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Hazardous Waste Regulations
Environment Agency web site:
Hazardous Waste Regulations Advice:
The controls on Hazardous Waste and how they affect you
Do you use chemicals, products with hazard symbols or safety data sheets? Then read on.
This document is about the changes to the controls on Hazardous Waste, those wastes which cause the greatest environmental damage or are dangerous to human life.
The new controls will:
• Change the definition of hazardous waste.
• Change the form (consignment note) you must use before you can get rid of hazardous waste.
• Change who receives the forms and the reporting cycling.
• Abolished fee's for consignment notes but imposes new fee's on the waste consignee's which will be passed on to the producer.
• Prohibits the mixing of hazardous and non hazardous wastes.
Hazardous waste used to be covered by the 1996 Special Waste Regulations, these are repealed with effect from the 16th July 2005 and these new regulations comeinto force, in England and Wales, from then.
You need to know about the Regulations if you have to dispose of, carry or receive hazardous wastes. This includes hazardous wastes going into storage, treatment, recycling or disposal.
What is waste?
Waste can be anything you own, or your business produces, and which you want to get rid of. A rule of thumb is that is an item is being treated as waste by the producer then it is waste.
What are hazardous wastes?
The definitions of Hazardous wastes have been expanded to include a number of wastes which were not previously considered hazardous. The new definitions are based on the Hazardous Waste List which is itself based on European Waste Catalogue. The HWL defines wastes with a 6 digit number, some of these are absolute entries which are automatically classed as hazardous, some are mirror entries (there is a hazardous and non hazardous code for the same waste), for these entries there is a criteria for assessing the waste charecteristics to determine if it is hazardous or not. For assitance in classifying your wastes please call 0845 712 5398.
List of typical hazardous wastes
Batteries (Lithium and NiCad chemistries)
Cathode ray tubes (TV's and Computer Monitors)
Oil fly ash
Almost everything that was special waste under the 1996 regulations is still Hazardous waste under the 2005 regulations. However some new wastes became hazardous wastes for the first time.
What happens if my waste is hazardous?
Producers of Hazardous Waste MUST register each site that produces wastes with the Environment Agency a 6 digit code will be issued which is unique to each site. These are some exceptions to this rule:
Shops and offices producing less than 200kg's per year.
Agricultural premises until 1st September 2006.
Registered sites will be subject to Enviroment Agency inspection and must maintain a register of all their waste movements. Licenced Waste Carriers (like Envirogreen) will not be able to collect hazardous waste from unregistered or exempt sites.
A consignment note will be required for the movement of hazardous wastes and each note will have a unique reference number, the is no need to pre consign any more but the detail required on the note is more detailed than previously.
If you require assitance in registering your site(s) or preparing consignment notes please call 0845 712 5398.
Envirogreen will register your producing sites for £35 each (plus VAT)
What is duty of care?
There is a duty of care which applies to the producers of ALL waste, hazardous or otherwise, to ensure that that waste is handled in a correct manner. For hazardous waste the consignment note replaces the duty of care transfer note. The duty of care means that you must give a good enough description to enable your waste to be safely managed. Most hazardous wastes need very clear description which will include the UN number and any specific hazards associated with the waste. Waste must always be transferred to an authorised person e.g. registered waste carrier or a licensed waste manager. Remember that transport, health and safety and other safety legislation may also apply.
It is the producers responsibilty to ensure not only is the waste carrier licenced but the eventual disposal site is also properly licenced for the type of waste. Envirogreen can provide full Duty of Care documentation with each consignment.
Who are the regulators?
The regulators are the Environment Agency (England and Wales), in Scotland the Hazardous Waste Regulations have not been adopted and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency are still operating the Special Waste Regulations.
The requirement to pre register a hazardous waste movement has been removed in the current legislation.
How do consigment notes work?
If I want to get rid of waste? You are the consignor. Before any hazardous waste leaves your site, you (or the person moving the waste - the carrier) must complete a consignment note which contains the information laid out in the regulations.
The producer will get a copy of the consignment note, the carrier will retain a copy and the consignee will get a copy. The consignee (waste receiver) will submit a report to the Environment Agency detailing the wastes received on each consignment, they will also send a report to the waste producer on a regular basis confirming that the waste has been received and showing how it was processed.
A copy of the new form consignment note is available to download here, Consignment Note 2005.
Where are fees charged?
The fee's levied on issuing the consignment notes have been abolished. Fee's are now payable on registering each site (annually) and by the Consignee's with there Environment Agency returns, these fee's will be passed on the waste producers.
Can i mix hazardous wastes?
The new regulations prohibit the mixing of hazardous and non hazardous wastes and impose a duty on the producers to segregate the wastes where possible.
What records must i keep?
Producers of special waste need to keep a record of the waste produced prior to detailing it on the consignment note. Consignors and carriers MUST keep a register of the consignment note copies for three years, but consignees will need to keep copies of the consignment notes until they surrender the licence for the site they manage.
Are there fines for breaking the rules?
Yes - if the court convicts you of not complying with the regulations you could suffer a fine of up to £5,000, ordered to pay costs and / or spend 2 years in prison. There are also £300 fixed penalty notices which will be used for minor infringements.