We have years of experience providing hazardous waste management services to businesses who have come to rely on our expertise within the industry to make sure they fully comply with hazardous waste disposal legislation.
Here we explain why you must never take chances with hazardous waste, our full range of hazardous waste disposal and hazardous waste management services, how we transport hazardous waste and we also reveal some of the times we have been called out in an emergency, including having to clear a flat of potentially explosive substances.
If you do you could seriously damage your company’s reputation and face the prospect of heavy fines running into tens of thousands of pounds.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) makes it absolutely clear that if you produce, transport or receive hazardous waste you have responsibilities under the Hazardous Waste Regulations.
HSE states: “Businesses working with and recycling waste materials must identify the hazards and make a proper assessment of the risks. In particular, there must be safe working practices for dealing with the hazardous waste to ensure that it is stored, handled and transported correctly. Waste treatment sites handling chemicals must also prevent accidents arising from the unintentional or inadequately planned mixing of incompatible chemicals or from the disposal of unstable chemicals.”
Our Qualitech experts can help ensure you meet all these mandatory hazardous waste disposal and management needs.
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. This does not necessarily mean it is an immediate risk to human health, although some waste can be.
Waste is classed as hazardous when it contains substances that make it caustic, carcinogenic, corrosive, ecotoxic, flammable, harmful, infectious, irritant, mutagenic, toxic or an oxidising agent.
Hazardous waste can be treated by chemical, thermal, biological, and physical methods. Chemical methods include ion exchange, precipitation, oxidation and reduction and neutralisation. Thermal methods include high-temperature incineration which not only can detoxify certain organic wastes but can also destroy them.
Common types of hazardous waste include batteries, aerosols, fluorescent tubes, paint, solvents and oils but to make sense of this let’s just concentrate on chemicals. They can be harmful to people’s health or to the environment, either immediately or for a long time.
According to the HSE, chemical waste like other hazardous waste needs to be treated, disposed of or recycled safely.
Hazardous wastes, including chemical waste, fall into one of three broad categories and these are:
Always hazardous such as lead acid batteries or fluorescent tubes.
May or may not be hazardous and need to be assessed so this includes substances such as ink or paint. Some chemicals might also be fire hazards and these include petrol and paint thinners.
Never hazardous and an example of this isedible oil.
Many wastes are newly classified as 'hazardous' and some companies will now find themselves dealing with hazardous consignments for the first time. This is why Qualitech’s expertise on both hazardous waste disposal and hazardous waste management is so important. Businesses need to rely on professional hazardous waste disposal companies such as Qualitech to make sure they always adhere to the legislation. You literally cannot afford to make any slip-ups.
For instance, in July 2004 the co-disposal of hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste at the same landfill site was prohibited. A year later in July 2005 the Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) came into force. Waste producers are required to ensure their waste meets the WAC so basic characterisation of waste at an early stage is essential which is why Qualitech’s hazardous waste management skills are so important.
Over the years Qualitech has built up a wealth of knowledge and expertise for operating specialist hazardous waste management and recycling facilities. Our staff are always eager to give assistance and advice and realise that the extensive range of waste management legislation can be difficult to understand.
For instance, all storage and transportation of hazardous waste must comply with the ADR regulations which stands for Accord Dangereux Routier and are the European regulations governing the international transport of dangerous goods by road.
To ensure the hazardous waste is correctly contained for transportation Qualitech has invested in United Nations approved galvanised steel containers with an 800-litre capacity to ensure the safe transportation of waste.
Our specialist Waste Safe container is ideal for wastes which are bulky and can even transport used chemical containers and contaminated personal protection equipment (PPE) which need to be handled and stored correctly.
Several containers can be used for various wastes to help segregation and improve recycling, minimising disposal costs from cross contamination of hazardous waste.
We are always looking to expand our fleet and one of our latest vehicles is a tipping tanker with a dual purpose unit which makes it ideal for the waste export market. The 27,000 litre tanker is able to load heavy sludge and solids for export for pyrolysis (decomposition brought about by high temperatures) and this means that the waste’s hydrocarbon contamination can be fully recovered as energy.
Sliding baffles – devices used to dampen the adverse effects of liquid slosh – are in the tank which means it can easily off-load the sludge and solids. The baffles are then put back into place so the tanker can resume its usual service of transporting hazardous liquids. The dual purpose design means the tanker can be used for different substances on both legs of its journeys, minimising its environmental impact and costs.
We provide a 24 hour, 7-day-a-week emergency service so our customers know they can contact us any time day or night.
Qualitech director Roy Brunt said: "Our ability to offer a highly specialised waste management service 24-hours-a-day has led to strong demand for our expertise right across the UK.”
Here are a three more reasons why you can rely on Qualitech’s hazardous waste disposal and hazardous waste management services:
Here’s all the waste Qualitech can treat or recycle … and it’s quite a list
Every year Qualitech recycles and recovers large amounts of re-usable oil and other chemicals such as sulphuric acids and metal rich solutions ensuring environmental solutions for these hazardous wastes. It’s all part of our hazardous waste management ethos.
Our waste disposal and hazardous waste recycling facilities can recycle:
Sludges, silts, sediments from gullies, interceptors, catchment pits, bunds and drains
Landfill leachate (soiled and contaminated water)
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 petroleum waste
Contaminated land and soils
Oily absorbent pads, boom rags and wipes
Activated carbon granules
Machine cutting oils and suds oils
Qualitech’s treatment and recycling processes include:
Neutralisation of acids and alkalis
Recovery of precious and semi-precious metals from plating solutions and metal bearing sludges
Reduction of chromic acid/hexavalent chrome, metal complexes and oxidising materials
Oxidation of cyanide and sulphites
Flocculation of sludges and suspensions
Phase separation by filtration, centrifuge and gravity
Separation of oil by gravity and mechanical oil separation with thermal assistance
Transporting hazardous waste
We have a fleet of specialist vehicles to transport hazardous waste.
All our vehicles from tankers to pick-up trucks are maintained to a high standard to ensure a reliable service.
The barrels are built from stainless steel and are coated in a range of materials such as hyperlon rubber for transporting acids and other highly corrosive substances. Our stainless steel barrels are for less corrosive liquids and mild steel and aluminium barrels for non-hazardous liquids and solvents.
Qualitech in action managing hazardous waste including explosives
Our hazardous waste disposal and hazardous waste management services can be called on any hour of the day or night … and here are just three examples.
* We were brought in by the police to clear a flat of possible explosives after a man in his 30s was arrested in North Wales on suspicion of possessing explosive substances. This had led to three neighbouring flats being evacuated in Bagillt, Flintshire. Police needed to be sure the man’s flat was fully cleared and made safe before people in the neighbouring flats could be allowed to return to their homes.
Police discovered the substances after being called to the flat over concerns for the man’s safety.
Qualitech chemists and our Environmental Services incident response manager Will Sheen responded to the scene to provide support and a solution to the incident for the emergency services.
* Qualitech was called in when a fuel distribution centre discovered it had a serious problem with contaminated diesel in its underground bunker tank. This had led to several lorries breaking down due to fuel contamination.
Qualitech sent samples from the tank off for analysis which showed the fuel was so contaminated it needed to be removed. After doing this we then cleaned it and thoroughly tested the tank to discover the cause of the problem. Repairs were carried out and a preventative maintenance plan put in place with all these services managed by Qualitech.
* Qualitech’s hazardous waste management services were needed when a pond in Wigan became polluted with engine oil.
It had spread across the surface of the pond, reaching vegetation on its banks. Qualitech quickly responded with oil booms and a vacuum tanker to clean up the oil. As a result, there was no lasting damage to the pond’s ecosystem as fish – including some rather large ones - have been caught at the pond since it happened. Qualitech’s Julian Casey who helped to deal with the original incident went back to fish the pond and caught a beauty which he then popped back into the water.
"It's a pleasure to work with these guys, they come on site, set up as quickly as possible and crack on until the job is done. If they have to stay a bit longer to complete it's never an issue. Please award them all a gold star!"