What are the different types of hazardous waste disposal?

Posted on: 20 November 2019

Most businesses nowadays are likely to have some type of waste management policy, often with a heavy emphasis on reducing waste of all types and recycling it whenever possible. A lot of companies will also make policies regarding how they manage hazardous waste, which can present a whole range of different problems.

Hazardous waste is normally thought of as any type of material that can potentially cause harm to humans or the local or global environment. Some examples of hazardous wastes would be solvent-based paints and thinners, different types of domestic and garden products that use certain chemicals, most types of batteries and a significant amount of electrical equipment, such as TV monitors and computers.

In addition, there are two or three other types of hazardous waste that need specific and detailed handling policies.


Asbestos was widely used in the building and construction industry for many years and at the time was considered a safe material. It became clear over time, however, that it was extremely dangerous and was a major cause of many respiratory illnesses, many of which were fatal. It was eventually prohibited by a national ban from being used in any construction work in Australia at the end of 2003.

As such, asbestos is still present in many buildings and homes, and its removal can be a highly complex process that requires very specific planning and execution. There is a government code of practice that details very clearly how asbestos should be managed and controlled in any workplace environment.

Medical waste

Many healthcare facilities will be involved in day-to-day procedures that generate a significant amount of what is deemed to be hazardous waste, and they should all have policies in place as to how it should be disposed of.

Such waste may well contain blood or other bodily fluids, faeces and a whole range of other infectious materials. Any healthcare professional dealing with such waste should always follow specific protocols as to how it should be handled and disposed of. This will normally involve using certain containers, often referred to as sharps bins, and certain types of disposal bags that will normally be in different colours for specific types of contaminants.

It is likely that most, in not all, of the hazardous waste will be incinerated, and the healthcare facility will normally have a contract with a licensed waste contractor, who will undertake the storage and disposal of all hazardous waste products.

Electronic waste

Already referred to briefly above, electronic waste may not be thought of as a hazardous material, but the build-up of TV monitors and computer equipment can have a significant impact on the environment if it is not disposed of properly. The best way to dispose of it is to recycle it, ideally at the nearest recycling drop-off point, which should have specific containers for all types of electronic equipment that is being discarded.

For more information, contact a hazardous waste disposal service.