Hair Salon Waste Disposal

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From old hair dye to broken hairdryers, hair salons and beauty parlours have specialised waste disposal needs. As a registered waste carrier, we understand these needs and can ensure you’re meeting your legal obligations by organising storage and waste collection solutions for your beauty business.

Hair salon waste disposal

An overview of hair and beauty salon waste

As a salon owner or manager, it is your duty to ensure the correct waste disposal procedures for your business. For example, human hair is non-biodegradable and can cause environmental issues if not disposed of correctly. Your salon is legally responsible to ensure human hair waste is managed, stored and disposed of correctly. If you take human hair to a local tip or to dispose of at home, this will be illegal as it needs to be transported and disposed of by a reputable provider.

What waste do salons produce?

Hair salons create a wide variety of waste in addition to human hair, including…

    • Tin foil, chemicals and hair dye

    • Hair, old scissors, aerosol cans, shampoo and styling product bottles

    • Old hair straighteners, hair-dryers and salon equipment

    • Till receipts

    • Packaging, cleaning products, plastic water cups, magazines and newspapers

    • Wax strips, pads, cotton wool buds and needles

    • Sanitary bins

At Business Waste, we understand the unique types of waste produced by a salon which is why we are able to provide unique and convenient waste solutions to our clients.

How is this waste disposed of?

UK legislation provides a framework for the disposal of waste and governs how different types of waste must be stored and disposed of. Waste produces by a salon can be separated into different categories to prevent contamination and each category has different rules around its storage and disposal.

General waste in hair salons

This can be anything that doesn’t fall into any of the other categories such leftover lunches, non-recyclable packaging, till receipts and hair clippings too. This type of salon waste can be collected in black bin bags and put in black bins for a reputable waste disposal company to collect.

Recycling in hair salons

Much of what is produced at your beauty parlour can be recycled, from rinsed out shampoo and conditioner bottles to the magazines that your clients have got bored of flicking through. Empty aerosol cans can be placed with metal recycling and if you offer disposable beverage options then many plastic cups are recyclable too. Businesses are required by law to separate their recyclable waste from their general waste.

The Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013 provide rules around the recycling of electronic products. We can help ensure that your broken straighteners, hair-dryers and other types of salon equipment are disposed of in the correct way. Did you know, you are legally obligated to take back old electronic products when customers are purchasing a new one? If your salon sells electrical hair styling tools, you need to make this service known to your clients.

For highlights and other hair services, your salon may use tinfoil. If the foil can be scrunched and hold its shape, it can be recycled. If, however, the foil springs back when scrunched, it is metallised plastic film and cannot be recycled and must be placed with general waste.

Hazardous waste in hair salons

Under the Hazardous Waste (Regulations England and Wales) 2005, there are rules governing how hazardous waste is defined and how it must be stored and disposed of with strict penalties for breaches. Waste is considered ‘hazardous’ when it could harm human health or the environment and can only be disposed at authorized sites.

All ‘sharps’ from your business, such as acupuncture needles, need to be disposed of in secure, puncture-proof yellow hazardous waste bins. There are different categories of hazardous waste bins that you may require, depending on the treatments that are offered at your business and we can assist and advise with ensuring your compliance with this.

Liquid hair dye and other chemicals are also classified as hazardous waste due to the damage they can cause to the environment and we offer various solutions to disposing of this type of chemical waste.

Clinical waste also needs to be separated from normal waste and includes things like pads, cotton buds and wax strips which are disposed of separately in specific coloured bags. We can also provide sanitary bins and collection for your guest and employee bathrooms.

Why hair salons need to be more sustainable and how they can do it?

Hair salons should aim to be more sustainable not only to reduce their environmental impact but to make significant financial savings. Some of the top ways salons can be more sustainable include…

Hair salon bins and collection

To ensure that your hair salon bins are compliant with your obligations under waste disposal regulations, we can provide all of the necessary bins for free to ensure that your waste is correctly separated and disposed of. Our 7-day-a-week hair salon waste collections are flexible to suit the needs of your business and can be daily, weekly or fortnightly. For some clinical waste and sharps bins, this service can be on an ad-hoc basis.

Hair salon sustainability

It is important for hair salons to become more sustainable and we work with our customers to help them achieve this. Here are our top tips to ensuring that your business is being as eco-friendly as possible.

– Wash out your shampoo and conditioner bottles so that they can be recycled
– Move from disposable cups and glasses to reusable
– Look at using alternatives to aluminium hair foils
– Buy products with biodegradable packaging
– Place recycling bins in visible areas to encourage people to use them more.
– Talk to your clients about recycling old hair-dryers and straighteners if they are replacing theirs.


How much waste do hair salons in the UK produce?

Salons produce enough waste to fill 50 football stadiums and sadly, the vast majority of this currently ends up in landfill sites.

How many hair salons and beauty businesses are there?

There are approximately 43,000 hair and beauty businesses in the UK.

How many people work in them?

Around 250,000 people are employed in the hair and beauty industry.

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