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Toolbox talk on waste disposal

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Waste disposal means discarding, removing, recycling or destroying waste. Waste is unwanted materials from agriculture, domestic or homes and industrial products. Proper waste disposal is necessary to maintain a safe working environment and also helps to comply with relevant regulations.

Waste disposal has a lot of benefits when done effectively on a site. A site with effective waste disposal promotes a good image of the company involved. Other benefits are 

  • Waste disposal promotes the efficiency of work at the site. 
  • It encourages good safety habits. The appropriate waste disposal is economical and has numerous environmental benefits.

Examples of waste that can exist in a workplace 

1. Asbestos.

It’s always good to learn how to manage asbestos properly. The asbestos waste is hazardous. Asbestos exposure can cause a disease called mesothelioma cancer, lung cancer and asbestosis. Always allow licensed waste managers to handle this kind of waste for you. Each exposure to asbestos increases someone’s risk of contracting these diseases. You must avoid asbestos as much as you can and do not disturb any asbestos-containing materials in any way.

2. Medical waste.

The medical waste may contain some infectious materials, blood and body fluid. So, take enough care in the management of the medical waste and on the disposal. Most times, the usual disposal method is to incinerate it. Another recommendation can be to place it in a waste container and deploy the services of a licensed waste management company to handle it. 

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3. Radioactive waste.

If you have a business dealing with this kind of waste, you should have had the proper plan in place to handle this kind of waste. The plan should include classifying the waste, handling, storage and disposal methods. The radioactive waste comes as a by-product of using the radioactive materials. All radioactive waste is hazardous and can harm persons and the environment.

4. Electronic waste.

Electronic waste is known as E-waste. It is mainly from the electronic products that are not working. Examples of these are computers, photocopiers, televisions, and fax machines. Electronic waste is dangerous to the environment because it releases toxic chemicals that naturally leach from the metals when buried in the soil.

5. Tyre waste.

Tyre waste has a long life and is non-biodegradable. The disposal is most times a challenging task. However, you can manage it by the following methods such as mechanical grinding, cryogenic grinding and pyrolysis. These are recycling methods for the tyre to serve another purpose. 

6. Chemical waste.

Chemical waste is unused and unwanted chemicals that cause damage to the human body and the environment. It has various types such as hazardous, non-hazardous, household hazardous waste, and universal waste. 

Methods of waste disposal.

1. Recycling.

Recycling converts the waste into a new type of usable product. The recycling involves the processing of the waste to generate a new product. Paper, plastics, glass, metals, and aluminium can go through this recycling process. 

2. Incineration.

Incineration turns waste into its base components. The process gives rise to biogas and ash used as cooking fuel and hydroponic solutions respectively. It is mainly cheap to incinerate waste. 

3. Composting.

This method of waste disposal involves letting the waste stay in a pit for an extended period. During those times when it decays completely, it can serve as a manure for plants. 

4. Sanitary landfill.

This method involves throwing waste into a landfill using a layer of protective lining as a barricade between the landfill and the groundwater so that the waste does not leak into the groundwater. The sanitary landfills should be formed in locations free from flooding and with low groundwater. 

What to do to promote effective waste disposal on site.

  • Ensure proper waste separation procedures in your site or factory. Use a suitable labelled container to separate different waste types e.g. metals, wood, plastics or paper. 
  • Position all waste containers closer to waste generation points. 
  • Do not store waste closer to the point of watercourses to prevent an immediate pollution hazard.
  • Ensure that all contaminated waste is protected with membranes to prevent contaminating the environment.
  • Control liquid waste to prevent contaminating the environment. Such liquid waste is Oil, chemicals, and wet concrete.
  • Educate the workers on waste recycling methods and provide clear guidelines on things that can be recycled or can not be recycled.
  • Ensure that the recycled materials gathered are collected and transported by the waste management company.
  • Make provisions for waste bins for different types of waste on-site.
  • There should be procedures to manage spills on site and educate the workers about them.
  • Clean all spills immediately to avoid environmental contamination.
  • Do not dispose of waste improperly either by burying it in unauthorised areas.
  • Record and document all waste activities with the relevant certifications and permits.
  • Always identify the source of every waste and document this in the waste transfer note.
  • Engage the service of the waste management contractors for all waste disposal and removal from your site. This is a legal thing to do. 

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