Are you aware of the hazardous waste regulations UK companies are required to follow?
Any company or organisation that produces waste which can be considered hazardous is required to adhere to hazardous waste disposal regulations, and failure to do so can result in some heavy fines, as well as injuries or even death.
You can find a basic hazardous waste regulations summary here, but for those who want a plain English, no-nonsense explanation, we’ve decided to put together this easy to understand guide.
Let’s take a look:
Hazardous Waste Compliance Guide
The first thing to be aware of is whether or not you are required to register with the government.
If you produce less than 500kg of hazardous waste per year, then no official action is required and you are able to manage your waste in any manner you see fit (within reason).
However, Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 state that any company or organisation that produces over 500kg per year of hazardous waste is required to register online as a hazardous waste producer in order to ensure that your waste disposal is being properly managed.
Why Is This So Important?
As a business owner or executive, you have something known as a “duty of care” to your employees, as well as customers and other visitors to your organisation.
Improper management of hazardous waste can lead to long term sickness and disease, illness, injuries, and even deaths.
If such a thing occurs in your workplace as a result of mismanagement of dangerous waste, you will be held responsible, something that could well end your business forever.
What is Considered Hazardous Waste?
This term can be used to describe any waste materials or substances that can be a danger to humans, animals or the environment.
- Pesticides, herbicides, and other dangerous chemicals
- Certain previously used chemical substances such as motor oil, brake fluid and used printer toner cartridges
- Batteries or battery acid
- Expired drugs and medication
- Old damaged equipment with dangerous internal parts such as fridges
This is generally considered a different issue to dangerous healthcare waste such as sharps disposal, but is equally as crucial.
Hazardous Waste Management Guide
If you produce or hold waste that could be considered dangerous, but are unsure if you are compliant (or required to be), the best way to determine what you should do is to follow these steps:
- First, compare your waste to a list of different types of waste to determine whether it is considered hazardous.
- If it is, and you produce (or hold) over 500kg of it per year, you need to register as discussed above (Hazardous waste regulations 2016)
- From here, you need to set up a process to keep hazardous waste separate from your regular waste and ensure it is properly contained (Hazardous waste regulations 2015)
- Find a trustworthy supplier of waste disposal services or clinical waste disposal services to handle your collections.
- Keep all records and consignment notes for 3 years
Hazardous Waste Disposal Experts
As the UK’s leading provider of hazardous waste collection, management and disposal, phs is able to manage all of this for you, ensuring all regulations are followed and allowing you to focus on the day to day operations of your business.
With operations centres and experienced staff all across the UK, we’re your local service provider, no matter where you are!To learn more about how we can manage your hazardous waste disposal and leave your workplace a safe, clean and welcoming environment, get in touch now!
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