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What Can Happen if You Don’t Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly?

Hazardous waste is very easily found in and around homes and businesses, and it can be difficult to know what to do with the dangerous waste you find. Even recycling centres will refuse certain types of unsafe waste, such as paint that is not solidified. So how are you meant to get rid of it? 

You cannot put hazardous waste in your general bin, but there are other options available to you that are more suitable, such as hiring a waste management company to take your dangerous waste away for you, such as us here at Willshee’s. 

However, in order for you to understand the severity of the incorrect disposal of hazardous waste, you must first understand what it is, the materials that fall under it and how you can get rid of it properly to avoid fines, failed inspections and possible prison sentences. 

What is hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is just that; waste that is poses a danger to people’s health, the wildlife and the environment when disposed of incorrectly. When people usually think of hazardous waste, their mind goes to asbestos and chemicals, but hazardous waste is actually made up of much more than that. Whether you own a business or are having a clear out at home, you may be dealing with unsafe waste without knowing it. Hazardous waste can include the following materials and liquids:

  • Chemicals, such as brake fluid
  • Oils, such as motor oil and excluding edible oils
  • Solvents
  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • Pesticides
  • Print toner
  • Paints
  • Cylinders
  • Aerosols
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
  • White goods
  • Hazardous waste containers
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Manufacturing and processing waste
  • Contaminated rags and absorbents

How to dispose of hazardous waste properly

Hazardous waste can be a tricky material to handle when you want to get rid of it and, as we’ve already touched upon, hazardous waste takes many forms. It can be difficult to know how to handle and dispose of that particular hazardous waste type in the correct manner. If you’re unsure as to how to dispose of your hazardous waste responsibly, then look to a dedicated and licensed waste management company, like us here at Willshee’s. 

We have a committed hazardous waste removal and disposal service that can be used by domestic and commercial customers alike. This way, you can rest assured that your waste will be collected and processed in a way that is both compliant with the law and that is mindful of the planet. We will also provide you with a Waste Transfer Note, so you can rest easy knowing that your hazardous waste has been handled and disposed of responsibly.

What are the consequences of not disposing of hazardous waste properly?

There are multiple consequences that you will have to deal with when you do not handle, store and/or dispose of hazardous waste in line with rules and regulations, whether you’re a business owner or a homeowner. From considerable financial penalties to the destruction of ecosystems, here are the three main consequences you will face if you do not dispose of dangerous waste correctly: 

As a business, you could have failed inspections

As a business, there are certain rules that you need to be adhering to when it comes to the handling, storing and disposal of hazardous waste. Companies are subject to routine inspections by certain organisations and departments, such as the Department for Environmental Health. 

If they find that you have not been disposing of hazardous waste properly, you will fail your inspection. That’s when you could be landed with financial penalties and, depending on the severity of the offence, a prison sentence. To avoid failing your inspections, and to prevent detrimental consequences, get rid of hazardous waste responsibly.

You could be landed with hefty fines

According to GPT, if you incorrectly dispose of hazardous waste then you could risk an on-the-spot fine of £5,000. This is the case whether you meant to do it or not. However, GPT also claimed that incorrect storage of hazardous waste could see companies paying penalties of up to £1 million. The amount depends on the material, the amount that’s being stored and how long it has been stored there for. 

 Financial penalties are heavy in the UK, but they can amount to even more overseas. According to IDR Environmental, Walmart was ordered to pay $81.63 million in fines for six counts of dumping hazardous waste, therefore violating the Clean Water Act in the USA. It is considered to be a very serious crime, no matter which country you visit. As such, to avoid hefty fines, make sure you’re disposing of your hazardous waste properly.

It has a detrimental effect on the environment, wildlife & human health

When someone fails to dispose of their waste correctly, it poses a serious threat to wildlife, health and the environment. Hazardous waste could be anything from poisonous chemicals to materials that disperse toxic fibres into the atmosphere, such as asbestos. 

If these waste materials end up being fly-tipped or simply aren’t disposed of in line with laws and regulations, then it’ll likely be responsible for death of insects and wildlife and health issues in humans. Not to mention the devastating consequences it could have on the planet. 

Look after our ecosystems and protect each others’ health by disposing of your hazardous waste properly. Look to professional, licenced waste management companies, such as Willshee’s, to help. 

You can rest assured that your hazardous waste will be collected and disposed of responsibly and in line with regulations. We will also provide you with a Waste Transfer Note for your records. This also acts as evidence of its safe and controlled disposal, for your absolute peace of mind.

Willshee’s is pleased to offer a wide range of different waste management solutions. From domestic and commercial skip hire to hazardous waste removal and everything in between. If you would like further information about how we can help you to responsibly dispose of your waste material, get in touch with a member of our friendly, knowledgeable team today – we’re always happy to hear from you.

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