How to safely dispose of hazardous manufacturing waste

Whatever size of business you operate, part of your duty of care to the public is to dispose of any hazardous waste responsibly. Producers, carriers and receivers of waste, whether for recycling or disposal, all have to follow the legal guidelines.

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1.      Classify your waste

The hazardous waste section of the government’s website has a list of the materials that constitute hazardous waste. They include the ones that everyone knows about such as asbestos or pesticides. But they also include some that may come as a surprise to smaller manufacturing businesses – for example, laser printer toner and batteries. So check the list to make sure you know what hazardous waste your business produces.

2.      Store hazardous waste separately

As the Health And Safety Executive (HSE) makes clear, hazardous and non-hazardous waste must not be mixed together. The hazardous waste must be separated out and stored apart from the rest.

This is where sack tip equipment can be useful, as it allows for more accurate tipping of separated waste items.

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3.      Get the waste collected by an authorised business

You must get hazardous waste picked up by a business that is registered and approved for this activity. You have to fill in a consignment note and give two copies to the waste collector, keeping one copy for yourself.

4.      Keep records for three years

You need to keep the records of the waste you disposed of for three years and the documentation must be kept at the same place as the waste was produced or stored. The records should include your copy of the consignment note and any returns that you get from the waste collector. Where there was more than one carrier for the waste you may have a carrier schedule showing the different carriers. Also keep any extra records – for example, if the load is rejected, you need to keep all the documentation concerning it. For a rejected load, you need to consult the further government guidelines about what you should do next.

Businesses that transport or process waste have further rules that they must abide by.

The best course to follow is to audit your hazardous waste management process to make sure it is fit for purpose, document any changes then adopt this process as a “business as usual” regular procedure.