There are many reasons as to why you may need to dispose of cleaning products, but you should always do so safely and properly.
In the UK, businesses of every kind are legally responsible under the Environment Protection Act 1990 for safely containing and disposing of any and all waste they produce as part of their ‘Duty of Care’, including unwanted or unused cleaning products, and failure to do so could even result in prosecution.
So, it’s crucial that you know how to get rid of cleaning products that you don’t need. This is because many types of cleaning products are classified as hazardous, and so will need to be disposed of in a particular way.
A guide to cleaning product disposal
First of all, the reasons for proper disposal of cleaning products are to prevent damage to the environment, and also to avoid any risk to human health.
You should not simply pour unwanted cleaning products down the sink or toilet, especially if they are hazardous cleaning chemicals. This is because large quantities of hazardous cleaning products can contaminate water supplies and it also creates a risk of separate cleaning chemicals becoming mixed, which as you can read about in our blog post on dangerous cleaning myths, can have very severe results or even be fatal. You should also not simply throw them into the bin.
You can find out whether the cleaning products that you wish to dispose of are classed as hazardous by carefully reading the product labels to check their CLP classification, as well as the UK guidelines on hazardous waste, which will also tell you how to legally dispose of them if they are. We also recommend that the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are consulted for advice and guidelines on disposal. To ensure that they stay on the right side of the law, many businesses should use an authorised waste contractor to handle and dispose of their waste, including hazardous waste. For more information, we always recommend contacting your local council to find out how to dispose of waste from your business if you aren’t sure.
Preventing and managing cleaning product waste
Of course, you should try to avoid needing to dispose of cleaning products by only purchasing the quantity that you will need. But waste does happen, so it’s important to know how to handle it when it does.
If the environment is of a particular concern to your business, you may want to consider using environmentally-friendly cleaning products, which are specially designed to have a greatly reduced impact on the environment whilst still being very effective in their purpose. Of course, you’d still need to dispose of these types of products responsibly should this be required, but during their typical course of use they pose less of a risk to the environment and local wildlife.
At Bunzl CHS you can find a great selection of environmentally-friendly cleaning products in our own range of Greenline environmental cleaning products, and biological cleaning products from InnuScience and Cleantec. And of course if you have any thoughts or tips regarding disposing of cleaning products, or using environmentally-friendly cleaning products in your business, we’d love to hear them, so leave us a comment below.