How important are planning procedures for disposing of hazardous waste?

How important are planning procedures for disposing of hazardous waste?

 

Putting processes in place to properly dispose of waste made by your business is an important element to consider when assembling your business plan. For many companies this will only involve the disposal of general waste and recycling but for some, hazardous waste presents a particular obstacle. Here we will look at how tackling these processes in your business plan will help your business meet legal requirements.

What is hazardous waste?

By law, businesses who produce hazardous waste have a responsibility to discard of such waste in a legal manner. This type of responsibility is also known as the business’s duty of care, and applies to producers and/or holders, carriers and consignees of the waste. However, hazardous waste comes in many forms, which can present a wide variety of challenges for businesses. As a rule of thumb, hazardous waste is any kind of waste which can cause harm to an individual or the environment. Examples of such can include: asbestos, chemicals, batteries and oils.

Although the process of storing and collecting hazardous waste may be influenced by the size of your business, by law it does not matter how large or small your company may be, it is your duty of care to dispose of it responsibly. Being aware of the type of waste you produce is the first step to laying out an effective plan for its disposal. Closely considering these processes in your business plan is a great place to start.

The process of disposing of hazardous waste

As there is such a vast range of hazardous waste types, there is not one universal process for disposing of it. There are however certain steps every business has to take by law to ensure they are disposing legally. Firstly, a business must classify whether their waste is hazardous to confirm they must take subsequent precautions. Next, the business must separate and store hazardous waste safely, so they do not contaminate any other general waste.

The business must then organise the collection, recycling or disposal of the hazardous waste by an authorised, registered waste carrier. These carriers are registered by the local environmental agency. As proof of collection, the business must then fill out the applicable sections of a consignment note, keeping one copy for themselves and handing the other to the carrier, keeping records of the collection at the business for three years.

It is important to note that both the carriers and the consignees- the company which receives your waste, have their own specific steps to obey the law. In light of such strict regulations and hefty fines as a consequence of breaking them, taking time to consider how your business will tackle such hazardous waste is extremely important. Have you considered whether this type of waste requires a specialist to separate it? How will you store this waste? How will you ensure it will not contaminate other waste? Keeping a record of stored waste is a good way to track the volume on the premises. The most important consideration however, should be how your business will take steps towards reducing the amount of hazardous waste it produces.

Disposal processes should be considered in your business plan. If you would like help with putting together your plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.

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