Businesses that operate with hazardous waste need to make sure they are associated with a waste management company to help them get rid of their waste in a safe manner. When hazardous waste is improperly handled, it can be harmful to human health and environmental safety.

Whether the hazardous waste that your business produces is solid or liquid, it can result in groundwater supplies becoming contaminated. The UK government stipulates strict guidance on how to monitor and implement an effective hazardous waste solution.

What type of waste?

The British government have declared that businesses producing this type of waste now have a responsibility to handle it in the best way possible.

When looking at hazardous waste, we need to determine whether this is harmful to humans or the environment. There are many examples of hazardous waste, but the most common include the following:

  • Asbestos
  • Chemicals such as brake fluid and printer toner
  • Batteries
  • Solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Oils such as car oil
  • Equipment that contains ozone depleting substances such as fridges.

If you can see any of the waste that you produce above, they should all be stored separately.

Storing and limiting waste

Before storing any sort of waste, you need to make sure you are limiting the amount of waste you’re producing as a business. Although not exclusive to these types, waste, and hazardous waste can be categorised within four main sub-categories:

  • Construction
  • Demolition
  • Industry
  • Agriculture

Hazardous waste then needs to be put in a secure location and to be placed in secure containers. When storing waste that is hazardous, it should be labelled accordingly, so that everyone on-site can identify it as such. In terms of contamination, waterproof covers should be used so that hazardous substances do not run off onto the floor or any other areas.

Every type of hazardous waste needs to be stored away separately to ensure there is no conflict between the types of waste. When these materials are being stored onsite, employees should regularly check storage areas for damaged containers, or any other potential risks that may harm employees or the surrounding environment. Finally, ensure that you maintain a classified inventory of the hazardous waste that on your premises, and where it is being stored. This means if any incident does occur, the emergency services can deal with it effectively and safely.

What you need to know about consignment notes

To make sure all of the correct waste is collected, you will need to complete a consignment note. You should make sure this note is complete before the waste is taken away.

A consignment note is required to be completed when the following occur:

  • Collections from businesses that are registered waste carriers.
  • Movements from one premises to another within the same organisation.
  • When another business has produced waste, movements from customer premises.

A consignment note is not required to be filled out when the following occur:

  • The movement of domestic hazardous waste – other than asbestos.
  • Waste has been imported and exported under international waste shipment controls – that require a different movement note.

How to fill out your consignment note

Here is a guide on how to fill out your consignment note so that waste management companies can dispose of your waste:

Consignment note: waste description

Each type of hazardous waste you produce and are currently getting disposed of should be admitted in this section.

Consignment note: quantity

Your wastes weight should be measured in kilos – liquids should be converted into the correct volumes.

Consignment note: chemical components

This section of the note should allow you to identify different types of materials you are disposing of, both hazardous and non-hazardous.

Consignment note: physical form

At this part, you need to best describe the waste you are getting rid of, whether this is gas, solids or liquids.

You then need to pay for this. Reconomy, providers of skip hire services found out that in England and Wales, the charge is £10 for a single collection. If this collection is a milk round (multiple collections), then this is reduced to £5 per note. Depending on applicability, the fee is set at £15 in Northern Ireland and Scotland.