Helping you with Hazardous Waste Regulations

Do you use chemicals, products with hazard symbols or safety data sheets?

Then read on…
It’s imperative that you follow the rules and regulations governing the correct disposal or treatment of hazardous wastes. Envirogreen are here to make that learning process a little easier, telling you exactly what you need to know.

Typical hazardous wastes

  • Acids
  • Alkaline solutions
  • Batteries (Lithium and NiCad chemistries)
  • Cathode ray tubes (TVs and computer monitors)
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Fridges
  • Oil fly ash
  • Industrial solvents
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceutical compounds
  • Photographic chemicals
  • Waste oils
  • Wood preservatives

FAQs about waste disposal regulations

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 if 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 (HWL) which is itself based on the 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 criteria for assessing the waste characteristics to determine if it is hazardous or not.

What happens if your 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. Registered sites will be subject to Environment Agency inspection and must maintain a register of all their waste movements. Licensed 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. There is no need to pre-consign any more but the information required on the note is more detailed than previously.

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 a 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 producer’s responsibility to ensure not only is the waste carrier licensed but the eventual disposal site is also properly licensed 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. 

How do consignment notes work?

If you want to get rid of waste then 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.

When are fees charged?

The fees levied on issuing the consignment notes have been abolished. Fees are now payable on registering each site (annually) and by the consignees with their Environment Agency returns. These fees will be passed on to 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 license 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, be 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.

Need advice on hazardous waste regulations?

Contact Us

If you have any questions about waste disposal regulations,

give us a call on  01753 323 001
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