How To Safely Dispose Of Commercial Waste?
In this guide, we’ll help you understand your responsibilities and how to safely dispose of different kinds of waste to ensure you avoid hefty fines.
Business waste disposal is a part of the day-to-day operations of any company. Every business requires commercial waste services as much as they require any other basic business essentials.
Waste management is as clear-cut as getting your average Joe to come and pick up your waste to dispose of. There are legal and environmental responsibilities involved with proper waste management.
In this guide, we'll walk you through your responsibilities as a business and how to find a great waste management deal that ticks all the legal boxes.
Business waste is any waste produced by commercial activity. Whatever the industry, the business is responsible for the waste streams.
Business waste also includes construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and hospitality.
It is often assumed that a tradesperson can take their waste to a local recycling centre. This is actually seen as disposing of waste illegally. Proper waste management procedures must be in place.
Not all business waste is equal; they are split into a few different categories. Businesses have much more responsibility than you would typically think - they're responsible for correctly splitting the waste, storing it in suitable containers and legal requirements outlined for proper waste management.
Here are some of the waste disposal categories:
This is your common everyday waste produced in the workplace. This is the non-recyclable stuff you would normally place in your general household bin. All businesses will have this type of commercial waste no matter the size of the business or the industry they operate in.
This is self-explanatory - this is all the commonly recycled waste produced by businesses including cardboard, paper, plastic bottles and tins. These first two waste types are popular waste management services used by offices and general workplaces.
Companies will be required to keep all this recycling in separate bins to avoid contamination before waste removal.
Glass waste can be a little more industry-specific. A popular commercial waste collection service in the hospitality industry, this is for businesses that produce lots of glass-type waste. This is often empty glass bottles, drinks bottles and any broken glass.
Glass waste requires a dedicated bin separate from other types of waste and must be correctly labelled so any waste carrier can identify what it is.
Extra care is required for any type of hazardous waste removal. Hazardous waste is defined as any product that can cause harm to people or the environment. This can be lots of different things and is often more than you may realise.
Common hazardous waste items include chemicals, batteries, solvents, motor oils and WEEE goods.
A service popular in the professional services industry, confidential waste management has strict guidelines to protect the data and confidentiality of the information being disposed of. This waste collection service handles the correct disposal and shredding of personal files, financial records, health documents, social care information and criminal records.
Under GDPR regulations, your business could be fined up to 4% of the annual turnover, or €20 million (whichever is greater).
Any food that has been sold commercially and has not been consumed entirely must be discarded correctly. This type of commercial waste is almost unavoidable in offices, shops, restaurants and other hospitality businesses. Many businesses that choose to segregate food waste do so to meet sustainability goals to help the environment.
Despite it being good business practice, there are also legal obligations that come alongside commercial waste collection.
For starters, it is your responsibility to ensure that your chosen waste carrier is a licenced and insured waste management company. Any waste that is improperly disposed of can result in your business being fined under the Environment Protection Act 1990.
Here are some other bits of legislation that can surround the waste your business produces:
Under the Environment Protection Act, there is a section that outlines a company's duty of care. This ensures that businesses make sure that any waste type is properly managed and stored safely to protect the environment and human health.
Waste must be stored properly and safely, ensure that the waste disposal company is licenced, and complete a waste transfer note for all waste.
This is a legal document that tracks your waste to its final destination. This ensures all waste is disposed of legally. You will need to keep records of all waste transfer notes for at least 2 years. Any hazardous waste will require you to keep records for 3 years.
Good waste management companies will provide waste transfer notes and all documentation.