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Leaders in waste management

Duty of Care – Your Waste Responsibilities

Waste is considered to be hazardous when it might be harmful to human health or the environment. As well as chemicals, oil and asbestos, hazardous waste also includes materials such as waste electrical equipment which contain potentially harmful components such as cathode ray tubes or energy-saving light bulbs and printer cartridges.

If your business produces hazardous waste you must comply with legal obligations that control how you store, transport, treat and dispose of it.

What is hazardous waste?

Waste is defined as hazardous if it is classified as hazardous in the European Waste Catalogue (or List of Wastes). Generally, waste is hazardous if it, or the materials or substances it contains, are harmful to human health or the environment.

Examples of hazardous waste

Almost all businesses will produce some hazardous waste. Typical examples include waste:

· asbestos

· chemicals, eg brake fluid and printer toner

· electrical equipment with potentially harmful components such as cathode ray tubes, eg computer monitors and televisions

· fluorescent light tubes and energy-saving light bulbs

· vehicle and other lead-acid batteries

· oils (except edible oils), eg engine oil

· refrigerators containing ozone-depleting substances

· solvents, eg aerosols

· pesticides

Check if your waste is hazardous

Hazardous waste is defined by the European Waste Catalogue (EWC). The EWC has a six-digit code for all types of waste. Hazardous waste is identified in the EWC with an asterisk.

The EWC contains two kinds of hazardous waste entry:

· ‘Absolute’ entries are always hazardous. Examples include waste from the manufacture of specified acids, inorganic wood preservatives, and nickel cadmium batteries.

· ‘Mirror’ entries are only considered hazardous if they contain a certain hazardous component, or more than a specified amount of a hazardous substance. Examples include some wastes containing arsenic or mercury or displaying hazardous properties such as flammability.
Many non-hazardous waste entries may also form part of a mirror entry. If this is the case you need to consider whether your waste contains hazardous components before you use a non-hazardous waste code.

Find out how to assess whether your waste is hazardous on the Environment Agency website – http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/32200.aspx

Producing and storing hazardous waste

All businesses that produce waste have a duty of care to make sure that it is handled and stored safely.
If you produce or hold 500 kilograms or more of hazardous waste in any 12-month period you must register your premises with the Environment Agency.

When registered, you will be given a unique premises code. You need this code to allow someone to legally collect your hazardous waste. The code is valid for 12 months from the date you register. You can renew your registration up to one month before it expires.
If you own multiple premises you must register each site individually. If you have multiple buildings on the same premises these only require one registration provided they are part of the same business.
If you share premises with other waste-producing businesses, each business must be registered separately.

Register or renew as a hazardous waste producer on the Environment Agency website – http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/32198.aspx.

How much hazardous waste you can store

You can store waste securely on the site where it was produced for up to 12 months without an environmental permit while you wait for it to be collected. You can temporarily store waste produced on another site that you operate if you comply with the following conditions:

· the waste is stored for no longer than three months

· no more than 50 cubic metres of non-liquid waste is stored at any one time

· the total quantity of liquid waste stored at any one time does not exceed 1,000 litres

If you cannot meet these conditions, you will need an environmental permit from the Environment Agency.

How to store hazardous waste

If you keep hazardous waste on your premises, even for a short period of time, you must:

· ensure that it is stored safely and securely to prevent pollution

· ensure that it is packaged and labelled correctly

· keep different types of hazardous waste separate

· keep hazardous and non-hazardous waste separate

· keep liquid hazardous waste in a dedicated area, with a bund or barrier to contain spills and leaks

· regularly check storage areas for leaks, deteriorating containers or other potential risks

· display written instructions for storing and disposing of each type of hazardous waste

· maintain an inventory of the hazardous wastes kept on your premises, and where they are stored – this will help the emergency services to deal with any incident effectively and safely

Train your staff

Make sure your staff are properly trained to deal with spills of the hazardous materials that you store on your premises. This should include instructions on what to do if there is a spill, the type of personal protection equipment required and how to correctly dispose of contaminated clean-up materials.

Download Pollution prevention guideline: Pollution incident response planning (PPG21) from the Environment Agency website (PDF, 318K) – http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/PDF/PMHO0309BPNA-E-E.pdf

Moving and transferring hazardous waste

All businesses that produce waste have a duty of care to make sure that it is handled safely and transported in compliance with the law. If the waste is hazardous, extra controls apply. Hazardous waste is waste that may be harmful to human health or the environment.

If you produce or hold 500 kilograms or more of hazardous waste in any 12-month period you must register your premises with the Environment Agency.

Moving hazardous waste

Make sure all hazardous waste is:

· transported by a registered or exempt waste carrier (i.e., Yellowstone)

· accompanied by a consignment note (there are only a few exceptions where consignment notes are not required)

· sent to a facility that holds a suitable environmental permit or a registered exemption that authorises them to take that type of waste for the activity they intend

Use consignment notes when moving hazardous waste

When you move hazardous waste from your premises it must be accompanied by a consignment note. This includes moving it to any other site that you may operate. The waste must be accompanied by a consignment note until it reaches its final destination. You must keep a copy of all consignment notes for three years. There are only a very few exceptions where consignment notes are not needed.

Your waste carrier can use single or multiple collection forms. When waste is moved by more than one carrier you need to use a carrier’s schedule, which you can get from the Environment Agency, or you can produce your own.

You can order or download hazardous waste consignment notes from the Environment Agency, or you can produce your own consignment notes using the Environment Agency examples. Read guidance on how to obtain, complete and use consignment notes on the Environment Agency website – http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/32196.aspx

From 28 September 2011, you will have to include new information in part D of your consignment notes to declare that you have applied the waste management hierarchy for dealing with your waste. This means you must consider reusing or recycling your waste before deciding to dispose of it – Yellowstone can help with this. Call our Sales team on 01747 858 561 for more details.

Treating and disposing of hazardous waste

If your business produces hazardous waste, you must make sure that it is disposed of or treated by an appropriate facility. You must not treat your own hazardous waste unless you are authorised to do so, and have the required in-house skills and facilities.

Some hazardous waste such as solvents, waste oils and metals can be recovered and recycled. Some hazardous waste can be incinerated, usually with other fuels, to generate power. Specialist incinerators for the most difficult hazardous wastes work at extremely high temperatures and have strict emission controls.

Treating hazardous waste

Treatment involves physical, thermal, chemical or biological processes (including sorting) that change the characteristics of waste in order to:

· reduce its volume

· reduce its hazardous nature

· make it easier to handle

· make it easier to recover

Diluting hazardous waste by mixing it with non-hazardous materials doesn’t qualify as treatment. If hazardous waste is mixed in this way it must still be classified and managed as hazardous waste, or separated when it is safe to do so.

Disposing of hazardous waste

You must only dispose of hazardous waste at authorised sites, having been transported by a registered or exempt waste carrier.

Hazardous waste environmental legislation
· European Community (EC) Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures 1272/2008. Requires manufacturers, importers and users to follow United Nations criteria for classifying, labelling and packaging hazardous substances and mixtures.
· Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2005/894. Details requirements for controlling and tracking the movement of hazardous waste and bans mixing different types of hazardous waste.
· Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations SI 2009/507. Amends 2005/894 by increasing the maximum limit of hazardous waste that can be produced in any year without registering with the Environment Agency to 500 kilograms, and for any business type whereas before it was restricted.
· List of Wastes (England) Regulations SI 2005/895. Provides the European Waste Catalogue list of codes used to classify wastes.
· List of Wastes (England) (Amendment) Regulations SI 2005/1673. Amends 2005/895 to correct minor errors.
· Waste (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2011/988. Requires businesses to apply the waste management hierarchy, introduces a two-tier system for waste carrier and broker registration, and excludes some categories of waste from waste controls. Amends the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005.

Environment Agency Helpline
03708 506 506

WRAP Resource Efficiency Helpline
0808 100 2040

Related web sites you might find useful:

Hazardous waste guidance on the Environment Agency website
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/32180.aspx

Licensed waste site search on the NetRegs Waste Directory website
http://www.wastedirectory.org.uk/

Download Pollution prevention guideline: Pollution incident response planning (PPG21) from the Environment Agency website (PDF, 318K)
http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/pdf/PMHO0309BPNA-e-e.pdf

Moving hazardous waste guidance on the Environment Agency website
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/32196.aspx

Hazardous Waste Regulations information on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/business/hazardous-waste/

Carriage of dangerous goods information on the HSE website
http://www.hse.gov.uk/cdg/index.htm

Authorised waste carrier register on the Environment Agency website
http://www2.environment-agency.gov.uk/epr/search.asp?type=register

Waste information on the Environment Agency website
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/default.aspx

Waste information on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste

Download the duty of care for waste code of practice from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website (PDF, 239K)
http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/controls/documents/waste-man-duty-code.pdf

Download a duty of care for waste summary leaflet from the Defra website (PDF, 33K)
http://archive.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/controls/documents/dutyofcare-summary.pdf

Waste and sewage industry environmental guidance on the NetRegs website
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/netregs/businesses/62011.aspx

Waste exemptions guidance on the Environment Agency website
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/permitting/32322.aspx

Download the EWC code list from the Environment Agency website (PDF, 166K)
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/GEHO1105BJVS-e-e.pdf

Environmental permitting guidance on the Environment Agency website
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/permitting/default.aspx

REACH guidance on the Health & Safety Executive website
http://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/resources.htm