If your organisation is producing offensive waste, you need to put time and effort into developing your offensive materials and waste management plan in order to efficiently deal with and dispose of this waste and remain compliant while you do so.
In this blog post, we’ll be detailing many of the key considerations and questions you will have to answer when developing your offensive waste materials and waste management plan.
You can jump to relevant sections of the blog by using the links below.
- What is an Offensive Waste Materials and Waste Management Plan?
- The Offensive Waste Materials and Waste Management Checklist
What is an Offensive Materials and Waste Management Plan?
Every business that produces waste - especially offensive waste - needs an offensive waste materials and waste management plan. The UK Government sets out requirements for the proper disposal of waste and has a number of requirements you must abide by:
- Sort and store your waste safely and securely.
- Complete waste transfer notes for each waste load that leaves your site.
- Determine whether your waste carrier is registered to dispose of waste.
Offensive waste is a class in itself and requires a lot of special consideration, as more often than not it’s much more sensitive to dispose of than general waste. Our experts define offensive waste as:
‘Offensive waste’ is non-clinical waste that’s non-infectious and does not contain pharmaceutical or chemical substances, but may be unpleasant to anyone who comes into contact with it.
An offensive waste materials and waste management plan describes how an organisation deals with their waste and provides an environment free of hazard.
These help employees to remain aware of the types of waste being dealt with and just how they should be handled.
We’ve created a checklist you can use when developing your offensive waste materials and waste management plan. We realise that not every business is the same, so this list shouldn’t be seen as exhaustive, but it does provide a lot of useful information that will apply to businesses in general.
The Offensive Waste Materials and Waste Management Checklist
Businesses in the UK are required to ensure any offensive waste they produce is properly handled and is not causing any harm or damage. There are different rules that apply to offensive waste, targeting waste producers, waste carriers and waste consignees.
However, if you’re the business producing the waste, you can work to develop solutions for the following checklist items:
- Are your waste disposal processes in line with the UK waste duty of care?
- Is your waste classified as offensive? If you’re unsure, you can use the UK Government’s ‘Guidance on the classification and assessment of waste’ resource.
- Is your waste contractor able to dispose of offensive waste?
You can even compact offensive waste on-site given you have the correct permits, saving you time and money when dealing with waste contractors. Compacting offensive waste also results in a cleaner and safer site. In the video below, you can see just how an offensive waste compactor works.
Storing Offensive Waste
If you are storing offensive waste on-site for a period of time until collection, you’ll need to satisfy the following requirements:
- Are you aware of the COSHH regulations regarding the storage of hazardous chemicals?
- Is the offensive waste packaged and labelled correctly?
- Are all types of offensive waste separated?
- Is offensive waste being placed in ‘tiger’ bags? These are specific yellow plastic bags with large black horizontal stripes.
- Is it stored in the appropriate containers?
- Is it stored securely to prevent pollution?
- Is the offensive waste being stored in a special waste area, separate from other general waste and preferably away from high-traffic areas?
- Are storage areas being regularly checked for spills, leaks, deteriorating containers, waste mixing or other potential health or compliance hazards?
You must also make sure that written instructions for both storing and disposing each type of offensive waste are displayed and easy to read and understand. On top of that, work to maintain a running inventory of what waste is being kept on-site as well as where they are being stored. This helps to maintain visibility on offensive waste items and ensures you’re not left in a bad situation where waste has been misplaced.
Having Offensive Waste Collected
More often than not, it won’t be your business’s responsibility to actually dispose of the waste. Due to its offensive nature, you can’t simply throw it in a general waste bin for it to be taken to landfill.
What you must do is:
- Utilise authorised businesses to collect and dispose of your offensive waste.
- Check if those waste carriers are registered and the waste sites the waste is taken to have the appropriate environmental permits.
- Complete the consignment note, keeping one copy for yourself and providing your waste carrier with two.
- Maintain records of all offensive waste on your premises. These are known as a ‘register’ and should be kept for three years.
By following these checklist items, you’ll be able to improve your overall on-site waste management plan and better protect yourself against any potential breach in compliance. However, the information in this blog isn’t the be-all and end-all of good waste management practice.
Offensive waste and general waste are two potential concerns for businesses - especially if dealing with them is taking up space, risking employee health and costing an unnecessarily large amount of money. Having a waste management plan in place is the first step, but what else can you do? Improve your entire strategy. To help you do that, we’ve created a detailed resource.
Improving Your Overall Waste Management Strategy
In this resource, you’ll discover just how a waste management strategy is improved, from conducting waste audits to insights on both waste management machinery and providers - amongst a lot of other quality information.
We realise that budgets are tight and the costs of overheads can be a burden, so use this guide to help you shrink the cost of your current waste management - helping to balance quality with growth.
Click the button below to download.