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The hazardous waste you might not know is in your workplace or home

Thanks to the surge in blockbuster films and television series documenting chemical disasters, when we think of hazardous waste we tend to imagine biohazard suits, skulls and crossbones and overturned drums of glowing, luminous liquid.

But the reality is that hazardous waste comes in many shapes and forms, and there are often times when hazardous waste is in our business, offices and homes. When it comes to hazardous waste disposal, it needs to be handled with care and disposed of in line with legislation so that it doesn’t cause any harm or damage.

In this article, we list 5 types of commonly found hazardous waste to look out for, and inform you of how Commercial Recycling can help with compliant disposal.

1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

As of the 28th June 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care distributed over 145 million PPE items for use by health and social care services in England. This number does not include individual households and business sectors.

If you run a business or organisation you should:

  • Provide extra bins for your staff and customers to throw away their waste face coverings, PPE used for social distancing, and any other additional waste, such as takeaway packaging and disposable tableware
  • Make sure that staff and customers do not put face coverings and PPE in a recycling bin as they cannot be recycled through conventional recycling facilities
  • Make sure bins are emptied often so they do not overflow and create litter

Additionally, you must describe and code your waste correctly. For peace of mind, we recommend the use of a Hazardous Waste Disposal Box for companies who need to dispose of small amounts of this waste type regularly. The Haz Waste Boxes can either be collected from our local recycling centre in Wimborne, or we can deliver the box to you for free in the BH postcode area.

2. Printer/Toner Cartridges

Although many offices are now becoming paperless, it’s still commonplace for the majority of businesses and home offices to use at least one printer. But what do you do with the cartridges once they’re empty? Did you know that most used printer and toner cartridges are classed as hazardous waste?

It is your responsibility to arrange for your redundant printer and toner cartridges to be recycled or disposed of in line with current legislation. This means most cartridges cannot be placed in your general waste containers.

Commercial Recycling is a fully licenced waste facility that is authorised to accept almost all commonly produced hazardous wastes, including printer and toner cartridges. Simply get in touch to book a disposal or to arrange a haz box service.

3. Batteries

Some councils collect common household batteries as part of their household waste collection service, but did you know that some battery types are hazardous and therefore require specialist disposal? The types of batteries that are considered hazardous include:

  • Lead acid batteries
  • Non-alkaline batteries
  • Plug-in battery packs (such as chargers for laptops, mobiles power tools etc.)
  • Vehicle batteries

To check what batteries you can recycle in your area, you can use the handy Recycle Now tool. For all other batteries, our recycling centres can help you. Read more about battery disposal.

4. Fluorescent tubes

Fluorescent tubes were once a popular lighting source thanks to their efficiency and easy installation, and are therefore still found in many business premises today. However, fluorescent lighting contains mercury, a highly toxic metal that if incorrectly disposed of, can evaporate into the atmosphere which allows it to contaminate water supplies and wildlife.

The important thing to avoid is disposing the tubes in your general business waste. If the mercury inside the tubes goes to landfill for example, it will get incinerated and this is where mercury poisoning can occur.

To safely dispose of the fluorescent tubes or lamps, you will need to locate a specialised recycling service such as Commercial Recycling. Our Canford Recycling Centre, near Wimborne in Dorset, is a fully compliant Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility.

Alternatively, our Southwood Recycling Centre is also licenced to accept hazardous waste types as fluorescent tubes, batteries, gas bottles and fridges / freezers.

Can’t get to us? No problem, we can arrange a hazardous waste collection service. To enquire about hazardous waste collection, please contact the team on 01202 331560.

5. Paint

Have you been using the lockdown to do some much needed painting and decorating at your business premises? What will you do with the empty or half-empty paint tins once you’re finished? Did you know that oil-based paints such as emulsion and anti-corrosion paint such as Hammerite are hazardous because they contain heavy metals and are flammable? Water-based paints such as varnishes, stains and sealers are also hazardous.

Because of this, you must ensure that paint is disposed of in a compliant manner by segregating it from general waste and disposing it at a licensed facility such as Canford Recycling Centre. We charge a price-per-can for paint can disposal. If you need to dispose of larger quantities of paint we can provide disposal rates for filled 205L drums and 1000L IBC containers.

Read our guidance on paint disposal for more information.

Hazardous waste removal in Dorset and Somerset

Commercial Recycling is a leading operator of disposal and recycling facilities in Dorset. Our trusted waste recycling centres have been in operation for more than 25 years and we are extremely proud to provide waste disposal facilities that are trusted and used by hundreds of businesses from both the private and public sector. Businesses choose Commercial Recycling because we are competitively priced and ensure that a high percentage of all waste is recovered and recycled.

We can help with all the legalities and compliance that comes with handling hazardous waste, so whether you need to register your premises with the Environment Agency or need help to complete relevant paperwork to ensure your waste is handled in the correct way, our team of experts are here to help.

If you would like to learn more about hazardous waste disposal in Dorset or Somerset, book a hazardous waste disposal slot or arrange a hazardous waste collection, please call the Commercial Recycling team on 01202 331560 or email enquiries@commercialrecycling.co.uk.

If you are wondering what the lockdown easing means for your commercial waste disposal, read our article here >>.

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