The hidden dangers of hazardous waste.

In recent months there have been many reports of battery fires on landfill sites, waste vehicles and in MRF facilities across the country.  Lithium-ion batteries caused around 250 fires in the waste industry in 2019-20 – that is 38% of all fires.  This Safety Alert is being issued following several recent near misses involving non-conforming / hazardous waste (such as batteries and pressurised containers) entering the JWS site.   The fast actions of our colleagues prevented these events escalating into anything more serious, however correctly disposing of these items will prevent these incidents from occurring.

Hazardous waste is everywhere – it is more than likely that your workplace/household will produce it from many sources.  JWS customers should be aware of the dangers of non-conforming waste types not being spotted in the waste we are collecting from them and must segregate these for appropriate disposal.  If you are unsure about any potentially hazardous waste types, contact us on 0161 737 4545 or email and assist you in disposing of it safely.

Some of the most common types of non-conforming waste that we may come across at JWS include:

  • Batteries (including power tool, laptop etc).
  • Gas containers / fire extinguishers
  • Engine oil
  • Asbestos
  • Lightbulbs
  • Fridges/freezers
  • Tyres
  • Paints
  • Needles and other sharps
  • Bleach / cleaning products

This list is not exhaustive and when disposing of waste you should keep an eye out for any symbols on packaging or containers that indicates hazardous contents.  

If you do not correctly dispose of hazardous waste items, it can cause serious environmental and health and safety consequences.  By responsibly disposing of items such the ones mentioned above you will not only prevent fires and potentially serious accidents, but also preserve valuable resources by allowing them to be recycled and protecting the environment.

 Protect the environment, prevent fires and ensure the safety of our colleagues.  Always dispose of hazardous items responsibly.