Hazardous Waste Information
Hazardous waste is any waste that is classed as harmful to humans or the environment. It can cover a whole range of different waste types from domestic and commercial to industrial and is one of the most difficult problems we now face. Toxic waste created by industry, clinical waste handled by hospitals and health centres and the hazardous waste produced by your average high street business all has to be disposed of securely.
Disposing of hazardous waste safely has given rise to a number of different industries, primarily developed to handle diverse elements such as toxic and chemical waste as well as the hazardous components which can be found in our domestic TVs.
Types of Hazardous Waste
Pick any product in your home and the chances are that it has some component that is officially designated as hazardous waste. That could include anything from the cleaning products in your kitchen and the DIY paints you have just purchased to computer screens and even your mobile phone. Commercial enterprises, of course, handle a much more diverse range of hazardous waste including flammable liquids, toxic substances and just a few chemicals that when combined are likely to explode.
Find out more about types of hazardous waste.
Disposal of Hazardous Waste
The disposal of hazardous waste is a specialist area and needs the tight regulation provided by EU directives and UK law. For domestic properties, most of the hazardous waste is handled by councils who collect and sort it and try to use their limited resources to make sure that it is disposed of sustainably and safely. Businesses will tend to use private contractors and methods of disposal can range from incineration to separation using centrifuges or low and high heat thermal desorption.
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Hazardous Waste Management
As with all other forms of disposal, hazardous waste management operates under the waste hierarchy which means that all businesses must first try to prevent producing the waste, then find ways to reuse and repurpose that waste, and next send suitable waste for recycling and other methods of recovery. It is only as a last resort that hazardous waste should end up in an incinerator or, in very exceptional circumstances, going to landfill.
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Hazardous Waste Equipment
There is a wide range of equipment that is designed specifically to handle hazardous waste storage and eventual disposal. This can be anything from safety equipment such as overalls, gloves, hoods and goggles, to the huge machines and incinerators that process and destroy any harmful waste. Much depends on the classification of hazardous waste and there are different methods and regulatory constraints for each but it’s an industry that is developing quite quickly.
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Legislation and Hazardous Waste
There is plenty of legislation relating to hazardous waste and most of it applies to commercial and industrial enterprises. This includes the fact that there is a duty of care to handle hazardous waste according to your legal requirements. While businesses need to follow the waste hierarchy, they also need to be aware of their responsibilities such as identifying hazardous waste, providing adequate storage for it and ensuring there is a clear audit trail of disposal. For homes there is less legal regulation but we all need to be aware of products and household items that re actually considered as hazardous.
Find out more about legislation and hazardous waste.
Hazardous Waste Services
There has been a huge growth in hazardous waste services in recent years. This has, in part, been driven by our desire to find more sustainable ways of disposing of our rubbish. The different types of hazardous waste have changed too. It’s not just about chemicals and toxic substances, nowadays, there are smaller components in products such as fluorescent tubes and televisions and fridges that are also now deemed as hazardous. If you are business and you are looking for a reliable and licensed hazardous waste service in your area, you can check out our comprehensive database of contractors.
Find out more about hazardous waste services.