Understanding the Dangers of Hazardous Commercial Waste in the UK
Hazardous commercial waste poses a significant threat to both human health and the environment. In the UK, businesses that produce such waste have a legal obligation to manage and dispose of it safely. This article aims to shed light on the dangers of hazardous commercial waste and how businesses can mitigate these risks.
What is Hazardous Commercial Waste?
Hazardous waste is classified as waste that can be dangerous or harmful to our health and/or the environment1. In the UK, businesses that produce hazardous waste must register as hazardous waste producers2. The types of hazardous waste can include solvents, batteries, oils, asbestos, chemicals (e.g., cleaning liquids, brake fluid), pesticides, and even appliances like fridges and freezers3.
The Dangers of Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste presents a danger to the environment and people in the nearby vicinity if not handled correctly. Exposure to hazardous materials can cause significant harm to humans, animals, and plants4. The environment can also be damaged by improper disposal5. Hazardous waste presents a serious danger if:
- It’s released into the air, water, or land and can contaminate the surrounding environment.
- A large amount is released at one time, or if small amounts are released frequently at the same location.
- It comes into contact with humans via skin contact, ingestion, or breathing in hazardous materials.
- Improper storage or disposal leads to spills and leaks which can lead to fires.
Managing the Risks of Hazardous Waste
Business owners or directors of commercial businesses that produce hazardous waste have a legal obligation to correctly and safely dispose of their waste6. They must assess the risk from any harmful substances produced and take necessary steps to ensure employees and the environment are not exposed in a harmful manner to the materials.
Hazardous materials must also be stored appropriately when awaiting disposal. For example, hazardous fluids must be stored upright, with lids screwed on, and stored in a locked, ventilated cabinet7.
Disposing of Hazardous Waste
To dispose of hazardous waste correctly, businesses must use an authorised business to collect, recycle, and dispose of the waste8. Services like Brown Recycling provide the experience, training, and equipment to safely organise the responsible disposal of hazardous items. They also provide waste containment, packaging, and documentation before removing the waste to ensure the process is in line with all regulations9.
Understanding and managing the dangers of hazardous commercial waste is crucial for businesses in the UK. By following the correct procedures for storage and disposal, businesses can help protect both human health and the environment.
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- Hazardous waste and health impact: a systematic review of the … ↩
- Learn the Basics of Hazardous Waste | US EPA ↩
- Health and Ecological Hazards Caused by Hazardous Substances ↩
- The Dangers of Hazardous Waste | Graphic Products ↩
- The Dangers of Hazardous Waste Disposal – HCI Environmental ↩
- Hazardous Waste Regulations in the UK ↩
- Hazardous Waste Storage Guidelines ↩
- Hazardous Waste Disposal Services ↩
- Hazardous Waste Regulations in the UK ↩