Commercial waste disposal: everything you need to know!
Climate change and environmental protection are the big topics of the present and the greatest challenges of our future, affecting not just individual countries, but the entire planet. Extreme weather events, heatwaves, powerful rain and storms: the consequences can already be felt. Protecting the environment is urgently necessary. The use of resources is of high relevance, especially considering the growth of economies and populations. How should we handle natural resources, and how can our treatment of them be made more sustainable and economical, protecting raw materials, space and the environment?
Environmental protection starts with correct waste disposal. The pollution of nature is an example of a problem that can even harm human health, in the case of pollution by special waste. The environment is also polluted if waste is incorrectly disposed of, destroying habitats, say, in the sea. Thus, sparing and sustainable waste disposal is becoming ever more important. This applies just as much to private households as to companies.
Not only the right disposal, but also the separation of waste plays an important role. Waste separation can be sustainable and resource-saving, allowing high-quality recycling. Recycling draws on existing resources and allows them to be reused in new products or packaging.
In this blog article, we at Deutsche Recycling want to tell you what commercial waste management looks like and what legal provisions need to be considered to ensure compliant, sustainable commercial waste disposal.
What is commercial waste? – a definition
Commercial waste is waste not coming from private homes but commercial operations. It comes from craft, commerce and the service sector. In parts, it is also similar to waste from private homes: it includes paper, biowaste, residual waste and “Yellow Sack” packaging waste. Special waste is also a relevant category in commercial waste disposal and waste disposal from companies and industry.
Special waste includes substances harmful to humans and the environment that must never be disposed of with household waste. Special waste includes chemicals, used oil, construction rubble, electrical waste, plastics, wood and bulk waste.
Commercial waste disposal: what are the rules?
Commercial waste disposal is thus different from private household waste disposal, as it also includes commercial waste. But what should commercial waste disposal look like? What rules are in force?
Since 2003, the Commercial Waste Disposal Regulation (GewAbfV), modified and amended in 2017 and 2019, has dealt with commercial waste disposal. It requires the following:
- commercial waste should be separated at its place of origin
- waste separation has been expanded
- companies’ waste disposal must be more strictly documented.
It does not cover electrical waste and batteries, for which the WEEE Directive and BattG (Battery Act) provide specific rules. Deutsche Recycling is at your side to offer all the help you need.
The Regulation and its goals
The idea behind the Commercial Waste Disposal Regulation is that waste should be treated as sustainably as possible. In addition, the proportion of waste that gets incinerated should be reduced. A further goal of the Regulation is to increase the proportion of waste that actually gets recycled. It includes raising the recycling rate for commercial waste from 7 to 30 percent. Recycling is important because it consumes fewer resources and helps save energy.
Who does the Regulation apply to?
The Commercial Waste Disposal Regulation regulates waste disposal by the owners and generators of urban waste from commercial use. This includes commercial operations, private and public institutions and freelancers. In addition, the owners and generators of construction and demolition waste and of pre-treatment and processing plants are also subject to the relevant legal regulations.
What does this mean for companies’ waste disposal?
For commercial waste disposal, the Regulation means, on the one hand, that separation must be increased and made more stringent compared to the previous version. Commercial waste was once divided into paper, glass, plastic, metals and biowaste. With the new Regulation in force, two categories have been added: wood and textiles. For construction waste, the division is into roof tiles, insulation, tiles and ceramics, concrete and bitumen mixes.
In addition, stricter documentation for commercial waste disposal is required. The documentation is obligatory and records the amount of waste arising per site of generation or construction measure.
Documenting commercial waste
Documentation of commercial waste disposal consists of the following:
- indicating the local conditions, composition of the waste and its disposal
- for each kind of waste: indicating the expected whereabouts of the waste, its mass and the disposal company
- if it is impossible to separate all the waste arising, you must explain the situation leading to the production of mixed waste. The cause of this could be the lack of sufficient technical options or economic reasons. These could be the small amount of waste produced or its prior contamination.
The documentation of commercial waste disposal can be drawn up on paper or electronically.
Successfully mastering commercial waste disposal
Here at Deutsche Recycling, we are your competent and reliable partner for environmental compliance and commercial waste disposal. If you have questions, please do get in contact with us! We look forward to being able to help you further.