The Importance of Waste Compliance for Businesses
If at all possible, it’s hard to find a business or company that does not in some way generate waste, which impacts the environment. Therefore, businesses need to handle the generated waste appropriately, following disposal and recycling regulations.
These rules are not the same for different localities and are constantly being updated. Hence, it is necessary to keep up with the current practices to ensure that your business does not flout the rules and regulations. This can be an uphill battle even for the most compliant of businesses. However, you cannot afford to put the health and safety of both your employees and your environment at risk.
Waste compliance does not only involve following the stipulated rules. It also involves waste management, which concerns the handling of waste until the time of disposal. It includes how the business collects, processes, recycles, reuses, or disposes of waste. Proper waste management starts with asking yourself this simple question- what type and size of waste bin do I need?
As the business grows and urbanization continues, so does the waste produced. This is worrisome from the viewpoint of climate change, depletion of natural resources like water and trees, and pollution. Thus, proper waste compliance is integral to stopping all these.
Waste disposal regulations for businesses.
Rules differ based on your region and even the type of business. However, there are a few central rules and regulations in some areas of waste disposal and management.
1. Hazardous Waste Disposal Regulations
Hazardous wastes are any waste that can be harmful to the environment and the health of the population. Hazardous waste can be generated from batteries, televisions, paints, and gasoline. Any business can produce hazardous waste, so companies should be aware of the waste they produce.
To ensure adequate removal of waste, one must:
- Store it safely and correctly
- Dispose of the trash at authorized sites only
- Work with a registered waste carrier
- Try as much as possible to reduce and recycle the waste before disposing of it
- Understand the landfill’s requirements for hazardous waste before accepting it for disposal.
- Avoid mixing hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste. This will contaminate the non-hazardous waste, giving it a hazardous status.
2. Recycling Regulations
Recycling is one of the essential tenets of waste management and compliance. It entails finding another use for material to ensure it does not become waste. Many places have mandatory recycling laws, including 25 states in the United States. However, check within your community to know what rules are guiding them.
Some places may allow the recycling of certain materials, while some may not. For instance, Arizona in the US bans the recycling of lead-acid batteries while Montana does not. Recycling is not simply throwing recyclable materials into a bin and calling it a day. You have to sort through them to make sure they are easily recyclable. In some places, there are areas designated for aluminum/steel and other areas for plastic/rubber.
A common saying for recycling goes, “reuse, reduce, recycle.” Before you throw out a material, see if it is reusable. This will help reduce your waste and increase recycling. You will be following regulations and helping the environment.
3. Electrical Waste Regulations
Digitization and urbanization have numerous advantages, but the production of electrical waste is one of the cons. As more businesses become reliant on electronics, waste production increases. Electrical waste or WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) is an electrical item that uses a battery, can be plugged in, or requires a source of electrical power. This could be an appliance or a tool, discarded computers, mobile phones, televisions, refrigerators, etc. Sometimes, they contain hazardous materials and can be classified as hazardous waste, so the regulations for hazardous waste can apply to WEEE.
Usually, you are to keep this waste no more than three months before you contact the appropriate authority. The highest amount of WEEE that can be stored on-premises in your home or company is 80 cubic meters. However, for electrical wastes containing mercury, it is 50 cubic meters.
Importance of Waste Compliance for businesses
1. Improves Brand Perception
Having a good reputation is very important in the world of business. If people see that you are interested in the well-being of your staff and the environment, they are more likely to trust your products and services.
2. Avoid Unnecessary Fines
Refusing to follow the waste disposal regulations of your area can be costly. You can be fined or barred from doing business, which will affect your bottom line. Hence, it would be wise to do the right thing when it is meant to be done.
3. Improves Employee Morale
Collectively working towards not just a better return on investments but a greener future will improve the company’s energy. When your staff sees that you want to improve the environment, they will take better pride in the work and business. This can make them even more interested in waste compliance than the business itself. With time, your business wears its status as an environmentally conscious business both internally and externally.
4. Prevents Diseases
Usually, rules and regulations regarding waste after thorough research on the effect of waste on the environment. More often, improper waste disposal and management results in several health challenges. Hazardous waste can affect the soil, water, and air. This can cause several ailments, from cancer to respiratory issues. When your business complies with the rules and regulations and prevents workspace and environmental contamination, you prevent diseases.
5. Improves Efficiency
When you manage your waste appropriately, you tap into a broad range of benefits to the operational processes of your business. When waste management becomes a crucial part of the company’s day-to-day running, it spills into other functions of your business. For instance, you realize that the workforce becomes more efficient as the idea of “no wastage” becomes part of your business culture.
Waste management also makes financial sense, like how reusing materials allows you to work within your budget. So, make sure that you always reuse, reduce, and recycle in your business.
Still not sure that your business is compliant with the regulations? We can help out! Our digital platform tracks compliance policies, rules, and regulations and updates them in real-time so that your company is compliant at every point, regardless of the constant changes.
Check how the platform works here.