Published On: Sat, Sep 13th, 2014 on 2:41 pm

Many Yorkshire SMEs may be disposing hazardous waste illegally

Hazardous Waste

Common hazardous wastes that are to be disposed of properly

Many small and medium sized businesses in Yorkshire may not be disposing hazardous waste legally, research has revealed.

Waste and recycling company Biffa surveyed over 1,000 businesses nationwide to find out what they knew about hazardous waste and the results for Yorkshire showed there is still a ‘long way to go’.

80% of small and medium sized businesses showed to be disposing their hazardous waste illegally.

45% of these were found to be unaware that they could face fines or penalties, not understanding how to correctly dispose of their company’s hazardous waste.

Only 20% of businesses seemed to be disposing their hazardous waste as the law requires.

Such hazardous wastes include commonplace items such as aerosols, alkaline batteries, flammable adhesives, bulbs and UV lamps, solvent-based and water-based paint, empty oil containers and waste electrical and electronic equipment such as kettles, toasters and TVs.

The law has required these materials, which could cause specific harm to the environment or human health, to be collected separately for treatment and disposal.

Biffa’s CEO, Ian Wakelin, said: “The problem arises because many small businesses are only generating tiny amounts of hazardous wastes, so they don’t think putting it in the normal rubbish bin is a problem.

“But if your company throws out an old computer, polish cans or even a tin of leftover paint, by law they need to be treated properly.”

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