How to Handle Waste According to ISO 14001

a loaded dumpster

Did you know that the United States leads the world in the production of waste, generating more than 620,000 metric tons a day? This is the reason businesses should be more conscientious in managing everything they discard, like biodegradable waste, plastics, and hazardous materials.

The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) periodically updates its framework on waste management. According to ISO 14001, every organization should be doing the following.

Know your waste

You can’t manage what you cannot measure. Neither can you organize what you cannot correctly label and classify. Businesses can start by evaluating the different types of waste they generate and categorizing them based on characteristics and mode of disposal.

Which of the items are hazardous? Which are recyclable? Complete your evaluation by including information on volumes and frequencies as well.

Invest in labeled storage facilities

ISO 14001 requires establishments to have adequate storage spaces for different types of waste. For example, hazardous materials must be contained in a leak-proof environment clearly and visibly labeled.

Liquid waste must have its separate space appropriately designed for its characteristics. ISO quality auditors will likewise look into how you access these containers and check whether they have protection from the elements.

It is the responsibility of the organization to plan for emergencies so that even during a calamity, garbage remains safely contained.

Transport and disposal

You must contact a service provider to transport hazardous wastes, in particular, one with updated permits and credentials. A conscientious organization should work only with transport companies that have trained employees and licensed vehicles.

Training and documentation

Administrative policies should be in place to make sure that all employees are on board in the waste management program and document every step of the process properly.

Waste management services here in Utah can not only handle what you discard on a daily basis but also help orient your team on how to be compliant with ISO 14001 standards.

The International Organization of Standardization does not specify the steps that each company should take. Rather, you should apply the general principles of waste identification, storage, transport and documentation.

The goal here is not just to be compliant but also to really mitigate the impact of waste on the environment and people’s health.