From Mucky to Immaculate – Cleaning Up. Everything You Need to Know About Waste Clearance and Fly Tipping Services
In this article, we’ll take you through the different types of commercial waste that exist – trust us, there is more to this than you may think – and address the disagreeable issue of fly-tipping. And, how we deal with all of it.
At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, commercial waste is a problem. In fact, quite a sizeable problem.
The latest available government statistics*, updated in June 2023, reveal that businesses in England produced a massive 33.9 million tonnes of what is referred to as commercial and industrial waste (C&I) in 2021.
Difficulties with Debris
Whilst household waste still accounts for most of what ends up in landfill, rubbish from shops, businesses, building sites and factories is still a significant concern.
As a responsible commercial landlord, property developer, or local authority officer, you are undoubtedly aware of the need to dispose of your business’s waste lawfully, and with great care. Business waste disposal legislation is exacting and delivers stringent and stiff penalties if you don’t know the rules or bypass them.
Equally, you may have been plagued by fly-tipping.
Not only does it look ugly, but this type of waste attracts rats and mice and poses a risk to health, Not least, as with neglected commercial waste, it’s all a combustible fire hazard. Equally, it impacts the environment with potentially harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Plus, if not cleared promptly, it multiplies as if by magic. For example, fly-tippers can almost sense bulk-tipped rubbish at 1000 paces – word goes around fast, it seems – with more illegal tipping piled on top of the original waste.
What is Commercial Waste?
A simple definition.
Commercial waste covers anything that’s generated by businesses – from fairly mundane office waste to that which is caused by all sizes and types of organisations.
The key difference between domestic and commercial waste is that, unlike your homely wheelie bin, there are strict guidelines and laws governing the garbage a business generates.
Later, we’ll touch briefly on the legislation and paperwork involved. But in the meantime, let’s look more closely at corporate flotsam and jetsam.
Types of Commercial Waste
The Environment Agency fully licenses Clearway, and our highly trained team has in-depth skills in safely and effectively removing and disposing of waste and fly-tipping.
Although we don’t offer regular commercial waste collection services, it’s a critical part of our working and built environment, and with 30 years’ experience, we understand it exceptionally well.
Trade waste is a general term that defines more or less any waste generated when a business builds or manufactures something or as a result of providing a service. Every company produces trade waste of some kind
It will vary by industry sector and includes:
- Scrap metal
- Scrap computers, electrical equipment and furniture
- Cardboard and paper
- Food rubbish
- Oils, including from cooking and manufacturing
- Construction materials
Likewise, recyclable materials such as cardboard, which, as organisations try to reduce their plastic use, appear to be taking over the world.
Let’s get more precise:
Biohazardous material is more defined. It’s anything that could pose a potential threat to our health or even be life-threatening.
For instance, human bodily fluids, blood, or tissues that contain blood. Also, animal waste, body parts and carcasses. Less gruesome perhaps, but equally dangerous: bedding material that’s known to be infected, pathological waste and microbiological waste from laboratories.
Last and by no means least, what is referred to as “sharps waste” – needles, glass slides and scalpels; in short, anything that could lacerate or puncture the skin.
Of note, is:
In vacant offices, items are nearly always left behind that could go up in flames.
Namely, mountains of old post, cardboard boxes, packaging and waste paper. They seem like everyday items, and they’re recyclable – indeed they are – but can represent a severe fire risk. Fumes, heat, and sparks can be incendiary. In a word: kaboom.
Vacant units without robust security are a magnet for criminals, too. There is always a danger of arson or accidental fires from vandals or squatters.
Removing every single scrap of material through a thorough commercial flammable waste disposal service is the only way to reduce the chance of an internal inferno.
The Environmental Protection Act, 1990 sets out the laws surrounding trade waste. All businesses MUST contain waste products safely and dispose of them properly.
It’s called Duty of Care, and it’s down to you as a business owner or a landlord.
Fail to take responsibility for your waste clearance, and you could receive a fine, or in the worst, most severe cases, a spell in prison – we kid you not. Here are some examples of law-breaking:
- Disposing of business waste in a domestic bin
- Throwing away trade waste at a household recycling centre or
- Any other method of disposal that doesn’t follow best practice
The way around this?
Either you can manage this process yourself or engage a contractor who adheres to licensing standards, such as Clearway, to handle everything on your behalf. Including the paperwork. Of course, the DIY route is possible, BUT you have to prove that you have disposed of your business waste legally and generate detailed records every time. Plus, you will need to pay separate disposal fees for each load of rubbish.
Outsourcing to the experts ensures that you remain compliant, plus it’s miles more convenient.
Fly-tipping is a (slightly) different kettle of fish.
What Exactly IS Fly-Tipping?
The term fly tipping derives from the verb tip, which means “to throw out of a vehicle” and is combined with the expression “on the fly” – to do something carelessly or casually.
Basically, it’s the illegal, unauthorised disposal of different types of waste.
It may involve building materials, car parts, household appliances and waste, furniture, scrapyard waste, old bedding – in fact, almost anything, including hazardous materials. Has it happened to you? If so, you’ll know how utterly unpleasant it is, that it can cause environmental damage and be dangerous. It makes an area look hostile, foul and unkempt, with land quickly turning into a rubbish dump.
Dumping waste on public land can have a considerable effect on local wildlife and farm business.
A Few Quick Facts
- Fly-tipping is a serious crime. The police can seize, impound and crush any vehicle used for fly-tipping. And, both the driver and the vehicle’s owner could be prosecuted.
- Anyone can report an incidence of fly-tipping, either on the Government’s website (https://www.gov.uk/report-flytipping) or on their local council’s website, as most have a reporting facility specifically for fly-tipping.
- The Controlled Waste Regulations Act only came into force in 2012! https://www.gov.uk/dispose-business-commercial-waste
- Weird, random “fly-tipped” things that have been found include a stolen empty cash machine, a picture of Adolf Hitler, a complete Roman solder statue and, err…sex toys (sorry).
Clean, with Clearway
Clearway is fully licensed to work for a range of clients to clear waste from public and private land, ensuring that the space is left clean and as environmentally friendly as possible. Also, we clear fly-tipping from all urban areas, including waste that blocks pavements, roads and streets – which can and does happen.
We then remove the residue to a registered waste transfer agent who processes the material to ensure that it’s disposed of under all waste disposal and environmental regulations.
We all strive for a greener world, yet commercial and trade waste will always be with us. Most likely, we can’t dispose of the need to dispose of things, so to speak. So, recycling and reusing will become imperative in the near future, if not already.
Always choose an experienced, legitimate business for your commercial waste disposal and to remove the eyesore of fly-tipping. With a licensed company, such as Clearway, you could reduce the problem – and not add to it.
Please be aware that we don’t provide regular waste clearance services.