Category: Blog

How to deal with WEEE Waste

WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. According to the European Commission, it’s a type of waste that includes almost anything with a battery or plug.


There are around 10 broad categories of WEEE currently outlined in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU):

  • Large household appliances (e.g., washing machines)
  • Small household appliances (e.g., kettles)
  • IT and telecommunications equipment (e.g., computers)
  • Consumer equipment (e.g., TVs and radios)
  • Lighting equipment (e.g., desk lamps)
  • Electrical and electronic tools (e.g., pressure washers)
  • Toys, leisure, and sports equipment (e.g., exercise bikes)
  • Medical devices from hospitals or doctors (e.g., blood pressure monitors)
  • Monitoring and control equipment (e.g., smoke detectors)
  • Automatic dispensers (e.g., vending machines)

This type of waste is particularly important to dispose of correctly because it can contain hazardous materials (including arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and certain flame retardants) which are harmful to the environment and could cause major health problems if the disposal is not managed properly. Some items can also be recycled and re-used if the waste is effectively managed. Moreover, every year an estimated two million tonnes of WEEE items are discarded by households and companies in the UK.

Do I have any responsibility as a business to dispose of WEEE waste?

As a business, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that the production, storage, transportation, and disposal of controlled waste is done without harming the environment. WEEE compliance laws need the waste to be taken to an ‘Approved Authorised Treatment Facility’ with full waste documentation and certificates.

Not sure how to legally dispose of electrical equipment?

The exact treatment of WEEE can vary enormously according to the category that is used and which technology is the most appropriate to avoid health and safety risks. For that reason, there are minimum requirements for treatment facilities specified in the WEEE waste directive within DEFRA’s ( Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013.

Kleenwaste can handle all aspects of WEEE recycling, from safe collection to legal waste disposal all supported with compliant paperwork in line with the WEEE directive.

Our extensive waste management experience, and our team’s expert knowledge of electronic goods recycling, enable us to provide a first-class waste collection service to businesses, no matter their industry.

So, if you are looking for a simpler, safer way to dispose of WEEE, our team could provide you with peace of mind within 24 hours, whatever your company’s waste management needs are and wherever you are in the UK.

 

The DGSA role in transporting hazardous waste & dangerous goods.

dgsa certificate

The DGSA role in transporting hazardous waste & dangerous goods

The carriage of dangerous goods on the road network is a potentially dangerous undertaking. This activity is heavily regulated to maximise safety before, during and after transportation. One key aspect is ADR, which stands for Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route. The key objectives of ADR are to prevent, as far as possible, accidents to persons or property and damage to the environment. All aspects of ADR are comprehensively covered within two orange books:

dgsa

In an effort to maximise safety, ADR has laid down actions companies must take if their primary and/or secondary activities include the consignment, carriage, or the related packing, loading, filling or unloading of dangerous goods. If their activities include one or more then the company must employ the service of a DGSA (Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor)

A Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA) is a person certified to provide advice to companies whose activities include the consignment, carriage, or the related packing, loading, filling or unloading of dangerous goods.

The DGSA has numerous duties laid out in ADR which include: –

  • monitoring compliance with the requirements governing the carriage of dangerous goods
  • advising the company on the carriage of dangerous goods
  • preparing an annual report to the management of the company. Such annual reports shall be preserved for five years and made available to the national authorities at their request.

The adviser’s duties also include monitoring the following practices and procedures relating to the relevant activities of the company including:

  • the procedures for compliance with the requirements governing the identification of dangerous goods being transported.
  • the procedures for checking the equipment used in connection with the carriage, packing, filling, loading, or unloading of dangerous goods;
  • the proper training of the undertaking’s employees, including on the changes to the regulations, and the maintenance of records of such training;
  • the implementation of proper emergency procedures in the event of any accident or incident that may affect safety during the carriage, packing, filling, loading, or unloading of dangerous goods; investigating and, where appropriate, preparing reports on serious accidents, incidents, or serious infringements recorded during the carriage, packing, filling, loading or unloading of dangerous goods;
  • the implementation of appropriate measures to avoid the recurrence of accidents, incidents, or serious infringements;
  • the verification that employees involved in the consigning, carriage, packing, filling, loading, or unloading of dangerous goods have detailed operational procedures and instructions;
  • the introduction of measures to increase awareness of the risks inherent in the carriage, packing, filling, loading, and unloading of dangerous goods;
  • the implementation of verification procedures to ensure the presence on board the means of transport of the documents and safety equipment which must accompany transport and the compliance of such documents and equipment with the regulations;
  • the implementation of verification procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements governing packing, filling, loading, and unloading;
  • the existence of the security plan where relevant

DGSA are highly trained individuals and must pass three open book examinations that cover all aspects of dangerous goods transportation including, documentation, container selection, labelling, and marking. Fully qualified DGSA are issued with a certificate that remains valid for five years.

dgsa certificate

DGSA are highly trained individuals and must pass three open book examinations that cover all aspects of dangerous goods transportation including, documentation, container selection, labelling, and marking. Fully qualified DGSA are issued with a certificate that remains valid for five years.

Kleenwaste employs the services of four fully qualified DGSA to ensure dangerous goods are transported safely. These four DGSA are longstanding employees of Kleenwaste and have comprehensive expertise within the hazardous waste industry. This provides peace of mind to our customers that their queries will be handled effectively, and the services provided will fully adhere to the current ADR.

 

Importance of Volatile Organic Compounds

Most people are familiar with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as they relate to paint, cleaning products, new cars, and other materials. Volatile means evaporate, so VOC’s are those solvent ingredients that evaporate into the atmosphere as gases and include a variety of chemicals. VOCs are produced from natural processes, plants animals, and microbes. VOCs emitted by human activities include solvents used in coatings as well as thinners and cleaners.

Why are VOC’s important in environmental considerations?

VOCs are invisible chemicals that can be harmful to your health if left untackled. By their very nature, they evaporate into the air, and although some VOC’s are worse than others, they contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change. There are other problems with VOCs, because they evaporate, we can breathe them in which is not good for health. Solvent vapours can also cause explosive risks.

If they’re dangerous why are we using them?

VOCs for painting, air drying paint only works because the VOCs evaporate into the atmosphere during curing. The coatings industry has been working for a number of years to significantly reduce the levels of VOCs emitted from coatings, however, even waterborne paints contain VOCs albeit less than traditional paints. Also, to minimise the effects of VOCs when using thinners and paint, keeping lids on paint cans or getting your waste paint and thinners recycled can reduce your use of VOCs.  Careful management of colour changes and ensuring that you avoid rework from poor coating application in the first place also can significantly minimise VOCs.

Find here some tips on how to record your use of VOC- Solvent Management Plans

UK legislation has put controls on the use of VOCs and their emissions in industry with a focus on reducing the amounts used and emitted. Local authorities or other permitting authorities will want to know the level of emissions a paint shop, for example, produces.

A requirement of which is that users of VOC containing materials must record the VOCs that have come into the site and have been used through a solvent management plan. The normal way to do this is to add up the VOCs in all paint product purchases made in a year and report on the total bought in and taken away with the remainder being the fugitive emissions produced onsite.

How do you find out all this information? Well, all containers of paint products should have the level of VOC printed on the label, you should record all waste paints taken away for disposal and also recycling as any solvents taken away for recover can be deducted from your total use, which can drastically reduce the amount of VOCs used.

Let our experts help your business on detailed consumption of your Volatile Organic Compound and reducing your environmental impact.

 

 

 

 

What is considered as waste and how is it managed correctly?

Dealing with waste and ensuring a safe and clean work environment is not an easy task. According to the Government Guidance Waste Regulations (2011), waste is defined as ‘any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard’.  The regulations also define the Waste Hierarchy as a priority list for the management of waste with the best environmental outcome at the top (Waste prevention) and the worst at the bottom (Landfill).

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides further information on how specifically an organisation could make provision for the management of pollution from industrial processes. Additionally, contains the key management actions of defining controlled waste, municipal, commercial and industrial wastes.

Managing all type of waste requires a duty of care on anyone who produces, imports, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste and all have their own responsibility for ensuring their waste does not cause pollution or harm to human health

By following this simple checklist below, you will be able to comply with the legislation

  • Check your containers are well-constructed and clearly labelled.
  • That where you store them is suitable and safe.
  • Your carrier is registered.
  • The company you send it to is permitted for your waste.
  • You get a copy of the collection note (Can be electronic).
  • For hazardous waste, a receipt of waste acceptance from disposal site.
  • You keep the records for 3 years.
  • Chain of responsibility for storing, transporting and receiving.

The regulatory entity is a separate agency for each country.  In England ‘Environment Agency’, in Wales ‘Natural Resource Wales’, in Scotland ‘Scottish Protection Agency’ and in Northern Ireland ‘Environment Agency’.  All work together under a memorandum of understanding to ensure waste moving from one country to the next are managed correctly.

What if I don’t handle my waste properly?

Improper waste management affects the overall economy of a country. Moreover, the environment also faces a great threat due to pollution, spills, and discharge of chemicals which may cause water and soil contamination around other major problems. Also, it increases the risk the health and safety of your workplace and potentially leads to financial penalties.

The financial penalties for incorrectly disposing of waste and for breaking the law include;

  1. Fixed penalties – up to £400
  2. Enforcement undertakings which are voluntary contributions in lieu of prosecution. For example, water companies and household names such as Barclays Bank have agreed to a series of enforcement undertakings with the Environment Agency, the largest being £306,509 from Severn Trent Water for an unpermitted discharge in 2016.
  3. Convictions as Magistrates Court max £50K fine and 1-year imprisonment, Crown Court unlimited fine and up to 5 years in jail.

 

 

 

Waste Hierarchy

Why is it important that companies dispose of waste safely and ethically?

Companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that the production, storage, transportation, and disposal of controlled waste is done without harming the environment. This is called your duty of care. Your duty of care obligations for your waste continues even after the collection and removal from your premises. You have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that when you transfer waste to a third party that the waste is managed correctly throughout its complete journey to disposal or recovery.

Duty of Care/Waste Hierarchy

The waste hierarchy ranks waste management options according to what’s best for the environment. It gives top priority to preventing waste in the first place. When waste is created, it gives priority to preparing it for re-use, then recycling, then recovery, and last of all disposal (e.g. landfill).

The Waste Hierarchy is essentially a list of waste prevention and disposal options. Anyone disposing of hazardous waste must consider the Hierarchy and seek the highest possible option before agreeing a disposal route. Kleenwaste help you by providing the correct consignment notes for hazardous waste and transfer notes for non-hazardous waste. This is your legal confirmation Kleenwaste is managing not only your waste, but also supporting your duty of care responsibilities.

Throughout our partnership with you, Kleenwaste considers every opportunity to reduce your waste and is dedicated to the recycling and re-use of all waste it collects.

Kleenwaste has the expertise you need:

  • Help manage your duty of care responsibilities
  • Work with you to assess contaminants in your waste
  • Work with you to determine best possible way to manage your waste stream
  • You’ll receive full transparency and all required legal documentation
  • We operate our own specialised vehicle fleet and fully trained staff