Taking the strain out of waste

Current legislation that must be adhered to in the disposal of waste materials, is complex enough to catch out even the most organised company. In response to this, OSS Group has developed environmental audits which bring the solution to the customer and take the strain out of waste management.

Waste management is probably not the most attractive of areas when it comes to operating a business. However, it is one of the areas where there can be serious repercussions if you decide to dabble in waste disposal yourself or if you choose to use an unregistered company to help you.

Remaining compliant
Help is at hand in the form of OSS Group. A specialist in waste management procedures and waste handling, OSS Group can help businesses remain compliant with its newly developed environmental audits. These give customers the opportunity for OSS to visit their sites and conduct an in-depth audit into the waste management operation.

"The reason we launched our environmental audits," commented Grant Lockie from OSS Group, "is that very few companies actually understand the legal implications of the legislation and do not realise that they could be breaking the law with their current practices. By conducting the audit, we provide the information that the customer requires in order to make an informed decision on the future of the waste handling procedures."

The audits look at the types of waste the customer produces, how the waste is stored and disposed of, whether the right containers are on-site for waste storage, whether waste is being disposed of in the correct manner and whether copies of the Environment Agency paperwork is being kept.

In many cases site security and access to the site can pose problems for collection and many industrial sites do not have designated areas for storing waste for collection, which can present health and safety problems. OSS Group can then take the results of the audits and use this to work out the best method of waste management and collection for any given customer.

"No two audits are the same," said Lockie, "but we frequently find there are no personnel dedicated to managing the waste of an industrial site, which means some companies are not familiar with various legislation and regulations. It is vital that these companies are aware of Environment Agency requirements and we can provide information about this as well as offer advice on how they can facilitate the waste management and collection process."

All too often customers are not aware of all the waste streams that the Special Waste Regulations cover. It is not unusual to find that customers are concentrating on one area of waste such as waste oil, but forgetting about related items such as oily rags and absorbent granules. The environmental audits are designed to pick up on these areas in order for new procedures to be put in place to meet existing legislation.

Managing waste streams
"There are many companies currently working towards ISO14001 and, as part of this, they have to dispose of waste that has been on site for a long period of time. The Environmental Audit can identify problem areas and work with the customer to provide a solution," said Lockie, "On many of the larger industrial sites we deal with, one of the main problems is in keeping track of the waste streams across the company. We can help to ensure the entire site is managing waste streams properly and set up standard procedures that can be followed throughout the site."

One area where new legislation is likely to have a significant impact is on segregation of waste streams. Currently awareness amongst employees is not always seen as a key issue. When the new legislation comes into force it will be vital for employees to understand what waste is put where. Different types of waste will need to be segregated to ensure waste disposal costs are kept to a minimum.

"There could be a time in the not too distant future where a premium charge is made for removal of non-segregated waste," commented Grant Lockie, "By conducting an environmental audit we are giving our customers the chance to identify the problem areas in their waste management practices and help to put them right before the Environment Agency spots them."



Energy efficiency & low-carbon

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