empty chemical and solvent bottles.
Types of hazardous waste

Types of Hazardous Waste

Hazardous waste is harmful to humans and/or the environment due to its properties or the substances it contains. Types and examples of hazardous waste can vary from seemingly obvious items such as pesticides and chemicals, to common yet less clear things like paint tins and fluorescent light bulbs. Hazardous waste is generally at least one of these:

  • Ignitable – waste that combusts or burns easily.
  • Corrosive – waste that can cause damage or corrode any substances it comes into contact with.
  • Reactive – waste that may explode or violently react with air, water, or other substances.
  • Toxic – waste containing or that releases dangerous toxins.

Businesses that produce any type of hazardous waste need to ensure it’s stored and disposed of correctly, in line with the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005, due to its potentially dangerous nature. Failing to do so could result in large fines, company closure, and even criminal charges.

Understand more about hazardous waste types and find the information on hazardous waste you need to dispose of yours in the correct, safe, and legal way.

free bins icon.

Get a quote for your hazardous waste

Get a fast FREE quote for your Hazardous waste removal

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

Hazardous waste 

To help identify if some of the rubbish your organisation generates needs removing in line with hazardous waste regulations and guidelines, there are various hazardous waste examples to consider. From laboratories and cleaning companies to offices and more, all sorts of businesses may produce some level of hazardous waste.

Common examples of hazardous waste your business may produce can include:

What are the different types 
of hazardous waste?

There are four main types of hazardous waste. Splitting them into these categories makes it easier to store and dispose of such waste in an appropriate manner. The different hazardous waste types are:

  • Universal waste – common household and workplace waste with hazardous properties.
  • Mixed waste – waste containing hazardous or radioactive components.
  • Chemical waste – hazardous waste that was in contact with or contains any chemicals.
  • Listed waste – waste products from the manufacturing or industrial processes classed as hazardous.
How to reduce hazardous waste

What is hazardous 
universal waste?

Hazardous universal waste is produced in the home and workplace and includes a wide range of items used daily. They contain a mixture of common materials alongside those that class as hazardous – such as a fluorescent light, which contains glass and metal, but it’s the mercury vapour that makes it hazardous. Universal hazardous waste examples include:

What is hazardous 
mixed waste?

Hazardous mixed waste refers to any waste containing hazardous or radioactive components. It’s often produced in laboratories, factories, and other similar facilities. As it contains a combination of hazardous and potentially dangerous waste types, it can be harder and more expensive to dispose of. However, mixed wastes are split into three sub-categories – low-level mixed waste, intermediate-level waste, and high-level mixed waste.

Low-Level Mixed Waste (LLMW) is waste produced in nuclear facilities that’s come into contact with potentially hazardous or toxic materials. As a result, it could contain items such as:

Intermediate-Level Waste (ILW) is produced at many different facilities and contains higher levels of radioactivity than LLMW. This includes items such as:

  • Sludge
  • Resins
  • Some forms of cladding

High-Level Mixed Waste (HLMW) typically contains large amounts of radioactivity. It’s produced through the reprocessing of nuclear fuel and is usually in the form of a liquid. HLMW is harder to dispose of but much rarer, as it only accounts for less than 1% of hazardous mixed waste.

Get a quote for hazardous waste collection today

Get a quote

What is hazardous 
chemical waste?

Hazardous chemical waste is any waste product that contains or has come into contact with dangerous chemicals. By nature, they’re typically corrosive, toxic, or highly reactive, with many types of hazardous chemical waste highly flammable. Hazardous chemical waste examples include:

What is hazardous 
listed waste?

Hazardous listed waste refers to waste products created in the manufacturing or industrial process. It’s a classification mainly used in the USA but can apply to hazardous waste generated in the UK. They’re divided into two sections – the F-list and the K-list – and are determined by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

F-list wastes are forms of common manufacturing waste. This can include:

  • Solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Sludge
  • Metal fishing waste
  • Wood-preserving waste
  • Pharmaceutical waste – such as acetone and methanol

K-list waste refers to specific industry waste products. This can include:

  • Waste from the production of metals – such as iron, steel, and aluminium
  • Veterinary waste products
  • Waste produced in the production of petroleum and similar products
  • Lead waste
  • Inorganic and organic chemicals
Hazardous listed waste is created in the manufacturing or industrial process

How are hazardous 
waste types disposed of?

Business owners have a legal responsibility to appropriately handle, store, and dispose of all types of hazardous waste produced on their premises or as part of the daily running of their organisation. It’s a criminal offence for hazardous waste to be mixed with general waste, so following proper disposal steps is essential.

The Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in England (2010) dictates that all waste must be:

  • Identified correctly and labelled
  • Stored securely before collection
  • Collected by a licensed waste carrier – during which a Waste Transfer Notice must be completed
  • Disposed of appropriately and in a way that has a minimal impact upon the environment

To dispose of any type of hazardous waste you need to store it in appropriate bins, bags, or containers on your premises. Then arrange collection by a licensed waste carrier, who will transport it to an appropriate facility for disposal in various ways depending on the type. These can include:

  • Hazardous universal waste products – such as certain types of batteries or electronic circuit boards – can be recycled and turned into new products. This may involve separating recyclable materials, like plastic and metal, to reuse while disposing of the hazardous elements safely.
  • Chemical waste and some forms of listed waste undergo specific forms of treatment before disposal. These include chemical or thermal treatments, which work to make the chemicals less dangerous and therefore easier to dispose of or recycle.

By prioritising recycling, fewer waste products need disposing of in landfill or through incineration – reducing the impact we have on the environment.

Get rid of your 
hazardous waste

Whatever type of hazardous waste your business produces, arrange collection by a licensed carrier with Business Waste. We’ll provide you with free bins of a size and type based on the kind of hazardous waste you have – just pay for collection. After transporting to an appropriate facility, it’ll be disposed of in a safe and legal way depending on its type.

Call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online using the form below to get rid of your hazardous waste, whether you need a one-off, daily, weekly, or fortnightly collection.

Learn more about hazardous waste

Hazardous waste
examples FAQs

  • HAZARDOUS How do you store hazardous waste?

    There are various rules and regulations that dictate how you must store all hazardous waste types on your property. These minimise the chances of the general public coming into contact with the waste, and it prevents the cross-contamination of waste products. General rules for storing hazardous waste are that you must:

    • Ensure all waste is stored safely and securely, using the appropriate bins and containers.
    • Store different forms of hazardous waste separately so that they’re not in contact with each other.
    • Correctly label every hazardous waste bin and use colour-coded containers or bins to make the distinction between each one clear.
    • Inspect your hazardous waste storage area regularly, ensuring no bins or containers are damaged or leaking.
    • Arrange for any type of hazardous waste you produce and store on your premises is collected regularly.
  • HAZARDOUS What are types of non-hazardous waste?

    Technically any waste that isn’t toxic or poses a threat to human health or the environment classes as non-hazardous waste. This includes most recyclable waste such as paper, cardboard, and glass. It still needs disposing of in the proper way to avoid ending up in landfill though.

    There are also some types of non-hazardous waste you may be surprised aren’t toxic. Common types of non-hazardous waste can include:

    • Construction waste – debris, bricks, and other materials
    • Non-infectious clinical waste – gloves, dressings, and wipes
    • WEEE – plastic, metal, and glass parts are non-hazardous
    • Municipal solid waste – food waste and general waste
    • Agricultural waste – animal manure, timber, and plant waste
free bins icon.

Get a free hazardous waste removal quote

Get a fast FREE quote for hazardous waste collection

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