The impact of improperly-managed waste goes far beyond a messy nature strip – it can lead to fines, stop-work orders, site-sealing and even court charges. We compiled a list of stories about waste management gone wrong that will set you thinking about the proper disposal of waste:
Faulty grease traps can be a nuisance
Depending on your location, regular grease trap maintenance is required by law. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to fines and overspills. In extreme cases, it may also lead to a business being sued by its neighbours. A restaurant in Macquarie Street, New South Wales found themselves the subject of a nuisance suit due to odours from a grease trap in their basement.
In Tasmania, a blocked grease trap shut down the Emergency Department of the Royal Hobart Hospital and caused an evacuation event that was classified as a “disaster that requires an emergency and immediate response.”
For restaurants, cafés and other businesses in the food and beverage industry, it’s always a good idea to service your traps two to six times a year to prevent bad smells, risk of flooding and overspills.
Pharmaceutical waste polluting the environment
Expired, unused and contaminated medication flushed down the toilet can find its way into our waterways, impacting wildlife. A study conducted in Victorian creeks found traces of human medication in river wildlife, though the long-term effects are yet to be fully understood.
Medical waste disposal is highly regulated and should be managed by a services provider licenced to safely collect and dispose of all types of medications and pharmaceutical by-products.
Hazardous waste leaching into the environment
Hazardous waste such as fuel oils, cooking oils, disinfectants, paints and cosmetics can damage the environment, wildlife and human health.
For householders, there are drop-off events such as Detox your Home in Victoria that will accept hazardous waste. Leftover paint and its related packaging are collected and recycled through Paintback. You can also drop off leftover paint at most local transfer stations, as well as batteries, fluorescent lights and motor oil.
Businesses with difficult to manage waste should contact their waste management provider for advice. A certified “trackable” waste transporter will be able to explain how your waste is processed, including tracking and documentation on how and where your waste is recycled or disposed.
Safe, efficient and documented disposal is critical to avoiding stockpiling that can put local communities at risk. Most recently there was a major factory fire in Melbourne involving flammable solvents that resulted in two workers sustaining significant injuries along with other major community impacts including the closure of several schools and other evacuations.
Don’t take the risk
A reputable waste management service provider can go a long way to help prevent these horror stories from happening. It’s more than simply collecting your waste, but helping your business minimise waste production and maximise recovery to meet your economic, environmental and social bottom lines.
Whether its medical waste, grease trap servicing or hazardous waste collection, disposal and recycling, Cleanaway offers a total range of waste management solutions with complete waste tracking from source to disposal and full compliance with all state regulations.
Read more about grease traps:
Everything you need to know about grease traps and why it matters
4 ways a scheduled grease trap service is better than on call
Waste management horror stories