25th Jan, 2017
Dominating industry news at the moment is a man who got himself into trouble for running a waste disposal business without a licence. You might be asking: what’s the problem there? He’s still getting rid of it, isn’t he? Well, there’s a reason we need licences from the Environment Agency – proper waste disposal is actually a very complex discipline, and doing it incorrectly can have serious consequences.
In order for any legitimate waste disposal business to run – especially those who trade in skip hire like us – it has to have a permit from the government, whose Environment Agency is responsible for overseeing all things environmental. As anyone who’s ever benefitted from hiring a skip before can tell you: we as a species produce untold amounts of waste, far more than any other animal on the planet, and the sheer volume of it requires careful handling and training that you just can’t teach yourself. Trying to run a waste disposal business without this permit – and therefore government oversight – is very illegal.
Although it’s probably true to say that most people see landfill as a fairly simple process, it’s not just a matter of dumping rubbish into the ground anymore. Landfill management is actually a very precisely engineered discipline that’s evolving all the time. Each landfill site is carefully chosen based on its suitability, meaning it should be well away from lakes or rivers or other water sources. If they are any present, steps need to be taken to protect them. Landfills are also divided up into zones – only one zone can be used at a time, to better compartmentalise waste and therefore exercise greater control over how it breaks down.
Modern waste disposal experts also need to know how to assess a site for flood risks, and know how to control land drainage. Rain and other weather factors are very important to consider, because they could potentially leak into the soil, pick up bacteria and then leak right out again, carrying these infections with them as they go.
Disposing of waste isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Different types of waste need to be categorised, sub-categorised and separated, with each different category treated accordingly. For example, licensed disposal facilities use special liners to prevent toxic chemicals from leaking out, as well as prevent the aforementioned issue with rain (known as “leaching” in the industry). Otherwise, waste sites can leak contaminants which then affect local water sources, posing a threat to humans, wildlife and the environment alike. Likewise, burning the wrong types of waste can release toxic gases into the atmosphere – such as methane, which is among the most infamous of the greenhouse gases.
Sometimes, incorrect or irresponsible disposal can affect us in even more direct ways. Unsanctioned disposal sites can make the ground unsafe or unhygienic for humans or animals who come across it. The latter in particular sometimes have a habit of digging up the nastier items, occasionally going on to act directly as unwitting carriers for diseases. The Environment Agency has also investigated extremely unsafe “waste disposal sites” – a phrase we use with the heaviest of air quotes – such as those owned by man we mentioned above. These have been found to very dangerous materials like paint pots, car batteries and even just containers of chemicals lying about in the open.
At Skip Hire Network, we don’t hold with any of that illegal nonsense. We’re fully in compliance with the law, and all regulations set out by the Environment Agency. What’s more, unlike unsanctioned companies, any waste we do end up sending to landfill benefits from the UK’s marvellous renewable energy infrastructure – for example, the greenhouse gases that rotting waste produces is carefully contained by experts and used to power the national energy grid.
What’s more, there are plenty of other reasons to choose us. Or maybe you’re already sold, in which case all you need to do is enter your postcode and phone number onto our website to get started!
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