It’s the next of our series of blogs taking a deep dive into our deep cleaning services. This time around, we’re going to focus on an unpleasant but necessary task: hazardous waste removal. Whether it’s a biohazard such as medical waste, or pesticides and other chemicals, this is certainly work for cleaning experts. We’re going to be seeing how our status as an upper-tier licensed waste carrier allows us to complete these specialist tasks. And we’ll look at why it’s important for us that we act in an environmentally responsible way.
What is hazardous waste?
In the UK, the Environment Agency's interpretation of how to define and classify hazardous waste can be found in its technical guidance. Waste is considered 'hazardous' under environmental legislation when it contains substances or has properties that might make it harmful to human health or the environment. Hazardous waste does not necessarily represent an immediate risk to human health, although some waste can. For instance, a spillage of solvents could be a direct threat to the respiratory systems of people nearby.
According to the latest available government figures from DEFRA, the UK produced a total of 4.3 million tonnes of hazardous waste in 2014. Hazardous waste is defined in the Hazardous Waste List incorporated in the European Waste Catalogue. On 16 July 2004, the co-disposal of hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste at the same landfill site was prohibited. On 16 July 2005, the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) came into force. Waste producers are required to ensure that their waste meets the WAC. Basic characterisation of waste at an early stage is essential, to avoid mixing hazardous waste in with waste destined for landfill.
A licensed waste carrier to protect the public from harm
React Specialist Cleaning is an upper-tier licensed waste carrier. This means we’re licensed to carry waste from whatever source it comes. Removing waste is often part of our regular cleaning contracts. Our waste removal services cover the full range of materials, from waste that is going to landfill or can be recycled, through to hazardous and biohazardous waste. In the latter category, we can clear clinical waste from hospitals, and industrial waste from void commercial properties.
We also respond to emergencies, where the public is exposed to hazardous materials representing an immediate risk to health. These situations require the fastest levels of response and competency. We provide a specialist response within 2 hours, 24/7 to make the impacted areas safe in the shortest possible time. We will liaise with the emergency services and government bodies. Specialist PPE combined with advanced materials and technology enable our operators to resolve the situation thoroughly.
Environmental management is a key part of hazardous waste removal
As well as protecting the public, we take seriously our responsibilities towards protecting the environment. We’re proud to hold ISO 14001, Environmental Management. This kitemark is the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS). As a holder of ISO 14001, we continuously work to improve our own environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste.
We’ve developed an environmental policy that reflects our commitments. We’ve identified how our organisation interacts with the environment, and the actual and potential environmental impacts of our work. We’ve identified environmental compliance requirements, and established environmental objectives, targets and programmes. We monitor and measure our progress to achieve these objectives, and regularly review our environmental performance. Ultimately, we’re aiming to continuously improve our organisation's environmental performance.
Obviously, it helps that we’re here to help other organisations deal with waste in our capacity as a licensed waste carrier. When it comes to hazardous waste removal, you can rest assured that React Specialist Cleaning has you and your surroundings properly protected.
Contact one of the team today for more details on our hazardous waste removal service.
Post by Shaun D. Doak
Shaun is the Managing Director of React Specialist Cleaning. He is deeply committed to making sure that every one of our company’s clients receives the highest possible level of service. An expert in HVAC and commercial and industrial cleaning methodologies, Shaun has extensive experience in the facilities management and renewable services sectors.