Even if you don’t know it, most businesses produce some degree of hazardous waste. But did you know that it can be collected and recycled just like other waste streams?
When it comes to waste it’s not always easy to tell which items are and aren’t hazardous. If you’re busy running your business, it’s likely that waste isn’t your top priority.However, disposing of hazardous waste in the wrong way can have significant consequences that could result in a fine or even a custodial sentence. As such, it is vitally important that any hazardous waste produced by your business is dealt with in the correct manner. If you aren’t 100% sure what constitutes hazardous waste, now’s the time to read on…
Hazardous waste is defined as a waste stream that has the potential to be harmful due to properties that could be damaging to our health or the environment. As such, protective guidelines entitled ‘the Hazardous Waste Regulations’ are in place to ensure waste items of this type are properly disposed of. In 2005 the guidelines were widened to bring everyday items, including computer monitors, TVs, fluorescent tubes and other electrical items under the scope of the requirements. In light of this, it is obvious that all manner of businesses are now likely to produce some form of hazardous waste.
Disposing of this waste stream can be dangerous and it requires skill and expertise to do the job properly. There are also many regulations and reporting requirements that need to be adhered to. Choosing a waste provider that can offer a fully audited hazardous waste collection service alongside your regular waste and recycling arrangements has many benefits.
As well as the convenience and time saving element of only dealing with one provider, one point of contact, and one waste report, there is also the potential for cost saving and discounted rates. Furthermore, many businesses do not realise that even hazardous waste can have a second life. Companies such as Cawleys make it their business to reclaim, re-use and recycle as much of the waste they collect as possible, and this extends to hazardous waste streams. Of course, recycling dangerous items is a tricky business but Cawleys have first class expertise in this area and many years of experience.
Corporate and Social responsibility is becoming increasingly important to businesses and their customers, and if your business can demonstrate its commitment to the circular economy (even with waste that is deemed to be dangerous) it shows a commitment to sound environmental practices that can be publicised for your organisation’s benefit.
So, what exactly constitutes hazardous waste?
Hazardous waste varies enormously so it’s no surprise that some businesses aren’t aware of the recycling possibilities associated with each stream. Items include
- WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment)
- Bulk liquid disposal
- Sewage collection & disposal
- Interceptor & gully cleaning
- Heavy industrial cleaning
- Lithium battery disposal
Often considered a difficult and sometimes confusing element of the waste industry, the collection of hazardous waste needs a specialist approach. ADR qualified drivers with technical expertise is a must.
Second-life for Haz
Surprisingly to some, hazardous waste has many recycling options. Take WEEE goods for example, it is now a legal requirement to recycle items of this type. Businesses are no longer allowed to dispose of such items in their general waste. As such, all items of redundant or damaged WEEE equipment need to be recycled. Specialists will dismantle the items and extract all of the usable elements and components to put back into the supply chain. Precious metals, plastics and even electrical components from a PCB board can have a useful second life without the need to place a drain on raw resources. Other items that wouldn’t usually be thought of as suitable for recycling such as bulk liquid wastes are often treated for the water content to be put back into water cycle which is especially true of sewage, interceptor and some plant effluent liquid wastes. This is a highly regulated area of business and if your business is producing waste of this type it is vital it works with an experienced and competent waste management supplier.
Whether your business is large or small, now is the ideal time to review your waste management and recycling arrangements. Many companies offer a free waste audit but very few can offer the complete solution from just one provider. Cawleys is one such company that can offer competitive rates and a one-stop shop approach to waste, discover more at Cawleys.co.uk