Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

More storage handling & transport of waste

More storage, handling and transport of waste guidance in alphabetical order

Additional resources

  

Find licensed waste sites to recycle or dispose of your business waste in your local area.

Scotland - Waste recycling directory

Find licensed waste sites in Scotland

Northern Ireland licensed waste sites

Find licensed waste sites in Northern Ireland

This guidance is relevant if your business collects or receives hazardous/special waste.

Our guidance on receiving waste or sewage sets out general requirements for receiving all types of waste. This guidance sets out additional requirements if you receive hazardous/special waste.

Waste that has hazardous properties, which may make it harmful to human health or the environment, is called:

  • hazardous waste in Northern Ireland
  • special waste in Scotland.

Hazardous/special waste includes a wide variety of waste, such as asbestos, fluorescent light tubes and lead acid batteries.

What is hazardous/special waste?

What you must do

Check if you need a permit, licence or registered exemption

If you collect or receive hazardous/special waste at your site, you must have a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit, waste management licence or registered exemption.

You must comply with the conditions in your permit, including any conditions about receiving hazardous/special waste, or you can be fined or sent to prison.

Does your waste or sewage business need a permit, licence or exemption?

Put in place pre-acceptance and acceptance procedures

You will need to put in place pre-acceptance and acceptance procedures to check the suitability of the waste you receive. You can only receive hazardous/special waste if you are authorised to do so in your PPC permit or waste management licence.

For further information on acceptance procedures, see our guidance on receiving waste or sewage

Keep records and complete returns

If you handle hazardous/special waste, you must:

  • complete the appropriate part of consignment notes or multiple collection consignment notes
  • keep records of the waste and maintain your records in a register
  • supply information to your environmental regulator or the emergency services when required
  • keep records of where waste is kept or deposited on your site
  • provide returns to producers, holders or consignors.

For further information see the guidance below.

NIEA: The controls on hazardous waste and how they affect you (Adobe PDF - 216KB)

NIEA: Hazardous waste publications and guidance

SEPA: Consigning special waste

Pre-notify your regulator

You must pre-notify the NIEA or SEPA at least three working days, but not more than one month, before you move hazardous/special waste by completing a consignment note.

Hazardous/special waste

NIEA: Hazardous waste

SEPA: Special waste

If you receive waste or sewage, including hazardous/special waste, you will need to put in place pre-acceptance and acceptance procedures to check the suitability of the waste you receive. You can only receive specific waste types if you are authorised to do so in your PPC permit or waste management licence.

Acceptance procedures are also important because if you do not know the nature or composition of the waste you receive it could react with other waste or lead to pollution incidents through uncontrolled emissions.

Special requirements apply to hazardous/special waste. If you receive hazardous/special waste you should also see our guidance on receiving hazardous/special waste.

What you must do

Comply with your permit, licence or registered exemption

If your business has a permit, licence or registered exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions about receiving waste or sewage.

Does your waste or sewage business need a permit, licence or exemption?

You must comply with your waste responsibilities when you receive waste or sewage.

Put in place pre-acceptance procedures

Before you agree to accept any waste or sewage:

  • find out the contact details of the original producer
  • find out the nature of the process that produced the waste or sewage
  • obtain a full description of the waste or sewage including:
    • its chemical composition
    • the quantity
    • the form of the waste, eg solid, liquid, sludge
    • any hazards associated with the waste
  • in some cases you may want to ask the waste producer for an analysis of the waste from a suitably qualified third party or obtain a representative sample of the waste and compare it with the written description - for example, if the waste is hazardous or a new waste stream for your site
  • identify a suitable treatment method or disposal route for the waste with a full costing.

Put in place acceptance procedures

If you agree to accept waste:

  • use a booking system to make sure that you are ready to receive the waste
  • check and complete all necessary paperwork, such as waste transfer notes or consignment notes for hazardous/special waste
  • inspect the load to check:
    • the description of the waste
    • the quantity of the waste
    • all containers are clearly labelled and secure
  • test samples to confirm the characteristics of the waste
  • have adequate infrastructure to safely unload the waste, such as a bunded sampling/reception area
  • do not use any damaged hoses or connections to unload waste
  • store the waste correctly.

Storing waste

The waste producer must provide information about the waste in the waste transfer note or consignment note, including the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) code. This is sometimes called the lists of waste code.

Waste Thesaurus: SEPA guidance for coding waste An alphabetical list of waste types with their corresponding EWC codes.

Consolidated version of the European Waste Catalogue (Adobe PDF - 162KB)

You should carefully check all of the information you receive. If a number of parties have handled the waste before you receive it, you should check the information with the original waste producer.

Keep records and complete waste returns

You must use a waste management tracking system to record details of all waste enquiries you receive.

Give every waste enquiry a unique reference number and record all actions you take with the waste against this reference number, for example:

  • pre-acceptance information
  • acceptance information or reasons for rejecting the waste
  • how the waste is stored
  • how the waste is treated, recovered or disposed of
  • how the waste is removed from the site, eg details of where it has been taken.

You must comply with the conditions in your pollution prevention control permit or waste management, including any condition to send a waste return to your environmental regulator.

Your waste return must include information about the waste you receive at your site, such as the origin of the waste, the amount of waste, the EWC code, and whether you sent the waste to another site.

In Northern Ireland, you can complete your waste return using the relevant form on the Northern Ireland Environment Agency's (NIEA) website.

NIEA: Waste forms

In Scotland, you can complete your waste return using the relevant form on SEPA's website.

SEPA: Licence permitted site data returns

There are special requirements for receiving hazardous/special waste.

Segregating your waste into suitable colour-coded containers is good waste management and will also help you to comply with your legal requirements.

By segregating your waste properly, you could save money on waste disposal.

What you must do

In Northern Ireland you must segregate your hazardous waste from non-hazardous waste and store it separately on your site. You must not mix different categories of hazardous waste.

Hazardous/special waste is waste that may be harmful to human health or the environment.

Hazardous/special waste

Good practice

You should segregate your waste at source to make sure you handle, transport and dispose of it safely and effectively.

Segregation should be based on the type of waste and the most appropriate treatment and disposal.

Waste carriers and waste management facilities (including disposal facilities) may request evidence of waste segregation. This will normally be in the form of waste audit reports.

Waste segregation system

A national colour-coded healthcare waste segregation system has been published by the Department of Health. This system is considered best practice and should ensure, at a minimum, that you comply with the current regulations.

The segregation system identifies and segregates waste on the basis of:

  • waste classification
  • suitability of treatment and disposal options.

Use this system to help you identify and segregate your waste.

Department of Health: Safe management of healthcare waste (UK-wide)

You must ensure that the waste facility you send your waste to holds the appropriate authorisation, permit or licence for the type of waste that you send to be treated or disposed of.

Pollution prevention and control permits

Waste management licences

For segregation systems to be effective, you must provide staff with:

  • background information and reasons for segregation
  • appropriate equipment, such as sufficient colour coded waste receptacles
  • clear instruction and training.

You need to provide clear information, instruction and training on categorising waste to everyone working in areas where healthcare waste arises. For example, you could display posters showing the different waste streams and types of waste at appropriate locations.

Further information

GOV.UK: Safe management of healthcare waste (UK-wide)

If you are in Northern Ireland or Scotland, you do not need to have a site waste management plan (SWMP) for your construction project. However, following the procedure could help you to reduce the amount of waste you produce and will help you manage your waste more effectively. SWMPs are being promoted as an example of best practice in the construction industry.

SWMP guide and waste data form

We have produced a simple guide to help you create a SWMP. You can also record your waste with our waste data form.

Site waste management plan - a simple guide (Adobe PDF, 1.1MB)

Site waste management plan - waste data form (MS Word, 170KB)

Each project should have one SWMP.

A SWMP is a live document. It must be updated through the course of the project.

Because it is produced at the very beginning of a project, the designer can consider ways that waste can be reduced and site-gained materials can be reused or recycled as part of the project. Identifying waste materials at an early stage that can not be reused on that project will make it easier to find other alternative uses for them.

Who's responsible for the SWMP?

If you are the client, you are responsible for:

  • producing the initial SWMP before construction work begins
  • appointing the principal contractor
  • passing the SWMP to the principal contractor.

If you are the principal contractor, you are responsible for:

  • obtaining relevant information from sub-contractors
  • keeping the SWMP on site during the project
  • ensuring that other contractors know where the SWMP is kept
  • allowing other contractors and the client access to the SWMP during the project
  • keeping the SWMP for two years after the completion of the project.

You should update the plan regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects the progress of the project.

In Northern Ireland what should the SWMP contain?

The level of detail that your SWMP should contain depends on the estimated build cost, excluding VAT.

For projects estimated at between £300,000 and £500,000 (excluding VAT) the SWMP should contain details of the:

  • types of waste removed from the site
  • identity of the person who removed the waste
  • site that the waste is taken to.

For projects estimated at over £500,000 (excluding VAT) the SWMP should contain details of the:

  • types of waste removed from the site
  • identity of the person who removed the waste and their waste carrier registration number
  • a description of the waste
  • site that the waste was taken to
  • environmental permit or exemption held by the site where the material is taken.

At the end of the project, you must review the plan and record the reasons for any differences between the plan and what actually happened.

You must still comply with the duty of care for waste. Because you will need to record all waste movements in one document, having a SWMP will help you to ensure you comply with the duty of care.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

In Northern Ireland when not to consider a SWMP

If you are working on a construction project within a site that has a Part A environmental permit you do not need to consider a SWMP.

If you are working on a construction project within a nuclear licensed site you do not need a separate SWMP if you have an Integrated Waste Strategy (IWS) that meets all of the SWMP requirements.

Good practice

If you are working as a sub-contractor, check your contract for requirements on:

  • purchasing strategies or methods of work aimed at reducing waste
  • the on-site reuse or recycling of site-gained materials
  • the disposal of waste
  • what information you need to report to the principal contractor or client, and when.

Watch our short videos:

Good practice on a construction site

How to manage waste on a construction site

Further information

Wrap: Site waste management plans

You should have procedures for safely storing waste or sewage at your site.

What you must do

Check if you need a licence or registered exemption

If you store waste or sewage at your site, you may need a waste management licence or registered exemption.

If your business has a licence or exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions about storing waste or sewage.

Does your waste or sewage business need a permit, licence or exemption?

Contact your environmental regulator

For further information on exemptions, see our waste exemptions guidance.

There are special requirements for handling and storing animal by-products.

Good practice

Manage your storage areas

Position storage areas away from watercourses.

Storage areas should have adequate drainage and bunds to contain any contaminated run-off and prevent it from spreading between storage and treatment areas.

Put up signs in storage areas to show the quantity and characteristics of the wastes stored and the maximum storage capacity.

Separate different types of waste.

Store all waste under cover where possible.

Store aerosol cans under cover in closed containers to reduce the rate of rusting and risk of exploding.

Do not overstock storage areas. There should be adequate space for vehicles or pedestrians to access all areas.

Do not carry out activities that create a fire risk in storage areas, such as smoking or welding.

Do not allow waste to accumulate. You should treat, recover, dispose of or remove all waste off site within six months of receipt.

Do not store hazardous or liquid wastes in open-topped tanks, vessels or pits.

Use a waste tracking system to record where you have stored waste or sewage.

Secure your site and storage areas

Take precautions to prevent intruders or unauthorised personnel from entering your site. For example:

  • build secure fences around your site
  • use security cameras
  • lock your storage areas.

You can be prosecuted if materials stored on your site cause pollution, even if it was caused by an accident or vandalism.

Manage your storage containers

Make sure that containers, tanks, drums or other storage vessels have securely fitted lids.

Make sure you are able to close connections between storage vessels and direct overflow pipes to a contained drainage system.

Clearly label all storage vessels with the:

  • date of arrival of the waste
  • composition of the waste
  • unique reference number it was given when you received it at the site.

Regularly inspect and maintain all storage vessels, storage areas and drainage infrastructure.

Plan to replace underground storage tanks without secondary containment with aboveground storage tanks that have suitable bunds.

Underground storage tanks without secondary containment can cause land or water pollution if they leak.

Route pipes above ground, or if they are underground place them within inspection channels.

Storing hazardous/special waste

Store hazardous/special waste in waterproof, flame resistant, shockproof and alkali leak-proof cases.

Do not store different types of hazardous/special waste together. For example, store lead-acid batteries together and do not mix them with non-lead acid batteries as this could cause a chemical reaction.

Do not store hazardous/special waste near drains, watercourses or surface waters.

Minimise the time you store hazardous/special waste at your site.

Prevent waste batteries from being crushed or cracked to minimise the risk of short circuits causing a fire hazard.

You are responsible for storing and transporting your waste safely and legally. You must ensure that your waste does not harm the environment.

You must comply with the requirements of your duty of care.

See our guidance on duty of care

What you must do

Comply with your permit, licence or registered exemption

If your business has a permit, licence or registered exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions about transporting waste.

Does your mining or quarrying business need a permit, licence or exemption?

Registering as a waste carrier

If you collect or transport waste as part of your business, you must register as a waste carrier with your environmental regulator.

If you transport only mining and quarrying waste, in Northern Ireland you must register as a lower tier waste carrier.

This is a new requirement in Northern Ireland.

In Northern Ireland you will have to register with the NIEA as a lower tier carrier if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste.

NIEA: Registration of carriers and brokers

In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. This is a new requirement for businesses. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must usually register as a waste carrier. You can register using SEPA's online system.

SEPA: Online application forms

Alternatively you can download an application form and return it to SEPA.

SEPA: Application form to register as a professional collector or transporter of waste

See our guidance on waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

Duty of care for controlled waste

You must comply with the duty of care if you transport controlled waste. To find out whether your non-extractive waste is controlled waste, see our guidance on the duty of care.

If the duty of care applies, you must make sure:

  • your controlled waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally
  • your controlled waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of only by businesses which hold the correct, current permit or licence to do the work
  • you record all transfers of controlled waste between your business and another business using a waste transfer note (WTN)
  • you keep all WTNs, signed by both businesses, for at least two years
  • you record any transfer of hazardous/special waste between your business and another business using a consignment note
  • you keep all consignment notes, signed by both businesses, for at least three years.

Transporting hazardous/special waste

You must:

  • check whether your waste is hazardous/special waste before you store and transport it
  • store and transport hazardous/special waste separately from all other waste materials in designated, sealed, labelled, covered and waterproof containers
  • use separate, designated, secure, signed, waterproof, bunded containment areas to store hazardous/special waste.

For further information on hazardous/special waste, see our hazardous/special waste guidance.

Good practice

Store and transport your waste safely

Transport and store your waste in suitable, covered containers such as drums, skips or cages.

Label your containers correctly with the type of materials stored in them.

Separate different kinds of waste into separate containers.

Make sure that your waste cannot leak into groundwater, surface water or drains.

Build a bund around your loading and storing areas that can hold liquid waste if your containers leak or break.

For further information on bunds and storage, see Pollution Prevention Guideline (PPG) 2.

PPG 2 Above ground oil storage tanks (Adobe PDF - 276KB)

Be prepared to clean up any spills

Keep spill kits and have spill response procedures in place that will help you to contain any spills at your mine or quarry.

Do not use water to wash away spills. It will spread the spill, and could cause water pollution.

Keep portable spill kits in all vehicles you use to transport waste. A basic spill kit should contain:

  • gloves
  • goggles
  • resealable plastic bags
  • absorbent materials to soak up spills, such as plenty of rags, sand or earth.

Separate any absorbent materials you use to contain spills because they may need to be treated as hazardous/special waste. Check before you recycle or dispose of them.

Keep waste materials secure

Ensure your waste cannot blow away or escape by tying it down, covering it, or protecting it from wind and rain.

Ensure your site is secure. Regularly check your locks, gates and perimeter fences. You can be prosecuted if vandals cause pollution on your site.

Regularly check your vehicle locks and only drop off materials when you are sure the location is secure.

Do not:

  • bury waste materials
  • store or transport materials near fire sources such as high temperature machinery or machinery producing sparks such as angle grinders
  • mix hazardous/special waste with any other materials
  • pour any waste down a surface drain.

For information on storing and transporting waste oil, see our oil storage guidance.

This guidance is relevant if you transport waste or sewage.

What you must do

Comply with your permit, licence or registered exemption

If your business has a permit, licence or registered exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions about transporting waste or sewage.

Does your waste or sewage business need a permit, licence or exemption?

Register as a waste carrier or broker

If you collect or transport other people's waste as part of your business, you must register as a waste carrier with your environmental regulator. This includes transporting sewage and sewage sludge from septic tanks, package treatment plants and cesspools.

If you arrange for the disposal or recovery of waste on behalf of another person, you must register as a broker with your environmental regulator. For example, you are a broker if you arrange for a waste carrier to collect your client's sewage or sewage sludge. Brokers who already hold an environmental permit or waste management licence for waste disposal are not required to register separately as a broker.

In Northern Ireland you will have to register with the NIEA as a lower tier carrier if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste.

NIEA: Apply online

In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. This is a new requirement for businesses. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must usually register as a waste carrier. You can register using SEPA's online system.

SEPA: Application forms

Alternatively you can download an application form and return it to SEPA.

SEPA: Application form to register as a professional collector or transporter of waste

See our guidance for waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

In Scotland, from 01 January 2014 and in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2015, there are additional requirements that waste carriers must comply with. If you are a business that provides a waste collection service you must:

  • Apply the waste hierarchy as a priority to all waste that you collect. You must ensure that recycling services are designed to promote high quality recycling.
  • Collect and carry dry recyclables that have been presented separately by your customer.
  • Ensure that recyclable materials are not mixed with other wastes in a manner that may hamper recycling while you are the holder.

Further information can be found on the Scottish Government website:

Scottish Government: Duty of Care – A Code of Practice

Keep records of waste movements

You must make sure that you complete a waste transfer note before you transport waste.

You must complete a waste transfer note every time you move waste from one site to another, unless a 'season ticket' covers the transfer.

For regular waste transfers between customers and suppliers you can agree a season ticket where one transfer note covers multiple transfers over a defined period. You can only use a season ticket when:

  • the same parties are involved in the series of transfers, and
  • the waste transferred has the same description in the series of transfers.

If the waste is hazardous/special waste, you must complete a consignment note.

You must keep copies of waste transfer notes for two years, and consignment notes for three years.

For more information, see our guidance on completing waste transfer notes in:

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities: Completing waste transfer notes

Comply with waste imports and exports controls

If you import waste into, or export waste out of, the UK you must comply with controls on importing and exporting waste.

Comply with dangerous goods controls

If you transport dangerous goods, such as explosives or flammable liquids, you must comply with certain legal requirements regulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Health and Safety Executive: Information on carriage of dangerous goods

Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland: carriage of dangerous goods

You must make sure that you comply with all your waste responsibilities.

Good practice

Use collection vehicles that have facilities for transporting the kind of waste you accept.

Transport waste and sewage in suitable, covered containers such as drums, skips, cages or tanks.

Secure waste firmly during transportation to prevent movement and damage.

Label your containers correctly with the type of materials stored in them.

Make sure that you supervise the loading of vehicles. Before you load vehicles, check that any containers are sealed and that lids are secure.

Transport hazardous waste in secure, waterproof, flame resistant, shockproof and alkali leak-proof cases.

Regularly check your vehicles' locks and only drop off waste when you are sure the location is secure. You can be prosecuted if vandals cause pollution.

The Mining Waste Directive (MWD) brings in new requirements for managing extractive waste at mines and quarries, including a requirement for waste management plans (WMP).

This guidance applies to all mines or quarries in the UK that are required to have a WMP.

What is a WMP?

A WMP is a document that explains how you will minimise, treat, recover and dispose of extractive waste at your mine or quarry.

Who needs a WMP?

In most cases, you will need to prepare a WMP and comply with its terms if you have an extractive waste area or extractive waste facility.

Northern Ireland

You do not need a WMP if an exemption applies to your mine or quarry or your mine or quarry does not produce extractive waste. You will need to submit a waste management statement to confirm this. For example, you can submit a waste management statement for:

  • unpolluted soil
  • inert waste
  • non-hazardous waste from prospecting minerals (except oil and evaporates, other than gypsum and anhydrite)
  • waste from extracting, storing and treating peat.

Scotland

If your extractive waste area was in operation on 1 April 2010 you must have produced a waste management plan by 1 May 2012 to continue your operations.

What your WMP must cover

Your WMP must explain how you will manage extractive waste at your site, including:

  • How you classify extractive waste areas and facilities at your site
    • extractive waste area or site, extractive waste facility or Category A facility in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
  • How you characterise your extractive waste:
    • inert
    • non-hazardous non-inert
    • hazardous.
  • How you create and treat extractive waste at your site:
    • how and where you create, store, treat and transport extractive waste
    • how much extractive waste you create
    • where your extractive waste will end up.
  • How your extractive waste could affect the environment and human health, including carrying out an environmental risk assessment.
  • How you will minimise environmental impacts during your mine or quarry's life, including what you will do when you construct a new mining waste facility or change an existing mining waste facility.
  • If you intend to put extractive waste into excavation voids, how you propose to control and monitor the stability of the extractive waste and prevent soil or water pollution.
  • How you control and monitor your extractive waste.
  • Your plans for closing any mining waste facility at your site, including rehabilitation, aftercare and monitoring environmental impacts.

See our guidance on closing your mine or quarry.

  • How you prevent water pollution from your extractive waste.
  • A survey of the condition of the land that will be affected by any mining waste facility at your site.

You may be able to refer to existing plans or documents in your WMP if they meet some or all of the above requirements, such as documents you prepared under the Quarries Regulations 1999.

Review your waste management plan

You must review your WMP:

  • at least every five years
  • if there is a major change to your mining waste operations, extractive waste area, waste facility or the waste you deposit.

You must tell your regulator about any changes you make to your WMP.

To find out more about the MWD requirements, see our guidance on extractive waste.

Managing extractive waste

Further information on waste management plans

EU: BREF - Management of tailings and waste rock in mining operations

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland DOE Planning: Mining waste management plans

Scotland

Scottish Government: Planning system - minerals

Scottish Government: Guidance on the management of extractive waste regulations (Scotland) 2010 (PDF 426 KB)

This guidance is relevant if you operate a landfill site.

What you must do

Check if you need a permit or licence

If your business operates a landfill,

  • in Northern Ireland you must have a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit or waste management licence; the type of authorisation you need will depend on the type and amount of waste your landfill accepts
  • in Scotland you must have a PPC permit

You must comply with the conditions in your authorisation or you can be fined or sent to prison.

Pollution prevention and control permits

Your landfill will be classified according to the type of waste it accepts. There are three categories of landfill sites:

  • hazardous waste
  • non-hazardous waste
  • inert waste.

Your permit will state the classification of your landfill. You must only accept the type of waste that your site is authorised to deal with. In Scotland hazardous waste is called special waste.

When you receive waste at your landfill, you must check the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) code given to the waste in the waste transfer note or consignment note. The EWC code classifies waste into hazardous waste, mirror hazardous waste or non-hazardous waste. You can only accept wastes with EWC codes that match the codes listed in your permit.

Consolidated version of the European Waste Catalogue (Adobe PDF - 162KB)

If you operate a landfill site, you must also be suitably qualified.

Landfill site operators

Check which qualifications you need

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, if you operate a licensed waste management facility you must demonstrate that you are a 'fit and proper person' by holding a WAMITAB Certificate of Technical Competence (CoTC).

NIEA: Guidance on technical competence for operators of authorised waste facilities (Northern Ireland) (Adobe PDF - 109KB)

Scotland

In Scotland, if you operate a licensed waste management facility you must demonstrate that you are a 'fit and proper person', either by holding a WAMITAB Certificate of Technical Competence (CoTC) or by holding the relevant vocational certificates or equivalent certification from another approved scheme.

In Scotland, if you operate a landfill under a PPC permit you must demonstrate that you are a 'fit and proper person' by holding a WAMITAB Certificate of Technical Competence (CoTC).

Do not accept prohibited waste

You cannot accept certain waste at landfill sites, including:

  • used whole and shredded tyres
  • liquid wastes, including wastewater (dewatered sludge is allowed if permitted at your site)
  • hospital and other clinical infectious wastes from medical or veterinary establishments
  • chemical substances from research and development or teaching activities where the substances are new or not identified and their effects on humans and the environment are not known
  • waste that may be explosive, corrosive, oxidising or flammable under landfill conditions
  • waste automotive or industrial batteries.

Wastes that you must not landfill

There are special requirements for accepting certain waste, such as animal by-products, animal carcasses and food waste. For further information, see our animal by-products guidance.

Make sure the waste has been characterised and tested

You must make sure that the waste producer has characterised the waste before you accept it at your site. This involves assessing the waste's:

 

solubility chemical composition
leachability physical form
biodegradability hazardous properties
combustibility homogeneity/heterogeneity
volatility

 

 

Once you have accepted waste at your site you will need to:

  • check that the waste is described correctly in the transfer documents
  • test some of the waste to make sure that it has been characterised correctly by the waste producer
  • make sure that waste streams that you receive regularly from the same producer continue to comply with specific reference criteria
  • check that the waste's properties have not changed or been contaminated during storage or transportation before it is sent to landfill.

Make sure the waste meets the waste acceptance criteria

You can only accept waste at your landfill if it meets the waste acceptance criteria required for the class of your landfill listed in your permit.

You must obtain proof that the waste you accept has been appropriately pre-treated, where necessary, before you accept it at your landfill site. For example, you will need proof that sewage sludge has been dewatered.

You should contact your environmental regulator for advice if you identify waste that:

  • cannot meet the waste acceptance criteria, and
  • has no genuine alternative for recovery or disposal other than landfill.

Contact your environmental regulator

If you transfer waste to another landfill site you must make sure that it is authorised to accept your type of waste. You can do this by checking the site's PPC permit.

You must also comply with your waste responsibilities.

If you operate an inert or non-hazardous landfill, you must ensure that waste has been treated before you accept it. Ensure that your customers are aware of this in advance.

Talk to waste producers or contractors about the nature of the waste they are delivering.

Ask about any arrangements producers or contractors have made for treating waste.

Carry out visual inspections of any load that arrives at your site, and after waste has been deposited.

Check any paperwork with the load. You should ask for a written declaration from the producer or holder of the waste, to prove that it has been treated.

Carry out a check (audit) of the waste producer's arrangements for treatment.

In Scotland waste must be pre-treated as a requirement of your PPC permit.

For hazardous landfills, the requirement for pre-treatment came into force in 2005.

Depending on your customers, you may want to make some changes to your waste management services. For example, do your customers already treat their own waste? If not, you may want to consider extending your services to include treatment. You could introduce sorting or screening to separate wastes for recycling or composting.

If you introduce new waste services you must contact your environmental regulator well in advance to find out whether your pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit needs to be changed.

Contact your environmental regulator

Tell your customers if you will be providing any new services, or tell them about other sites where they could treat their waste. Use our Waste Directory to find licensed recycling and waste disposal sites in your area.

Further information on landfill

Northern Ireland

NIEA: Landfill (Northern Ireland)

Scotland

SEPA: Landfill (Scotland)

What you must do

You are responsible for storing and transporting your waste safely and legally. You must ensure that your waste does not harm the environment.

You must comply with the requirements of your duty of care.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

Storing waste

If you store your own waste you must store it securely and get it removed regularly from your site.

If you store your own waste for long periods, or store waste produced by other people, you must have a waste management licence.

Check that your licence allows you to store your type of waste.

Make sure waste materials cannot blow away or escape. Tie your waste down, cover and protect it from wind and rain.

Prevent run-off from your waste storage area entering surface waters or drains by storing it under cover on an impermeable surface with a bund. A bund is a secondary containment area that holds liquids if the main containers leak or break.

Make sure your site is secure. Check locks, gates and perimeter fences regularly. You can still be prosecuted even if vandals cause pollution on your site.

You must not:

  • bury waste materials
  • burn waste materials unless licensed to do so
  • store and transport materials near fire sources, eg high temperature machinery or machinery producing sparks, such as angle grinders
  • mix hazardous/special waste with any other materials.

Waste storage exemptions

You can apply for exemptions to store certain types of waste for certain purposes. This means you can register with your environmental regulator and avoid having to apply for a full waste management licence. The amount you can store depends on the exemption. The purposes include:

  • composting
  • recycling and reuse of waste materials
  • using the waste as a construction material
  • using the waste material as a fuel.

In most cases you must register any exempt waste activity or operation you carry out. You must always comply with the conditions of the exemption. There may be a charge for registering your exemptions.

For further information on exemptions, see our guidance on who needs to register an exemption.

Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA): Activities exempt from waste management licensing

SEPA: Activities exempt from waste management licensing

For further information contact your environmental regulator.

Storing hazardous/special waste

You must check if the waste you store is hazardous/special waste before you store it.

You do not need waste management licence if you store hazardous/special waste on the site where it was produced for up to 12 months while you wait for it to be collected.

The maximum amount of hazardous/special waste you can store is:

  • 80 cubic metres of hazardous/special waste in secure containers
  • 50 cubic metres of hazardous/special waste in a secure place
  • 23,000 litres of liquid hazardous/special waste at any one time.

All hazardous/special waste must be stored safely and securely to prevent pollution.

See our guidance on Storing hazardous/special waste

If you store any hazardous waste for longer than 12 months you will need a waste management licence.

You must store hazardous/special waste separately from all other waste materials. You must use containers that are:

  • sealed
  • labelled
  • covered
  • waterproof.

Hazardous/special waste containment areas must be:

  • in separate designated areas
  • secure
  • clearly signed
  • on impermeable surfaces
  • bunded.

Transporting waste

You must register with your environmental regulator as a waste carrier if you transport:

  • construction and demolition waste produced by your own business
  • any waste produced by another business.

In Northern Ireland you will have to register with the NIEA as a lower tier carrier if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste.

NIEA: Apply online

In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. This is a new requirement for businesses. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must usually register as a waste carrier. You can register using SEPA's online system.

SEPA: Application forms

Alternatively you can download an application form and return it to SEPA.

SEPA: Application form to register as a professional collector or transporter of waste

See our guidance on Waste carriers, brokers and dealers

Waste transfer notes

You must complete a waste transfer note (WTN) for every load of waste you pass on or accept. You must keep copies of all your WTNs for at least two years.

You may be able to use a 'season ticket' if you have regular collections of the same type of waste by the same waste carrier. This is one transfer note covering a series of transfers over a year, for example weekly collections of waste from shops or commercial premises or multiple lorry trips to remove a large heap of waste.

See our guidance on completing waste transfer notes in:

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities: Completing waste transfer notes

Transporting hazardous waste

You must check if waste is hazardous/special waste before you transport it.

You must complete a consignment note whenever you or anyone else moves or transfers hazardous/special waste. Copies of consignment notes must be kept for at least three years.

If you carry your own hazardous/special demolition and construction waste, or if you carry hazardous/special waste produced by other businesses, you must be registered as a waste carrier, or register an exemption for the waste you carry.

In Northern Ireland you can currently carry your own hazardous/special waste, other than construction or demolition waste, without registering as a carrier of hazardous/special waste. You must still complete a consignment note. In Northern Ireland you will have to register with the NIEA as a lower tier carrier by the end of December 2013 if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste.

In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. This is a new requirement for businesses. You can register using SEPA's online system.

SEPA: Application forms

Alternatively you can download an application form and return it to SEPA.

SEPA: Application form to register as a professional collector or transporter of waste

See our guidance on Waste carriers, brokers and dealers

If you transport hazardous/special waste you must:

  • keep it separate from other wastes
  • use sealed and clearly labelled containers
  • check that it is transferred to a facility that is authorised to receive it.

Check vehicle locks regularly and only drop off materials when you are sure the location is secure.

See our guidance on Moving hazardous/special waste

Storing and transporting waste oil

For information on storing and transporting waste oil see our guidance: Oil Storage

Preventing pollution when transporting and storing waste

You must:

  • store and transport waste in suitable, covered containers such as drums, skips or cages
  • label containers correctly with the type of materials stored in them
  • separate different materials into different containers
  • ensure materials cannot leak into the ground, watercourses (streams, rivers or groundwater) or surface drains.

Only store and transfer waste materials on waterproof, contained surfaces where spills cannot escape.

Bund containment areas. This involves building a secondary barrier around the main containment area to hold liquid waste if the main containers, for example drums, leak or break.

Pollution prevention guideline (PPG) 2 contains guidance on bunding and storage.

PPG 2 Above ground oil storage tanks (Adobe PDF - 276KB)

Dealing with spills

Ensure accidental spills can be contained. Put spill kits and spill response procedures in place.

Do not use water to wash away spills. It will spread the spill and could pollute the ground, watercourses (streams, rivers or groundwater) or surface drains.

PPG 21: Pollution incident response planning

Keep portable spill kits in vehicles used to transport waste materials.

A basic spill kit should contain:

  • gloves
  • goggles
  • re-sealable plastic bags
  • sealing or containment materials, such as sealing putties and drain sealing mats
  • absorbent materials to soak up spills, such as plenty of rags, sand or earth.

You may need to recycle or dispose of absorbent materials used to contain spills as hazardous/special waste. Check before you recycle or dispose of them.

Further information on storing and transporting waste

NIEA: Waste

SEPA: Waste carriers - Who needs to register?

SEPA: Consigning Special Waste

NIEA: Construction and Demolition Waste and Recycled Concrete

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Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms