In this article, Richard Walker, from Reconomy, explores the various stages of hazardous waste management that businesses need to adhere to...


rom environmental damage to harming human health, hazardous waste is a

delicate matter. It’s important for businesses that produce hazardous waste as part of their processes to take responsibility for how it is dealt with, so a suitable waste management system is a must. For example, if your site is part of a construction project, hazardous waste can’t be placed in the same 8 yard skip used for other waste; it must be kept separate. Whether the hazardous waste in

question is a solid, liquid, contained gas, or sludge, there is a risk of it contaminating other areas of your business site, such as surface or groundwater supplies. This in turn can cause major damage and harm to a much wider area. Therefore, the government enforces strict guidelines on the required monitoring and handling of hazardous waste by businesses in the UK. The various stages of hazardous waste

management that you need to adhere to: Step one: what form does it take? If your business creates or stores any form of hazardous waste, then you have a ‘duty of care’. This means that it is up to you to identify exactly what the hazardous waste is and how to deal with it. Naturally, the easiest way of dealing with hazardous waste is to limit how much of it

your company is producing, but sometimes it is unavoidable and needs to be dealt with. The key step to correctly identifying hazardous waste is to check which of the following two conditions it fits — is it harmful to humans, or is it harmful to the environment? Common examples are: Batteries; Solvents; Asbestos; Pesticides; Oils such as car oil; Equipment that contains ozone depleting substances such as fridges; and chemicals such as brake fluid and printer toner. If the waste you have falls into any of the above categories, it needs to be stored separately from your other waste. You must ensure this hazardous material doesn’t contaminate general waste. Step two: storing hazardous waste There are four sub-categories of hazardous waste: construction, demolition, industry, and agriculture. Regardless of which your company’s waste comes under, the next step after identification is to store it safely. Essentially, the storage facility for hazardous waste needs to be secure enough that it can’t be tampered with or leak out. It also needs to be labelled clearly for anyone on-site to see what it is. You should also utilise waterproof covers in order to prevent any contaminated run-off. For liquid waste,

If your business creates or stores any form of hazardous waste, then you have a ‘duty of care’. This means that it is up to you to identify exactly what the hazardous waste is, and how to deal with it


The purest water in the world is the ultrapure water used in the manufacture of silicon semiconductor devices. The reason is quite simple: the spacing of circuit components on an integrated circuit chip is measured in nanometres, so any impurity in the water used for rinsing them during fabrication could bridge between them resulting in a failure of the chip. Impurity concentrations in ultrapure semiconductor rinse water are measured in nanogrammes per litre (ng/L) or parts per trillion – that’s equivalent to an average sized needle in a large haystack. When one of Europe’s largest silicon wafer manufacturers needed a new water treatment plant, one of

their main concerns was ensuring that the water was totally sterile. Part of this process is regular sanitisation of the recirculating distribution ring main system. Due to the need to maintain water purity, traditional sanitising chemicals cannot be used. An alternative solution is a high dose (20mg/l) of ozone, which effects sanitisation within a few hours, reducing colony forming unit count (CFU), and Total Organic Compounds (TOC). Ozone does not introduce any breakdown products into the water as other sanitising agents do. It also means that the ultrapure water is able to be used more than once. However, to restore ultrapure water quality after sanitisation, the residual ozone has to be removed. The manufacturer contacted Ozonetech to provide the sanitisation system. The Swedish company develops and markets premium systems and solutions, based on proprietary ozone generation technology, to purify, disinfect and deodorize air and water.

Ozone is easily and quickly destroyed by ultraviolet

radiation so Ozonetech worked with atg UV Technology to develop an ozone destruction system to meet the 3m3


flow rate during sanitisation. The result was model UVM- 25-4 with a 2.5kW medium pressure lamp delivering a UV dose of 120mJ/cm². The standard reactor had to be modified to suit the restricted installation space in the ring main but this was carried out during manufacture, so there were no delays to installation on site. atg UV 24 MARCH 2019 | PROCESS & CONTROL

use a bund or barrier to prevent spills. You cannot store multiple types of hazardous waste together — you must store each type separately. It is good practice to have employees regularly check on hazardous waste storage units to make sure there is no damage or leakage. Step three: maintaining records Be sure to keep an up-to-date, classified inventory of the hazardous waste you are storing at your facility. This includes a note of its location on your site. Should an incident occur, you will then have the information on hand to help the emergency services. When your hazardous waste is collected and moved off-site, you will need to complete a consignment note prior to the waste being taken away. This will need to be done if the waste is being collected from businesses that are registered waste carriers, if the waste is being moved from one site to another within the same organisation, or if another business has created the waste on your site and it is being moved. A consignment note is not needed if the

waste being moved is domestic hazardous waste (except asbestos), or it has been imported and exported internationally and requires a different movement note. The consignment note will require certain information to be filled in (there is a nominal charge for each completed consignment note): • Waste description – A complete

description of the waste being taken away • Quantity – The total weight in kilos, or

appropriate measure for liquid waste • Chemical components – The chemical

and biological composition of the waste • Physical form – State whether the hazardous waste is gaseous, liquid, solider, sludge, powder, or mixed.



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