If you’re assessing your commercial waste disposal requirements or looking for a contractor to manage the process for you, it’s important to distinguish between different types of commercial waste!
Businesses have a legal requirement to ensure all waste products are handled safely, transported appropriately, and disposed of following Environment Agency rules.
However, there can be a world of difference between biohazardous waste products, sharps, and dangerous by-products that require specialist treatment.
In this guide, the Problock team explains the difference between commercial waste types and how that impacts your waste management systems.
Defining Types of Commercial Waste
First, let’s clarify what we mean by commercial waste – and how it is different from domestic or agricultural rubbish.
Any waste produced by any business, company or trading activity is considered commercial waste.
That applies across the board to all industries. Businesses providing sports, retail, recreation, education or hospitality all have the same obligations to have a responsible waste management policy in place.
The differentiation matters because there are stringent measures in place. For example, you can be fined or even prosecuted for disposing of commercial waste in domestic bins or through a residential recycling facility.
Even grass clippings produced from a business facility are treated as commercial waste.
Types of commercial waste can be broadly categorised as:
- Biodegradables – organic matter that will break down and could be composted.
- Chemical waste – residues, by-products or waste materials created through a commercial enterprise.
- Electronic rubbish – e-waste includes used electronics, junk computers, or discarded electronic items that are no longer required by a business.
- Demolition waste – waste produced from demolitions can include bricks, rubble, concrete, debris, wood, timbers, steel, drywall and shingle.
- Electrical rubbish – that might be wiring, piping, redundant fixtures, cabling or electrical components produced during a manufacturing or installation process.
- Construction waste – building waste includes any debris created through a building process. That might be packaging, surplus materials, and waste by-products or demolished brickwork.
- Food leftovers or packaging – that includes any rubbish produced in a commercial property, whether as part of the business operations or by staff.
While professional waste disposal contractors may offer alternative waste bins for different types of commercial rubbish, all must deliver reliable containment, transport and disposal for commercial waste of any kind.
Safe Treatment of Commercial Waste
Businesses must handle any waste falling under any category professionally. Commercial waste can be highly hazardous – think about medical waste, discarded materials following an accident, or animal waste from a veterinary surgery.
The vast array of potential commercial waste products means those contractors must hold a license issued by the Environment Agency.
Licensing proves that they have sufficient experience, resources, equipment and personnel to handle even biohazardous items safely, and ensure it is disposed of correctly.
Your choice of contractor will depend on the nature of your business and the type of waste you produce.
Further considerations involve decontaminations. If you have any hazardous waste on your property or site, this must be dealt with promptly to avoid additional issues, health hazards or infestations.
Decontamination ensures that the business is then safe to return to and residues have been removed.
Should you require professional deep cleaning or decontamination services, you will need an experienced team such as Problock to provide a comprehensive service and the correct cleaning chemicals to eliminate any health risks.
What to Look for in a Licensed Commercial Waste Carrier
There are broad ranges of licensed commercial waste contractors, some of which may have specialist sectors or types of waste they concentrate on handling.
If you are looking for a reliable carrier, here are a few things to check for:
- Licensing – every commercial waste carrier must have appropriate licencing to handle commercial waste, including potentially hazardous materials.
- Experience – a contractor with decades of UK commercial waste disposal experience is an excellent option to ensure the job is done well and correctly.
- Reputation – we’d always advise looking at customer testimonials to see how well the contractor delivers and to check that the service standards are as you’d expect.
- Resources – waste management can include PPE, specialist vehicles, trained personnel, hired waste bins, refuse collection, and a range of tools and equipment.
- By working through these elements, you can ensure that your short-listed commercial waste carrier has all the licensing and experience you need to confirm your commercial waste disposal obligations have been met in full.