5.1 The Issues
Needing to remove rubbish is inevitable and in actual fact has become more of an issue over the years because of the additional rubbish being generated by a more consumerist society, and the greater need to quite rightly improve the processes of doing this, whether that’s through health & safety issues, or correct recycling protocols.
You therefore need a full reality check of just what rubbish is being generated, if people are leaving it in the right way and area, how this is moved to any communal collection facility, and that there are no spin-off issues such as rodents, people complaining about items being mistakenly thrown away, and unhappy companies not reaching any recycling targets.
5.2 Recycle Waste
Nowadays, you need to first look at what can be recycled. Gauge what types of items are being generated, and what way they must be disposed of. So for example, an office occupier may only need a paper and card recycling facility and bin, whereas a household may generate other food and metal waste items needing numerous bins through the local authority.
There are also ancillary items like electrical goods through the WEEE Regulations 2006 (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), light bulbs and batteries, stationery and printer toners, clothes, confidential papers and shredding, and even bi-diesel from cooking oil.
The other essential aspect is good communication – regarding both how people use and place items in the right bins and containers, right through to ordering specialist services and additional bags or labels from specialist recycling companies which can be instructed at business properties.
5.3 Additional Waste
There are obvious issues such as fly tipping and dumped items like mattresses and furniture and TVs in communal areas, but also any more grey areas like cardboard boxes from moving in and chunky items not physically able to fit in any other waste container. It must be clear who is responsible for these in any communal areas.
The typical method is to take to a local authority refuse tip, or arrange for a special collection, being careful of where and when the items are stored for this. But there are other methods as well such as arranging a skip, or other specialist providers that can simply take items away and sift through recycle items, or focus more on specialist areas like metal items.
5.4 General Waste
Other ‘general waste’ should be collected by the local authority or other suppliers with business premises, after carefully taking out recycle and additional items.
Make sure it is correctly bagged up, placed in the right wheelie or other bin, taken out somewhere on collection day, and the actual bins themselves even washed and cleaned as a separate cleaning activity.
5.5 Communal Areas
We see this time and time again in communal areas, whether that’s an apartment block or, say, office block. Firstly you need the right facilities to cope with all requirements, catering for the specific type and volume of rubbish from each occupier.
Secondly though, it needs correct communication to everyone, and preparation for when things do go wrong. A typical example is after Christmas when excess food and gift waste can be in apartment blocks with everyone being at home over the holidays, and unless this is quickly removed then the usual refuse collection service can simply refuse to collect even the normal waste if they cannot access the bins, and so begin a cycle of rapid accumulation.
This tends to be for more commercial operations, and includes the supplier having the correct Waste Transfer Note and Licenses in order to be correctly removing waste from site. Occupiers may also have obligations and targets to meet, and require copies of these.
Under general Health & Safety compliance, the actual hygiene procedures related to waste not only need to be correct, but also the safe use of these by people, for example a cleaner needing to access an outside bin store area on a dark evening will need to consider Lone Worker issues and, say, adequate lighting and completing with others.