Many industries produce toxic liquids in the form of fuels, oils, and chemicals, among others. Some liquids, like pesticides and cleaning products, are common in households. Statistics show that the European Union produced approximately 100.7 million tonnes of hazardous liquid waste in 2016 alone.
The production of hazardous liquids doesn’t pose a global environmental challenge. However, how we dispose of the toxic liquid waste greatly determines the sustainability of our environment and public health safety. Generally, improper disposal of hazardous waste and failing to comply with national health regulations can seriously harm both our health and the environment.
Every citizen must be vigilant and careful when disposing of hazardous liquids, regardless of whether they’re using it at home or in places of work. The government has been keen to protect the environment from careless pollutions by undiscerning individuals, and failing to dispose of hazardous liquid materials safely and compliantly can easily earn you a hefty fine, prosecution and even imprisonment.
Therefore, it’s essential to establish a waste management system that discards hazardous liquid waste safely and efficiently and in compliance with the Hazardous Waste Regulations of 2005.
Dispensing hazardous liquid waste is relatively simple, and there is no reason why an individual should risk the lives of millions of people by dumping waste inappropriately. This article provides you with a detailed guide on how to dispose of hazardous liquid safely without compromising human health and the global environmental safety.
Understanding hazardous liquid waste
Hazardous liquids are disposed of differently from ordinary waste. Therefore, waste producers must discard it through proper processes to ensure that it doesn’t cause harm to animals, humans and the environment.
The law prohibits you from treating your own toxic liquid waste unless you’re qualified and certified to do so, and have necessary on-site facilities to ensure that you’re treating it safely. Before disposing of or treating your liquid waste at home, find out whether it’s hazardous or just an ordinary liquid waste.
A liquid is considered toxic if it contains elements or substances harmful to both humans and the environment. The following are examples of hazardous liquids:
- Flammables like petroleum and diesel
- Cleaning chemicals and detergents
- Used engine oil
- Corrosive liquids
- Paint products
Before disposing of your liquid waste, check if it’s classified under hazardous liquids on the UK government website or contact the environment agency for advice.
Here is a simple process to safe disposal of hazardous liquid:
- Proper storage. The law requires you to store any hazardous liquid waste responsibly and compliantly. You must store it in compatible containers and seal them tightly to prevent leakage.
- Designate a hazardous liquid storage area. For instance, it’s advisable that you store it near the waste generation site.
- Add a secondary container that will capture any leaks or spills from the primary container (optional).
- Dispose of the hazardous waste at authorized sites. You can contact a specialist disposal company to collect the toxic liquid from your home or workplace. If you’re disposing of the liquid to a landfill, ensure that you use a site that’s authorized to accept the waste. Mostly, landfills reject certain types of hazardous liquids such as flammables and corrosives. So, check whether they accept your waste before delivering.
Disposing of hazardous liquid wastes in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner can be challenging for most people and businesses. However, non-compliance and irresponsible hazardous waste disposal can severely harm the environment and human health. Consequently, irresponsible waste disposers risk stringent penalties if they fail to comply with the set regulations. Therefore, you should strive to follow these few simple steps to ensure maximum compliance to waste disposal regulations.