Hazardous Waste Feb 13, 2024

Hazardous Waste Regulations – Understanding the Legal Obligations

Understanding the Legal Obligations From Production to Treatment

Posted on August 20th, 2018

Keeping up to date with changing waste legislation can be a time consuming and complex. In our last article we looked at the Duty of Care, in this article we explore the responsibilities that arise from producing and treating hazardous waste.

Hazardous Waste Regulations

In addition to your responsibilities detailed in the Duty of Care, you must also meet extra requirements depending on whether you are a:

  • waste producer or holder
  • waste carrier
  • consignee (waste processor)

Waste producer or holder responsibilities

Businesses that produce, stores or have hazardous waste removed from their sites must take the following steps:

1. Classify your waste to check if it’s hazardous
As a hazardous waste producer you must classify the waste being produced. Details included are:

  • Waste classification code, or European Waste Catalogue code (also known as LoW or List of Waste).
  • Whether the waste is hazardous
  • The name of the substance / hazardous waste
  • Address details of where the waste was produced
  • The activity that produced the waste

2. Separate and store hazardous waste safely
Not only is it a requirement to collect and store waste in an appropriate container, there are potential business savings from separating wastes at the point of production. The obvious example can be seen in any healthcare setting with the different coloured bins. The different colours indicate the type of waste that can be deposited there.

3. Use authorised businesses to collect, recycle or dispose of your hazardous waste
It is the waste producer’s responsibility to check that their waste collection company is registered and that they are delivering the waste to a site with with the appropriate environmental permits.

4. Complete relevant paperwork
Your waste management company will provide you with a hazardous waste consignment note. You will need to complete the sections relevant to the waste producer and sign the paperwork. It is a legal requirement to keep a copy for a minimum of 3 years.

Waste Carrier Responsibilities

Waste carriers, such as ourselves, that collect and transport hazardous waste have defined responsibilities:

1. All waste carriers must register
Any business that collects waste must register with the Environment Agency. Business and the general public can search the register to confirm a waste carrier is registered.

2. Check the Hazardous Waste Consignment Note
The hazardous waste consignment note is used to record the waste producer details, the producer’s representative, business activities that generated the waste, the waste types, description and quantities.

It is the responsibility of the carrier to check that the consignment note is completed correctly. If the paperwork is incorrect, then the carrier must either get the paperwork corrected or refuse to collect the waste.

Assuming the paperwork is completed correctly the carrier will sign the paperwork and leave the waste producer with a copy.

3. Safely transport the waste
Waste carriers transporting hazardous waste must use ADR trained drivers and compliant vehicles.

4. Take the waste to an authorised waste site
The carrier must take the waste to the waste site detailed on the hazardous waste consignment note.

Consignee or Waste Processors responsibilities

1. Register to dispose of waste
Any business that processes waste must hold an environmental permit or hold an appropriate exemption.

2. check the consignment note
Upon the carrier’s arrival the waste processor must check the consignment note is completed accurately and that the waste is as described.

The waste site must refuse to accept a waste delivery if the consignment note has not been completed correctly or the waste is described incorrectly.

3. ensure compliant waste treatment
The waste processor is only permitted to process waste in accordance with their permit.

Non compliance

If you suspect that someone is illegally collecting / transporting / storing or disposing of waste, then you shouldn’t accept waste or give your waste to them. If, however you have unwittingly accepted miss-classified waste then you should isolate and report your concerns to the regulator.

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