Tattoo Waste Disposal

Running a tattoo parlour comes with a great deal of responsibility, as your work has a permanent impact on your clients’ lives. However, the depth of your responsibility does not end there. You must also ensure that your waste is handled appropriately and in a way that leaves a minimal impact on the environment. Furthemore, good waste management should be viewed as a priority for tattoo artists due to the fact that it could otherwise present a significant sanitation issue for your business.

What waste do tattooists and body artists produce?

Tattooists and body artists produce large volumes of waste on a daily basis. This includes:

    Ink Caps
    Leftover Ink
    Leftover ointments/containers
    Paper towels
    Plastic protective coverings
    Bed Rolls
    Cotton swabs
    Antibacterial Products
    Needles & sharps.
    General waste.
    WEEE waste (Machinery)

The vast majority of this waste will likely fall under the umbrella of clinical offensive waste. This is due to the fact that it is non-infectious but could be slightly unpleasant to handle due to the context in which it was used. However, sharps waste (needles, lancets, etc.) are classified as hazardous waste since they can pierce and puncture the skin or lead to the spread of infections. As such, all waste produced within a tattoo parlour must be handled carefully and with the utmost discretion.

Tattoo Waste Disposal

How do you dispose of tattoo waste?

Tattoo waste can be disposed of in a variety of different ways. For example:

Offensive Tattoo Waste. Offensive tattoo waste products such as bandages, dressings, and cotton swabs can be disposed of at a specialist recycling centre. Here, the products are sterilized, placed in an autoclave, heated and shredded. They are then sorted into recyclable and non-recyclable materials and disposed of accordingly.

Sharps Waste. While some forms of sharp waste, such as tapers and piercing needles, can be autoclaved, needles and tattoo needles will need to be disposed of through incineration due to the threats associated with this kind of waste.

What containers are required to store tattoo waste?

In order to manage your tattoo waste effectively, you must ensure that you use the appropriate sharps bins and containers. This could include:

Orange-lidded sharps bins. Orange-lidded sharps bins are designed for non-pharmaceutical sharp waste, such as tattoo and piercing needles. They are lockable and made from highly durable materials that cannot easily get pierced or damaged.

Offensive waste wheelie bins. These bins are available in various sizes, from 120L to 1100L, depending upon the volume of waste you are producing, you will need to purchase the correct clinical waste bags.

Are tattoo needles recycled? How are they disposed of?

As mentioned previously, sharps waste, such as tattoo needles, are typically disposed of through incineration. This method of disposal is far safer than disposing of them at landfill sites, where they could present a significant risk to those who may encounter them.

What can you do with leftover tattoo ink?

From time to time, tattoo artists may find that they have leftover tattoo ink after working with a client. This is because it can sometimes be challenging to decide the exact amount of ink needed to carry out a project. Additionally, tattoo ink has a shelf life of around two years, meaning that these products can also expire relatively quickly. Excess or expired ink should never be set aside for use – though some tattoo artists may use this ink for general practice.

Ink waste should be stored in specialist containers after use so that the products do not leak or spill.

How can Tattoo Artists reduce waste and be green?

There are various debates about whether or not tattoos are ethical, particularly concerning the environment. This is because many of the products used to make tattoos, such as inks and dyes, contain elements that could be harmful to the planet. Furthemore, the average tattoo artist will use a great deal of single-use products, such as PPE, bandages and ink caps, every single day – making it harder to commit to genuinely sustainable practices. That being said, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure your tattoo parlour is as eco-friendly as possible. For example, you should:

Recycle wherever possible.

Switch to a renewable energy source.

Purchase sustainable products for use at your business. For example, you could purchase ink cups that are made from recycled paper as opposed to plastic.

Tattoo Parlour Waste Collection

How business waste can help.

At Business Waste, we can help your tattoo parlour or studio become more environmentally friendly by helping you gain better control over your waste. Together, we can devise an expert waste management plan that is specifically tailored to your company. This way, you can minimize waste at the source, promote recycling and ensure that all of your waste is disposed of safely. We also offer flexible waste collection plans depending upon the volume of waste you produce. For example, we could collect (and dispose of) your waste on a daily basis or pop by once a month.

Not only is our approach to waste management incredibly flexible, but we’re also cost-effective – as we don’t think that protecting the planet should come with a price tag. As such, we offer incredibly low collection costs, alongside providing you with free bins and storage containers.

Get in touch to find out more!

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