• Nico Perez

Your Guide on Hazardous Waste

What is Hazardous Waste?

Waste that is harmful to either humans or the environment is classified as hazardous waste. Common examples of hazardous waste include asbestos, chemicals such as printer or brake fluid, batteries, solvents, machinery oils, fridges, aerosols. The waste should still be classified as hazardous even when it doesn't pose an immediate threat to the environment or humans.

Storing Hazardous Waste

You should place your bins above ground in an easy to access location for business but out of site from the public. Bins should should be be fitted with a locking mechanism of some sort so that the lid remains closed in adverse weather conditions and local wildlife cannot access the bins contents.

Hazardous Waste Collection

Be sure to add your collection day into you calendar so you know to fully empty your business premise into the hazardous waste bin before collection. Additionally, if your business is located away from the road access, do place your bin in a convenient location for your waste management service provider.

Your responsibilities

As directed by the UK government, you must follow the following steps if you are a producer or holder of hazardous waste .

  1. You must identify and classify your waste before you send it for recycling or disposal. This ensures that your waste collection service provider can in fact properly service your waste. Your waste contractor will provide you with a waste transfer or consignment note. This will include the following:

  • the waste classification code, also referred to as LoW (List of Waste) or EWC (European Waste Catalogue) code - classification codes for common types of waste are in the relevant parts of this guidance

  • whether it’s hazardous or POPs waste

  • the type of premises or business where the waste was produced

  • the name of the substance or substances

  • the process that produced the waste

  • a chemical and physical analysis of the waste and its components

  • any special problems, requirements or knowledge related to the waste

2. Separate and store hazardous waste safely. You must not mix different types of hazardous waste together. For example you do not want to put a lighter and aerosol in the same bin. Bundle the same types of hazardous substances together.

3. Use authorised businesses to collect, recycle or dispose of your hazardous waste – check that waste carriers are registered and waste sites have environmental permits.

4. Fill in the consignment note for all the relevant parts. Keep a copy for yourself and give 2 copies to your waste service provider.

5. Keep all relevant documents relating to the waste for at least 3 years. This will protect you in the event of an unfortunate environmental leak or any damages to persons.

Classifying your waste

In most instances the packaging on the waste will indicate what type of hazardous waste it is and so you'll know how to store once used. If not please take a look at the waste classification guide published by the UK government.

Accidental Release

In the unfortunate event that your hazardous waste leaks out from the self contained storage area, notify the local council and your waste collector immediately. Do not try and clean the spillage up yourself. You will likely not have the necessary cleaning equipment to deal with the spillage and so it is far safer to await additional help.