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What is hazardous waste and why do you need disposal experts like Qualitech Environmental Services to get rid of it? by Kerrie Johns

Posted on Oct 7, 2020

Industrial and chemical companies produce hazardous waste - and there is a heavy legal responsibility for them to recycle or dispose of it properly.


The legislation surrounding hazardous waste can be incredibly complex which is why many businesses rely totally on leading UK waste management company Qualitech Environmental Services to deal with every aspect of their hazardous waste disposal.

It would be highly inadvisable to try to do it themselves. Any leaks, spills or contamination will have very serious consequences for the company responsible and they are likely to end up in a court of law facing the prospect of huge fines or even harsher sentences if the court rules the company has been negligent.

Qualitech don’t just get rid of hazardous waste, they also have an in-depth knowledge of the latest legislation which can sometimes be difficult for businesses to understand. They have the training, the personal protection equipment and the experience to ensure they meet all the regulations that go hand-in-hand with hazardous waste management.

But what exactly is hazardous waste?

Well, according to the Health and Safety Executive: “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.”

But the HSE also warns that what constitutes hazardous waste is often changing so companies really need to work with specialist hazardous waste companies such as Qualitech.

The HSE adds: “Many wastes are newly classified as ‘hazardous’ and some companies will now find themselves dealing with hazardous consignments for the first time.”

But the responsibility is on them to make sure their chemical and hazardous waste is recycled or disposed of to meet legislation – and this can be a very complex and time-consuming task.

The Environment Agency stresses that companies must identify and classify their waste before sending it for recycling or disposal.

The paperwork must include:

  •         The waste classification code, also referred to as LoW (List of Waste) or EWC (European Waste Catalogue) code.
  •         Whether it’s hazardous or waste that contains persistent organic pollutants, known as POPs for short.
  •         The type of premises or business where the waste was produced.
  •         The name of the substance or substances.
  •         The process that produced the waste.
  •         A chemical and physical analysis of the waste and its components.
  •         Any special problems, requirements or knowledge related to the waste.


Qualitech managing director Matthew Dodd said: “As you can see from this list, dealing with hazardous waste disposal is an-depth and very detailed task that must be done 100% correctly all the time. It’s absolutely vital that both the paperwork and the actual process of recycling or disposing of hazardous waste meets all the current legislation. Ignorance is no excuse.”

Put simply, hazardous waste is any kind of waste that is potentially dangerous or capable of having a harmful impact on human health and/or the environment. They are also usually defined as being materials that are not easy to dispose of or recycle which is why businesses need to bring in hazardous waste removal specialists.

Hazardous waste can have toxic, physical, chemical or carcinogenic properties that may lead to: 

  • Explosion or fire
  • Infection, including infection by parasites
  • Chemical instability, reactions or corrosion
  • Acute or chronic toxic effects
  • Cancer, mutation or birth defects
  • Damage to ecosystems or natural resources

Amazingly some substances that are lethal can be recycled and Qualitech is one of the UK’s leading companies when it comes to this environmentally-friendly set of specialist skills. They can do it by the lorry load in tankers right down to bottles and small containers.

For instance, Qualitech recycles large amounts of re-usable oil and other chemicals such as sulphuric acids and metal rich solutions.

The long list of substances that Qualitech can treat or recycle reads like a who’s who of waste no-one would want to touch with the proverbial barge pole.

It includes:

  •         Sludge, silt and sediment from gullies, interceptors, catchment pits, bunds and drains
  •         Removing contaminated water from landfill
  •         Diesel and kerosene in neat or contaminated mixtures and oily water mixtures
  •         Paint from spray wash extraction booths and water-based paint solutions
  •         Oil filters and cartridges
  •         Acids and alkalis
  •         Solvent and petrol
  •         Contaminated land and soils
  •         Oily absorbent pads, rags and wipes
  •         Drilling muds
  •         Machine cutting oils and other oils

In short, when it comes to complete waste management Qualitech provides both advice and action to take the responsibility off businesses and the company provides an emergency response service 24/7 and 365 days a year.

For more on how Qualitech deals with contaminated and hazardous waste please go to

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