Shop Online

Why is Hazardous Waste Management so Important

Why is Hazardous Waste Management so Important?

Many industries produce hazardous waste and it’s vital that it is properly disposed of in order to prevent potentially damaging effects. Hazardous waste poses a threat to humans, wildlife and our environment. Your business should have an effective waste management recycling scheme to ensure that each waste product is disposed of the right way and as much as possible is recycled. If you’re looking for hazardous waste management or confidential waste disposal to keep your business compliant, here’s why it’s so important.

In this blog we will go into detail on the effects hazardous waste can have and why it’s important you invest in effective waste management services.

What is hazardous waste?

If your business in the UK produces hazardous waste, you have a responsibility to ensure it causes no harm. A range of industries produce hazardous waste including medical, manufacturing and transportation. Not only is it the responsibility of the producer to ensure the correct disposal of their hazardous waste, but those included in the collection, transportation, receival of hazardous waste must ensure it is done so safely.

The following waste products are considered hazardous:

  • asbestos

  • chemicals, such as brake fluid or print toner

  • batteries

  • solvents

  • pesticides

  • oils (except edible ones), such as car oil

  • equipment containing ozone-depleting substances, like fridges

  • hazardous waste containers

Why is proper waste management important?

It’s vital we properly dispose of our hazardous waste to ensure the protection of our planet for years to come. Before we had hazardous waste regulations in place, it was dumped directly into landfills. This led to dangerous chemicals and toxins seeping into groundwater supplies, contaminating our water and leading to illness and disease. This is not only dangerous to humans, but also to our wildlife, animals and ecosystems.

Effect on humans

Depending on the type of hazardous waste and the amount of it someone has been exposed to, it can cause a range of illnesses, diseases and defects. These range from skin irritation and headaches to birth defects and even cancer. In order to protect the general population from these dangers and the results of hazardous waste that we may not even be aware of, it’s vital that it is disposed of correctly. Our health can be severely impacted by toxins and chemicals present in materials like asbestos, pesticides, car battery residue, solvents and oils.

Some hazardous substances can cause very severe health effects, such as:

  • behavioural abnormalities

  • cancer

  • genetic mutations

  • physiological malfunctions (e.g. reproductive impairment, kidney failure, etc.)

  • physical deformations

  • birth defects

Effect on the environment

Our planet doesn’t have unlimited resources, one we should be particularly concerned about is our water supply. One way we can work towards ensuring our freshwater supply for the future is ensuring none of our hazardous waste ends up in landfills or other areas where it is able to seep into groundwater.

  • Water pollution – Hazardous waste can cause water pollution which means it is no longer safe to drink and can no longer be used in agriculture. This will pose a massive threat to all living things that are dependent on a clean water supply. Animals are more likely to drink contaminated water than humans, as our water gets treated. However, if animals drink water that contains hazardous waste, they will likely get sick and die.

  • Fires – Some types of hazardous waste are flammable which, in some circumstances, can lead to wildfires that cause extensive destruction to land, homes and wildlife. Anything that has the potential to explode or ignite is extremely dangerous and needs to be handled responsibly.

  • Wildlife – A lot of wildlife is extremely vulnerable and we are starting to see many species go extinct. This is why it’s so important to do as much as possible to ensure the safety of all living creatures in our environment. Animals can experience mutations if exposed to hazardous materials and many will suffer from illness and disease if we allow our hazardous waste to contaminate the homes and water sources of our wildlife.

  • Short and long term effects – It’s also important to understand that hazardous waste can have effects on the environment in both the long term and the short term. Some substances cause “acute toxicity”, which means they produce toxic effects after just one release. Yet, on the other hand, some substances will cause contamination through prolonged exposure, this is referred to as “chronic toxicity”. Toxins such as lead and mercury cause long term effects as wildlife and people absorb them from the environment over a certain period of time. These can cause damaging long term effects that you may not begin to see until it is too late.

How can a waste disposal company remove hazardous waste for you?

If your business produces hazardous waste, you’ll need to organise for a waste disposal company to come and collect any hazardous items. You need to make sure you hire professionals who have had the correct training and understand the risks associated with moving this kind of waste.

Often, the waste disposal company will provide you with clip-top drums which are used for the safe disposal of many different items. You can fill these drums up with your hazardous waste which also gives you a safe way to store it until it can be collected.

The hazardous waste team will be full of knowledge and capable of advising you through the process. Whether you have a large amount of waste to collect or a small amount, they will know the right size vehicle to bring for collection and how often to come and collect your waste. These help you avoid guesswork and ensure that your hazardous waste collection is completely compliant.

Types of waste containers and their intended use

  • Large Waste Bags – These can hold a large amount of waste with up to an 800-litre capacity and are best used for mixed electrical waste. They can hold items such as PC’s, screens, kettles, TVs and mobile phones. These waste bags are perfect for a wide array of different business types that require a suitable bin for their hazardous waste.

  • Small Hazardous Waste Bins – These are much smaller than typical hazardous waste bins but are designed to safely store small amounts of toxic waste. They are ideal for indoor use in places such as offices and shops and can be filled with batteries, bulbs, aerosols, oil filters and contaminated oil containers.

  • Waste Drums – These are great for holding segregated hazardous waste before it is collected. You can use these for flammable, radioactive, poisonous and harmful waste and they come with clip-tops so that no liquid waste can leak out. You can use these for liquid waste, solid waste and aerosols.

  • IBC Containers – IBC containers consist of a metal frame surrounding a blow moulded inner bottle and can be used for liquid waste including sludge, slurries and chemical waste. They are not suitable for any type of solid waste, mixed recyclables or glass waste.

Looking for ‘Waste Management Near Me’? Devon Contract Waste is Here to Help

If you’re a business that needs professional waste management services in the South West, Devon Contract Waste can assist you with a range of hazardous waste disposal. If your business handles hazardous waste, it should be a top priority to ensure it is properly stored, collected and disposed of. Devon Contract Waste specialises in handling this tricky type of waste to help you keep costs down and ensure your workplace is safe. Each of our staff members is highly trained in a range of waste management recycling and are dedicated to easing the process for your business, so you can concentrate on other aspects.

If you need hazardous waste management in Devon, look no further than Devon Contract Waste. For more information, visit our website or give us a call on 01392 690 193. We operate in St Austell, Plymouth, Wrangaton, Exeter, Taunton, Torbay, South Hams and Newquay. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to get started on your waste management recycling scheme today.

Scroll to Top