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    How to effectively deal with hazardous waste

    If your company
    produces or stores hazardous waste, then it is your responsibility to ensure it
    is stored and handled correctly. Of course, if this type of waste is mishandled
    or poorly stored, it has the potential to damage both the environment and
    people. In particular, hazardous waste can contaminate surface water supplies
    and groundwater supplies, which in turn can lead to a much wider-reaching
    problem.

    It’s understandable
    then, that the UK government has strict policies in place regarding the
    monitoring and transport of potentially harmful material. Together with
    Reconomy, waste management experts, we’ve produced this guide to help you
    make sure your duty of care is being carried out correctly.

    Identifying different types of waste

    If you produce or
    store hazardous waste on-site, you must identify the waste type in order to
    correctly handle it. There are two main conditions that define different
    hazardous waste types — the potential to harm humans, or the potential to
    damage the environment.

    Some common examples
    of hazardous waste include asbestos, batteries, oils, brake fluid, printer
    toner, and pesticides.

    Of course, there are
    many other hazardous waste products that could be identified on your site. It
    is important to know the different types of hazardous waste your company
    creates, as they need storing separately. For example, if you are working on a
    construction site, you cannot throw hazardous material in the same standard 8
    yard skip you have for general waste and rubble — each type of hazardous waste
    needs its own container.

    Safe storage for hazardous waste
    material

    Naturally, the best
    way to manage hazardous waste is to reduce the amount you are producing. But
    for some companies, hazardous waste products are an unavoidable part of the
    process for their industry. In this instance, the waste must be stored,
    recorded, then correctly transported.

    There are four main
    subcategories for hazardous waste: construction, demolition, industry, and
    agriculture. Each type should be separately stored in a container designed to
    stop anything escaping. To prevent contamination, make use of waterproof covers
    to avoid any run off from the waste. Be sure that the containers are clearly
    labelled so that everyone on-site is aware of what they are storing.

    A classified inventory
    of your hazardous waste stored on-site is also vital. These records will help
    in the case of an incident, as emergency services will be able to quickly
    attend to the problem armed with the right information.

    Record-keeping

    Once your hazardous
    waste is collected, you will need to fill out a consignment note. This needs to
    be done before the waste is removed from your site.

    Consignment notes
    require the following information:

    • A full
      description of each type of waste that is being collected.
    • The
      amount, in applicable measurement units, of waste being collected.
    • The
      chemical components of the waste.
    • The form
      of the waste (solid, liquid, gas, etc.)

    You need to fill out a
    consignment note if the collection is from a business that is a registered
    waste carrier, or if the waste is being moved from one premises to another
    within the same company. You will also need a consignment note if another
    business has produced the waste on a customer site and it needs moving.

    You do not need a
    consignment note is the waste has been imported and is covered by other
    documentation, or for domestic hazardous waste (except asbestos).

    Finally, there is a
    fee to pay for the consignment note. In England and Wales, this fee is £10 for
    a collection, or £5 per note if it is part of a milk round of collections. In
    Scotland and Norther Ireland, the fee is £15.

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