What is Chemical Waste?
Toxic. – Poisonous or hazardous to human, animal, and plant life.
Flammable. – Easily set on fire.
Highly reactive. – Incredibly volatile and unpredictable.
Corrosive. – Able to destroy or break down a variety of materials by causing a chemical reaction.
Due to their potentially hazardous nature, they must be handled, stored and disposed of in a safe and secure manner. In fact, their disposal is strictly monitored through government regulations and guidelines, such as the Environmental Protection Act (1990) and the Health & Safety at Work Act. Failure to comply with these legislations puts your company at great financial risk and could even result in jail time.
As a result, business owners must know exactly how to manage, store and dispose of their chemical waste. But don’t worry – this guide will tell you everything you need to know.
What are some examples of chemical waste?
Chemical waste management
Who produces chemical waste and why?
Laboratories produce large volumes of chemical waste in the form of solvents, resins, acids, dyes and other chemical substances. This also includes the containers used to store these items and any products that contain mercury, such as thermometers. To put it simply, any chemicals used for research purposes must be disposed of carefully and with the appropriate security measures in place.
Healthcare or clinical facilities, such as hospitals, doctors surgeries and health centres, produce large volumes of chemical waste in their daily operations. For example, as these areas need to be kept clean and sterile to protect their patients, they must maintain high cleaning standards. As a result, they use a lot of different cleaning products and disinfectants – which must be disposed of appropriately after use.
Factories also produce significant amounts of chemical waste through the manufacturing of new goods and materials. For example, this could include products such as waste oil and brake fluids.
Dry cleaning facilities produce chemical waste in the form of chemical cleaning products, such as PERC. While PERC helps clean and launder clothes, it could also present a significant threat to the environment if not disposed of correctly.
Farms and other agricultural businesses also produce large volumes of chemical waste. For example, this could include waste products such as pesticides, brake fluids and waste oils.
Offices also produce a surprising amount of chemical waste, typically in the form of used printer cartridges, ink and toner. However, these figures are decreasing steadily as we make an effort to go paperless.
What dangers are associated with chemical waste?
Pollute or otherwise contaminate water sources, presenting a significant threat to both human and marine life. This could also render water unsafe for drinking.
Impact the health of those who come into contact with it. For example, chemicals that are not stored correctly could inflict chemical burns on whoever may be handling them.
Release dangerous toxins into the environment, further damaging the ozone layer.
Trigger dangerous fires that are difficult to control.
Chemical waste bins
How should chemical waste be stored?
Handled carefully before, after and during use. For example, any person who comes into contact with these products must wear the appropriate PPE and follow all health & safety guidelines.
Stored at a designated spot within your facility, where the general public will not be able to gain access to the waste. For example, this area should be locked or concealed.
Separated from other hazardous waste products and stored in the appropriate bins and containers. These containers should be inspected regularly to ensure they have not sustained any damage.
What containers are used for Chemical Waste?
No matter what type of chemical waste you are producing – we’ve got you covered. Our years of experience within the industry mean that we can provide you with the best possible storage options for all of your waste.
All chemical waste containers must be clearly labelled as hazardous and display the following information:
The name of each chemical and the quantity.
The place where the waste was produced.
Chemical waste disposal
How is Chemical Waste disposed of?
Chemical waste products such as mercury can be removed and recycled from broken thermometers through a process known as reclamation.
Oil waste can be disposed of through dewatering (separating the oil from water), Filtering (the removal of additives or inorganic material), or distilling (refining the oil through boiling it) – all of which means the oil can be used again in some capacity.
Some forms of chemical waste, such as sulphuric or hydrochloric acids, can be reused after undergoing chemical treatments.
Thermal treatments can also be used to dispose of chemical waste in a safe and secure manner. This is a process where heat is applied to sanitize the waste products.
When you work with BusinessWaste, you can rest easy knowing that we treat landfills as an absolute last resort. As a result, we have access to a wide range of facilities and cutting edge technologies that enable us to dispose of waste in a way that has a minimalistic impact upon the environment.
Chemical waste collection
How can Business Waste help?
At BusinessWaste, our main priority is to help protect the planet by providing our customers with the insight, tools, and equipment they need to dispose of their waste. As such, we can:
Help you put together an effective waste management plan that caters to all waste produced on your facility – including chemical waste.
Provide you with practical steps to take to reduce the amount of waste your produce.
Provide you with free bins and containers to store waste before collection.
Collect waste from your business on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, ensuring that it is taken to the appropriate facility for disposal. Furthemore, we’ll offer you competitive and fair prices for our services – meaning we save time, money and the planet all at once.
For more information or to arrange for your chemical waste to be collected, get in touch today!