Hazardous Waste Services
Over the last couple of decades, since we began to move away from sending our waste automatically to landfill, services for disposing of our huge amounts of rubbish have grown and diversified. There are now a large number of specialist hazardous waste services that are available for commercial and industrial sectors. These are all bound by current legislation that govern the safe disposal of this kind of waste.
For home waste, some of which nowadays contains hazardous components, local councils have the responsibility and duty of care to sort and process as much as their resources allow. While provision varies across cities and towns as well as counties, depending on the facilities, most councils nowadays have recycling and hazardous waste handling measures in place. This may well require the homeowner to take potentially hazardous waste to specialist handling sites or having focused collections for specific types of waste. If you think you have hazardous waste then it is a good idea to check on your council’s web site for information about how they handle it.
Commercial Waste Services
The onus is on businesses to have the appropriate waste handling measures in place according to current EU directives and hazardous waste legislation. If your company produces large amounts of hazardous waste, then you will need to contact a specialist service that can handle it for you. This also needs to include making sure you have a clearly defined audit trail with all the right paperwork.
You have a responsibility to:
- Segregate and store waste properly.
- Choose a hazardous waste handling service that is licensed to carry out this kind of work.
- Ensure that where the hazardous waste ends up is also licensed to handle that kind of material.
Choosing a Hazardous Waste Service
As with any service, it is important to make sure you do your research. There’s a lot more at stake than just losing money – if you choose a service to handle your hazardous waste and get it wrong then you could be liable for prosecution and criminal conviction. This comes down to the duty of care you have by law to dispose of your waste, including hazardous waste, responsibly. The questions you need to ask include:
- What in your business constitutes hazardous waste?
- Where are you going to store this waste and what containers do you need?
- How often is your hazardous waste service going to remove this waste?
- What licenses does the hazardous waste service have for performing this work?
- Where is the hazardous waste being sent to?
- Is it registered to handle this waste and how do they process it?
Waste carriers and those who handle waste must be registered and failure to be licensed can lead to a fine of up to £5,000 and in some cases criminal prosecution. Those who handle hazardous waste will be classed as upper tier waste carrier which carries with it more responsibilities for safe disposal. All these services should keep accurate records of the waste they collect including consignment notes and other related documents such as carrier schedules and whether loads have been rejected for any reason. Those who handle waste in a central processing plant or for the purposes of recycling and so on, need to have a permit for handling that particular type of waste.
A big part of tracking the disposal and management of hazardous waste is the use of consignment notes that detail the type of waste being carried and where it is going to end up and be processed. This paperwork involves a number of people in the waste disposal process, all of whom have to complete part of the documentation:
- The producer
- The holder (someone who stores the waste)
- The carrier (the person who picks up and transports the waste)
- The consignor (the person who hands the waste to the carrier)
- The consignee (the person who receives the waste for recycling or disposal)
Finding a waste disposal service that meets your needs does require a significant amount of research and you should not take companies vying for your business at face value. It is important to check their processes and obtain a copy of their licenses so that you know that your hazardous waste is being disposed of correctly.
You can search for hazardous waste collectors in your area on contractor database.