Within this article, we'll talk about proper waste disposal for a machine shop.

The production process of a workshop is quite extensive.

First of all, you need to find the best spare parts, at the best market price. Satisfying the customer is one of the priorities of the workshop, but we must not forget the correct waste disposal either.

It is a personal commitment to the environment and respect for others.

As far as mechanical workshops are concerned, there is an obligation to dispose of the waste that is produced according to the regulations in force. If this does not happen, you will face heavy administrative and criminal penalties.

In fact, the workshop produces different materials and special waste every day, which are potentially dangerous. The latter are regulated by specific codes, which must be entrusted to transport companies registered in the register of environmental managers.

The ultimate goal is to transport the waste to authorized recovery or disposal centres.

In fact, every day the workshops produce a lot of dangerous waste, such as toxic paints, but also fuel filters, motor oil, car batteries, iron, plastic and tyres.

All of these products clearly cannot be thrown into landfills like normal products. This is why the owners of the workshops are required to follow a series of practices. Waste tracking as well as storage and disposal are key aspects.

Let's make a brief technical remark, to understand the various distinctions of waste in Italy.

The Italian law, according to legislative decree 152 number 2006 and subsequent amendments, divides waste into two macro-categories: urban waste and special waste.

Municipal waste is that which includes household waste (such as classic rubbish), but also vegetables (such as grass, plants and organic waste). This waste must be collected in bins, or in public bins.

Special waste, on the other hand, derives from industrial and commercial processing waste. Let's not forget the obsolete machinery materials, or purification treatments or pieces and parts of vehicles.

There is also a second classification, which makes it possible to distinguish between hazardous waste for humans and the environment and non-hazardous waste.

Based on these distinctions, workshop waste is special waste and can therefore be dangerous in the case of oil and batteries…or even non-hazardous such as scrap iron or bodywork.

In both cases, however, this waste must be transported by companies registered in the register of environmental managers. There is, in particular, a precise series of documents in this regard which must be drawn up by the workshop.

The first is certainly the loading and unloading register, which contains all the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the waste. The date and registration number must be indicated, as well as the CER codes, the weight and the description of the waste vehicle.

Let's not forget the waste identification form for transport and disposal. This document must accompany the transport of any special waste, indicating the identity of the producer, but also the carrier and the recipient. To the competent Chamber of Commerce, it is necessary to present the Single Model of Environmental Declaration. It is an annual document, mandatory for producers of hazardous special waste and for producers of non-hazardous special waste with more than 10 employees.

Taking a brief look at the methods of storage of the various types of waste to pay attention to, we certainly have waste oils that must be stored in suitable containers. The latter must be placed above ground, on a waterproofed floor.

The batteries must instead be placed inside containers with lids and made of a material resistant to sulfuric acid. Lastly, the tires must be stored in well-defined temporary deposits, covered and built on a waterproof base.

The classic filters are subject to the loss of liquids and therefore must be stored in closable containers, also equipped with a handle and designed to facilitate emptying operations.

What should the storage area look like?

The storage area must be distinct and clearly marked. It is not possible to exceed the year of duration of the deposit, for a quantity of less than 10 cubic meters. Once these terms have expired, the waste must be handed over to a specialized company for disposal.

What about disposal costs?

The costs that are connected to disposal depend on various factors, such as the type of waste, the quantity to be disposed of and the distance from the landfill.

As we announced just now, when a workshop entrusts itself to a transport company, it must demand the release of an official proof of disposal. It is not enough simply to deliver the product to the transport company, but we must make sure that it has actually transported the waste to the designated landfill.

This rule was created in order to avoid opportunistic and harmful behavior by transport companies.

The Finance Police, but also the Forest Guard can carry out checks in this sense.

In Italy there are very specific rules and sanctions. Fines range from around 1600 up to €9000, for transport not accompanied by a waste identification form, or for a transport process with an incomplete form.

The legal representative can also be prosecuted by imprisonment of up to two years, for the transport of hazardous waste not accompanied by an identification form.

The fines are much higher, up to €26,000, in case of uncontrolled deposit of hazardous and non-hazardous waste.

This is why correct waste disposal is an important process for every single workshop. It is not simply a question of respecting legal norms, but of showing respect to our Earth and to our neighbour. Some waste materials produced in the workshop are really dangerous for humans and the environment.

Do you want to stay updated on all the insights for the optimal management of a workshop? Subscribe to YouDriver! You will find fresh news every day, with always useful advice

Sign up here


credit photo FREEPIK