Hazardous Waste Producer Area
HAZARDOUS WASTE – DO THE RIGHT THING
A short introduction for producers of hazardous waste in England
Many common products contain some hazardous materials. This can mean that when they are disposed of they are classed as hazardous waste, for which special rules apply. This note is to help you decide whether any waste you produce falls into that category and if so what you should do about it.
Doing the right thing with hazardous waste is very important: it protects human health and the environment, prevents criminal activity, and helps responsible waste managers to do their job. It is your responsibility to deal with your hazardous waste correctly and to ensure that you pass it on to a qualified and reputable waste manager for proper treatment.
This note points the way to information about the rules which apply in England. The position in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland may be slightly different – see below:
What is hazardous waste, and do you produce it?
Examples of hazardous wastes include:
- waste electrical equipment,
- batteries, waste oils,
- some soils,
- fluorescent tubes,
- some packaging waste,
- some clinical or healthcare waste.
If you are not sure, there is plenty of information available - see Gov.uk - How to classify different types of waste
and the “Need to know more?
” section below.
While it stays your responsibility, your waste management contractor may also be able to help you (see next section
If you do produce hazardous waste, do you know what you should do with it?
Here are some actions you should take depending on what type of hazardous waste you produce:
- Manage your hazardous waste properly, by segregating it from non-hazardous waste, labelling it, and storing the waste safely. You are only allowed to store hazardous waste for up to 12 months - see Gov.uk - Sorting and Storage of Hazardous Waste
- Identify a legal and reputable waste management contractor - see for example the ESA Members List
Need to know more? Where to find further information about hazardous waste
The Environment Agency has produced detailed guidance for businesses handling significant amounts of hazardous waste and waste management operators: Gov.uk - Hazardous Waste Technical Guidance (WM3)
Further information from the Environment Agency about the classification of hazardous wastes, mainly addressed to waste management companies can be found on the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) website
CIWM and ESA provide training on hazardous waste. See ESA and CIWM’s joint training course 'An Introduction to Waste Legislation'
which covers the requirements on hazardous waste