There are various waste classifications in the United Kingdom, as waste comes from different materials that include soil and other construction waste, plastic packaging, electronic waste, and more. If you are running a business that deals with hazardous materials, there is a specific way of handling this kind of waste as well, depending on its composition and structure. Under the law, you are required to follow the proper handling of hazardous waste, and you should, therefore, know the classifications of hazardous waste and how to deal with it correctly. Here’s how best to deal with hazardous waste if you are a business in the UK.
As a business, you have a special duty of care regarding the handling of hazardous waste and must make sure that when you handle or produce hazardous waste, it does not cause any damage or harm. There are other requirements based on whether you are a waste holder or producer, a waste carrier (you both collect as well as transport or transfer waste), or a waste consignee (your business receives waste for either disposal or recycling).
Is your business waste hazardous?
Of course, you should first determine if your business waste is hazardous. Generally speaking, waste is classified as dangerous if the waste or its substance or material content can cause harm to the environment or humans. There are many examples of hazardous waste, but some of the most common examples include asbestos, batteries, pesticides, solvents, chemicals like print toners or brake fluids, oils that are not edible (like car oil), equipment which contains substances which can deplete the ozone, such as refrigerators, and waste containers which are hazardous.
If you produce or hold hazardous waste:
If you produce, store, or hold hazardous waste, you should first separate as well as store the waste in a safe manner. You should also make use of an authorised business which can collect, dispose of, or recycle your business’ hazardous waste. For this, you should check if your waste carrier is registered and if their waste site has an environmental permit. You should also have a consignment note and fill it in correctly. Once it is filled in, make two copies and give one to your waste carrier and keep another for your records. Make sure that you keep a register (a record of your consignment notes and returns) for at least three years at your premises which store or produce the hazardous waste.
If you move your business waste or you collect as well as transport waste:
If you collect and transport waste or you handle and transport your business waste, you must first apply to be a waste carrier. You should then make sure the waste is correctly classified and then separated when you are loading it for transport. You should then fill in all consignment notes correctly and keep one copy while giving another copy to the holder or producer. The destination of the waste must be an authorised site, and you should also keep your records or register for at least a year.
If you are a consignee:
If you are a consignee and your business receives, treats, or disposes of hazardous waste, you need to acquire an environmental permit. You should also assess the consignment note and the dangerous waste before accepting it and make sure that it is correctly classified. If the consignment note is incorrect, incomplete, or missing, do not accept the waste. You are also responsible for sending a consignee return to the Environment Agency as well as the waste holder or producer to report on the hazardous waste you reject and accept.
Whether you are a waste producer or holder, carrier, or consignee, you should know how to handle hazardous waste properly. You can also make your duties easier by taking advantage of special machinery such as a picking station, a trommel screen, a shredder, a density separator, and more.
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