apply fixes

How Zest Recycle can help

At Zest Recycle, we provide a full hazardous waste disposal service that covers identifying, packing, labelling, transporting and disposing of all types of hazardous waste. We identify the most environmentally compliant and cost-effective route for all hazardous waste, aiming to recycle, recover treat or reuse where possible. 

We provide a national service across all towns and cities throughout the UK. 

Along with this, we can help train staff on the hazardous waste regulations, the importance of compliance and the active steps they need to take to follow best practice. We provide educational tools such as waste stream posters, bin stickers and information posters including recycling facts, the waste hierarchy and tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle. 

Talk to the Zest Recycle team

At Zest Recycle, we deliver tailored resource management solutions which focus on industry best practice to ensure our clients are environmental leaders in their sector. 

Why not Start Fresh and talk to us today about your hazardous waste requirements? We know hazardous waste much better than your average waste management firm with our sister company Windsor Waste Management, a market leader in the hazardous waste industry. 

If you need our support or advice on hazardous waste management, including the most up to date regulation, we’re just a phone call away. Contact us here. 

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