Dealing With Hazardous Waste In The Workplace

Look around you. Sitting at your desk, what hazardous waste can you see? None? Think again…

Are you aware that some of the everyday items used in your office need to be disposed of in a specific way? There’s actually more hazardous waste around you than you might think, such as light fittings, laptops, and even the headsets you may use to make calls with. And with the potential harm hazardous waste can cause, it’s important to know what it is, and how to dispose of it correctly.

Many people don’t think about what happens when the equipment they rely on to perform their job comes to the end of its life.

Just take a quick look around you now – if your office is anything like mine then you’re probably reading this on your laptop – it contains a battery. Or you might have a desktop computer with a monitor – both contain electrical and electronic components. I’m very fond of my wireless mouse and keyboard, but what happens to the batteries once they run flat? Not to mention the computer hardware itself – what does your IT department do with that once it’s no longer fit for purpose?

I look to my left and my mobile phone is on the desk, next to my laptop. Ever wondered what happens to yours once it’s sent its final text?

Today I have a meeting, and I’m just about to go into the board room to set up the projector, so I can present to the Management team. The projector has a bulb in, and it’s an electrical device. What happens when the bulb needs changing? Where does the old one go? Oh, and I must remember to print out a couple of handouts for my meeting, but the toner cartridge in the printer is empty and I need to replace it. What do I do with the empty cartridge?

You can’t just put these things in the bin.

Take toner cartridges as an example. According to statistics from The Recycling Factory, “Over 65 million printer cartridges are sold each year in the UK alone. Of these 65 million cartridges, only an estimated 15% are recycled or reused.” So, where are the remaining 55 million? Chances are, they’re just thrown in the bin.

Hazardous waste in the workplace, or anywhere for that matter, requires proper hazardous waste management. This not only protects the health and wellbeing of everyone in the office, but it also protects the environment around you.

That’s why our dedicated team is on hand to provide the following hazardous waste services:

WEEE Collection

Our Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) service is perfect for dealing with the hazardous waste you find in your office – even the kitchen area!

Our service will collect your redundant electricals and either purpose them for re-use, recycle them or dispose of them in a safe, compliant way that minimises negative impacts on the environment. We collect items such as computers, monitors, TVs, keyboards and projectors. Our service even extends to the kitchen area of your office – got any unwanted fridges, microwaves, kettles or freezers? We’ll handle these for you too.

Use Biffa’s WEEE Collection service and get your old office equipment removed safely.

Waste Safe Mini

If you’re unsure about how to dispose of hazardous waste in the workplace, our Waste Safe Mini is perfect for hazardous waste removal in office environments. With its interlocking lid and reasonable weight limit, it can store batteries, light bulbs, WEEE and a whole host of other hazardous waste. And what’s more, we will empty your Waste Safe Mini as often as you need us to, leaving you with another to fill up all over again before your next hazardous waste collection!

About the author

Arlene Allen

Arlene is Commercial Director at Biffa heading up the Hazardous Waste Division.