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Hazardous Waste Disposal

Proper hazardous waste disposal in the UK is vital for businesses, as it’s unsafe and a criminal offence to mix hazardous and ordinary waste. Inappropriate hazardous waste management can be extremely harmful to the environment and human health. Arrange legally compliant hazardous waste collection and removal that meets your organisation’s needs with Business Waste.

Any producer or holder of hazardous waste has a legal duty of care to manage the storage and disposal of hazardous waste safely and appropriately in any industry. Failure to do so can result in heavy fines, disreputability and potentially an immediate closure of your business. Disposing of hazardous substances and materials must be done properly.

Call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online for a quick quote and help with your hazardous waste management anywhere in the UK.

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Hazardous waste 

Outsourcing your hazardous waste collection and disposal to a competent and approved provider ensures your business is fully compliant with the relevant hazardous waste regulations. At Business Waste our team can help you sort out a collection schedule with the right size, type, and number of hazardous waste bins and containers that meet your needs.

Our qualified waste management experts have experience handling, collecting, and disposing of hazardous waste. They’re educated on hazardous waste regulations and ensure your business is fully compliant with UK law when it comes to hazardous waste removal.

We provide free hazardous waste bins to almost all locations across the UK – you just pay for collection. All you need to do is fill them with your hazardous waste (within the weight limits and separating waste types). Then leave the bin at the agreed place ahead of collection time and we do the rest.

If you have any questions or want a free quote, speak to one of our expert team about your hazardous waste management. Call us today on 0800 211 8390 or get in touch online.

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Hazardous waste 
bins and containers

Our hazardous waste collection and disposal service is available across the UK and includes free bins, just pay for collection. We can provide your organisation with an appropriate management system to suit the requirements of your waste needs including the removal of asbestos and used PPE.

Enjoy free hazardous waste bins alongside low-cost and professional collection and disposal services. Explore the range of hazardous waste bin sizes and types to meet your needs, with peace of mind that your business isn’t putting human health, the environment, and your organisation at risk.

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  • 60L hazardous waste drum

    Store and dispose of waste oil and hazardous liquids

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  • 240L hazardous waste bin

    Easy to move with two wheels and often used in hospitals

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  • 205L hazardous waste drum

    Large drum ideal for big amounts of hazardous waste

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Who needs 
hazardous waste disposal?

Many businesses across different industries produce and store all sorts of hazardous waste – sometimes without realising. Whether it’s a few industrial batteries for a one-off collection or you need regular removal of large drums of chemical waste, ensuring you follow the proper steps to comply with hazardous waste regulations is essential whatever your industry.

While any kind of company could need to get rid of hazardous and toxic waste, some of the main businesses that require removal can include:

  • Automotive – garages often have old car batteries, motor oil and other waste requiring disposal.
  • Cleaners – most cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals and need safe removal.
  • Hospitals – cleaning products ensure hospitals and care facilities remain sterile, while all sorts of chemical waste is produced.
  • Laboratories – chemicals used for research purposes and testing, as well as cleaning products must be removed appropriately.
  • Offices – items such as printer ink, fluorescent lights, and some old electronics class as hazardous waste.
Discover the Hazardous Waste Regulations

How does hazardous 
waste collection work?

  1. Select your free bins

    It’s quick and easy to organise commercial waste collection for your business.

    Simply start by telling us the:

    • Type of waste you need removing
    • Size of bins you require
    • Number of bins you want

    We’ll provide you with a free quote.

  2. Arrange delivery

    When you’re happy with the type, number, and size of free bins, tell us when you need your bins delivering.

    Let us know about any access issues where you want the bins delivering – such as locked gates, access codes and times. We’ll get you up and running in no time.

  3. Fill up your bin

    After the free bins arrive at your chosen location, fill them up with the agreed waste type.

    Make sure you remain within any weight limits for the specific waste type and bin size.

  4. Get your business waste collected

    We’ll arrange waste collection at a time and frequency to suit you and the amount of waste you have.

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What is 
hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is any type of rubbish containing substances, materials or other properties that are harmful to humans or the environment. This is often because it may release infectious, corrosive, flammable, carcinogenic, and various other harmful properties. Proper storage, transportation, and disposal is vital due to its quantity, concentration, physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics.

Government guidance highlights four types of hazardous waste you must safely and suitably store, collect and dispose of:

  • Universal waste – batteries and mercury-containing equipment.
  • Mixed waste – waste containing radioactive and hazardous waste components.
  • Characteristic waste – corrosive, toxic or reactive wastes.
  • Listed wastes determined by the EPA – wastes from the F-list (common manufacturing waste) and K-list (specific industry waste).

Some common examples of hazardous waste your business may use can include:

open tops of hazardous waste bottles.

How to dispose of 
hazardous waste

Disposing of hazardous substances and materials can’t be done in the same way as general waste or most other types of rubbish. Due to its dangerous nature you need to take special care and precautions when handling and disposing of hazardous waste. Inappropriate hazardous waste management can lead to devastating effects for the public, environment, and your business.

Follow these five steps to dispose of the hazardous waste your business produces:

  1. Check your hazardous waste classification – Detail the contents before disposing of hazardous substances and materials. For this you need the waste classification code, which you can find on the government website to see if it’s hazardous or not. You also need to detail the substance name(s), where it was produced, the process, a chemical and physical analysis, and any other information.
  2. Separate and store your hazardous waste safely – You need separate hazardous waste containers for different rubbish types. Label each one and store in a secure, dry place where possible. Getting a hazardous waste container from an authorised carrier is best, as this should ensure it’s safe and legally compliant by being sealable and waterproof.
  3. Arrange authorised collection – Waste carriers must be registered to collect, recycle, and dispose of hazardous waste, while the waste sites where it goes need environmental permits. You can check this through the government and Environment Agency websites. Use our hazardous waste collection and disposal service and well arrange free bins for you to fill and collection on a schedule that meets your needs by an authorized carrier.
  4. Complete a hazardous waste consignment note – To move your potentially dangerous rubbish it must have a hazardous waste consignment note. This stays with the waste until it gets to the site for disposal or recycling. Fill in a hazardous waste consignment note and leave it with the carrier.
  5. Get your hazardous waste collected – After safely storing your hazardous waste, move it to the agreed collection spot ahead of time for safe and efficient removal. Our expert carriers will pick it up and do the rest for added peace of mind. Keep a record on your premises for at least three years of the hazardous waste, just to be safe.
How to reduce hazardous waste

How is hazardous waste 
recycled and disposed?

After your hazardous waste is collected, it’s transported to a recycling facility near you, where possible. Certain types of hazardous waste can be recycled, such as electrical items and fluorescent tubes. These are broken down and the hazardous elements separated for disposal, while other materials such as metal, plastic, and glass are sent for recycling as usual.

Certain types of hazardous waste can be recycled, such as electrical items and fluorescent tubes

Depending on the type and classification of hazardous waste, it may then be recycled or disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Usually it’s treated in one of four ways:

  • Chemical – Oxidation and reduction, neutralisation, and ion exchange are chemical treatments for removal of hazardous waste.
  • Thermal – High-temperature incineration is one of the most common ways to destroy hazardous solid and liquid waste.
  • Biological – Using microbes can stabilise hazardous waste in some cases, through landfarming.
  • Physical – Solidification and concentration reduces the volume of waste, which is encapsulated in cement or asphalt, or it can be mixed with lime, fly ash, and water to form a kind of cement.
Learn about the types of hazardous waste

Hazardous waste disposal
benefits and facts

According to government figures, the UK produces around 4.3 million tonnes of hazardous waste every year. Almost half of this (around 1.9 million tonnes) comes from commercial and industrial waste, while household waste accounts for 1.2 million tonnes. Construction, demolition, and electronic waste makes up 0.7 million tonnes.

Hazardous waste recycling and proper disposal protects eco-systems and habitats, by avoiding toxic substances seeping into the soil and contaminating areas. Recycling also helps reduce the use of raw materials and burning fossil fuels, which in turn cuts emissions. For businesses with hazardous waste, it’s also cost-effective as you don’t have to pay as much landfill tax and avoid penalties for improper disposal.

Hazardous waste facts

Read our reviews

Was having some issues with some hazardous waste on a pretty big job of mine and was really struggling to find a decent company to deal with, spoke to a guy called Liam and wow did he make it easier for me, honestly thought with the predicament I was in it was going to cost a fortune, but 10 minutes on the phone to him, a few files sent over email and we had it sorted in no time and absolutely within my budget, would 100% recommend these guys
Nick Beattie

Hazardous waste

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE What is toxic waste?

    Toxic waste is a type of hazardous waste that’s extremely dangerous, potentially causing humans and animals death, injury, or birth defects. It is also very harmful and can pollute the environment due to the harmful toxins it gives off.

    UK law requires that all organisations store and dispose of the toxic waste they produce in a safe appropriate manner, using a qualified provider, due to its harmful nature. As an employer, you have a legal ‘duty of care’ to make sure the toxic waste your company produces and handles causes no harm or damage.

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE What’s the difference between toxic and hazardous waste?

    All toxic waste classes as hazardous waste, but not all hazardous waste is toxic. Toxic waste is only harmful and potentially fatal to humans and other living organisms when it’s absorbed or ingested. Hazardous waste generally contains a lower level of harmful substances, which can be dangerous when it’s released into the air, water, or land.

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE Is plasterboard hazardous waste?

    Plasterboard is not classed as hazardous waste. However, it should not go in general waste and is banned from landfill in England (since 2005) as it contains the sulphate gypsum. When it becomes wet or mixes with biodegradable waste it can release the toxic gas hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

    If you need to dispose of plasterboard, speak to one of our expert team and they can arrange a solution that’s safe, efficient, and avoids your plasterboard waste heading to landfill.

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE Why is electronic waste hazardous?

    Hazardous materials such as mercury and lead are found within a wide range of electronic items. This means most electronic waste (WEEE waste) classes as hazardous waste. They may also include other potentially toxic chemicals such as cadmium, beryllium, and brominated or polybrominated flame retardant. While metal, plastic, and glass parts are recyclable as normal, these hazardous elements require specialist, safe disposal.

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE Where should you store drums of hazardous waste?

    It’s best to store drums of hazardous waste indoors where possible. This reduces the chance of contamination due to rainwater, the lid blowing off in the wind, or vandalism. Safe hazardous waste containers should be durable and sealable, so you can store them outside if inside is not an option. Clearly label each drum for additional safety too.

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE How can I dispose of hazardous waste in the workplace?

    Various industries produce hazardous waste daily. This includes construction companies and pharmacies. There are multiple steps you can take to dispose of hazardous workplace waste safely:

    1. Ensure all members of staff are aware of the importance of proper waste disposal.
    2. Classify and separate your waste.
    3. Use the appropriate bins and containers to store hazardous waste.
    4. Work with a licensed carrier to put together a waste collection schedule.
    5. Fill out a consignment/waste transfer note. Ensure that all documents are kept on file for at least three years.
  • HAZARDOUS WASTE How should hazardous waste be stored?

    Hazardous waste should be stored safely and securely. This can stop unauthorised personnel accessing any hazardous waste types. It also helps protect the environment by reducing the chances of any leaks or spillages. When storing your hazardous waste, you should:

    • Clearly label your waste. Keep an inventory of any waste stored on your premises.
    • Set up a designated waste area onsite, where all waste disposal bins are kept.
    • Keep hazardous and non-hazardous waste separate from each other.
    • Ensure all hazardous waste bins and containers are tightly sealed.
    • Arrange regular hazardous waste collection to ensure containers don’t overflow.
    • Perform regular maintenance checks on your storage area, ensuring no hazardous waste containers become damaged.
  • HAZARDOUS WASTE Can hazardous waste be stored outside?

    Hazardous waste can be stored outside, as long as the area is kept secure. For example, hazardous waste should be stored in the appropriate containers, inside a locked or gated area.

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE Can hazardous waste be recycled?

    Certain types of hazardous waste can be recycled. However, they must first be broken down/taken apart at a waste management facility. This includes items such as WEEE products, small electrical items, and lead-acid batteries. If you’re unsure whether your hazardous waste can be recycled, send us any enquiries and we’ll do the rest.

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE What are the four types of hazardous waste?

    Hazardous waste is typically broken down into four categories:

    • Universal wastes – batteries, or equipment containing mercury.
    • Mixed wastes – waste deemed radioactive or contains hazardous waste components.
    • Characteristic wastes – corrosive, toxic, or reactive waste.
    • Listed wastes as determined by the EPA (The Environmental Protection Agency) – wastes from the F List (waste from non-specific sources), or K List (source-specific waste).
  • HAZARDOUS WASTE How is hazardous waste classified?

    The following characteristics classify hazardous waste:

    • Ignitability – this characteristic refers to waste that’s hazardous as it could potentially cause a fire during storage, transport, or disposal. This includes items such as:
      • Fluorescent tubes and sodium lamps – sodium is an alkali metal, and alkali metals are renowned for being highly reactive substances. As a result, fluorescent tubes and sodium lamps are classified as hazardous as they’re potentially flammable.
      • Contaminated spills and rags – contaminated spills or rags are ignitable due to the materials they’re contaminated with. This includes cleaning products, oils, or paint – which are all potentially flammable.
      • Paint in original containers – certain paints (like varnish and polyurethane) contain a high volume of flammable compounds, such as xylene and toluene. Water-based paints, such as acrylic or vinyl paint, are non-flammable substances.
      • Oil and fuel filters – oil fuels and filters are hazardous waste as they’re potentially flammable when they reach a specific temperature.
    • Corrosivity – this characteristic refers to waste that is hazardous due to how it rusts or decomposes. This could include lead acid batteries.Lead-acid, like sulfuric acid, poses a significant threat to the environment because it can contaminate water sources.
    • Reactivity – waste that’s hazardous due to how reactive it is. For example, it could be considered potentially explosive. This could include:
      • Aerosols – the liquid within aerosols is pressurised with a propellant. If pierced, damaged, or overheated, they could explode.
      • Plasterboard – though it may not initially appear hazardous, plasterboard poses a threat to the environment if disposed of in landfill. This is because plasterboard, and similar products such as drywall, contain gypsum. When gypsum is grouped with biodegradable wastes, it can produce highly toxic gas.
    • Toxicity – waste that’s hazardous due to the harm it can cause if ingested or absorbed. It may include:
      • Antifreeze and brake fluids – if ingested, antifreeze and brake fluids can cause serious harm to human health. This is because it contains high amounts of Diethylene Glycol (DEG), a highly toxic substance.
      • Toner or laser cartridges – most products involved in making toner and laser cartridges can be recycled. However, they’re classified as toxic hazardous waste because they contain potentially carcinogenic substances.
      • Inkjet cartridges – like toner cartridges, inkjet cartridges contain various potentially dangerous carcinogenic substances that can disrupt hormonal activity and cause illnesses.
      • Asbestos is a hazardous substance because it contains various toxic chemicals, including carcinogens, which are released if the asbestos is disturbed.
  • HAZARDOUS WASTE Can you mix hazardous waste?

    You cannot mix hazardous waste. Under government regulations, hazardous waste must be separated before disposal. This is because different kinds of waste must go through different disposal channels once collected. As a result, you are unable to mix hazardous waste.

  • HAZARDOUS WASTE How can you reduce hazardous waste?

    There are various ways you can reduce the amount of hazardous waste you produce on site. This includes:

    • Searching for alternative products that don’t include hazardous materials or chemicals.
    • Only buying the exact amount of materials you need, reducing the amount of surplus waste you produce.
    • Safely reusing products whenever possible.
    • Sending any hazardous waste products to recycling facilities where they can be disposed of safely.
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Get a fast FREE quote for your hazardous waste removal

  • Free quote within 1 hr
  • Any type of hazardous waste
  • FREE bins and delivery
  • We cover all of the UK