If you have a business, you may already know that you have specific duties as a business owner with regards to the correct handling, storage, sorting, recycling, recovery, reuse, and disposal of waste. Every household and business produces waste, but not all waste is the same. There are different categories of waste, and as a business, you need to know what category your business waste is in so that you can dispose of it and manage it properly. When your business waste is classified correctly, you can make a better decision on how to handle it, and you can fulfill your duty of care as a business as well.

Your tasks

Before you send off your business waste for disposal and recycling, you need to describe it or classify it. Classifications for business waste include demolition and construction waste, recyclables and packaging waste, electrical equipment, oily waste and vehicle waste, healthcare-related waste, and so on. When you classify your business waste, you can better decide how to deal with it, and you can complete and fill in the necessary paperwork for waste carriers and contractors to manage your waste, which is just part and parcel of your responsibility as a business owner.

How to describe business waste

Your business waste description must include the following:

  • The classification code of the waste, which is also called the List of Waste (LoW) or the European Waste Catalogue (EWC)
  • Whether the waste is hazardous or not
  • What kind of business you have or what type of business premises you have
  • The name of any substances
  • The process which produced or created the waste
  • Both a physical and chemical analysis of the waste
  • Any specific issues, knowledge, or requirements related to the business waste

You should also bear in mind that if you have hazardous waste, you must dispose of it and manage it properly. There are different ways of dealing with hazardous waste, depending on what it is. If you are not sure if the waste your business produces is dangerous, you should check the waste codes on the kind of waste your company generates. But there is also waste which is both hazardous as well as non-hazardous, based on whether the waste has dangerous or hazardous substances at, below, or above a certain level. In a case like this, you should determine the composition of the waste and assess its hazardous components or properties before classifying it.

It’s also worth noting that there are products which include a black or orange danger symbol or a red/white pictogram to indicate their hazardous properties, so you can check if you use products such as these. It’s essential for you to find out your business waste’s composition and components, especially since it is illegal for anyone to mix non-hazardous waste with hazardous waste.

To benefit from better waste management and disposal, you should invest in a picking station which can help you sort through the waste materials produced by your business, making the process faster and easier and improving your efficiency as well.