The UK’s Environment Agency is reminding businesses in the printing sector who create hazardous waste of their legal obligation to handle it safely and responsibly, and to only give it to properly licensed waste carriers or waste facilities. The UK has a history of using landfills to dispose of both hazardous and non hazardous wastes cheaply and easily. These have commonly been disposed of together in the same landfill. Since July 16, this practice of co-disposal is banned, and all hazardous waste now requires treatment before it is landfilled.
Roy Watkinson, hazardous waste policy manager at the EA, says: “The handling, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste is an expensive process for most businesses. However, minimization – including substituting hazardous materials for non hazardous materials – provides a real opportunity to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
While some consequences of the legislation are unavoidable, such as increased costs, action is required by affected businesses to avoid more serious consequences, such as an increase in illegal waste management,” he warns.
Clear regulatory and good practice advice on environmental issues for small businesses, tailored for their industry sector, can be found at the agency’s website.
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