Monday, January 28, 2008

Procedures Required for Complience with Regulations for Waste Management

Per year the UK produces around 330 million tonnes of waste, (The Environment Agency). A quarter of this waste can be accounted for from business and households. The rest comes from construction and demolition, sewage sludge, farm waste and spoils from mines and dredging rivers. It is important to manage this waste appropriately, in a way that will protect the environment and safeguard human health. The Environment Agency has come up with a set of regulations to help us do so.

  • The first step in managing our waste is to ascertain what is recyclable or what can be composted. These could be materials such as paper, cardboard, glass or organic waste.
  • The second step is to assess any waste that could be hazardous, such as paint or inc.
  • The third step is to separate all hazardous waste, such as lead, acid and oils and dispose of in a way that complies with waste management regulations.

The Environment Agency have produced guidance information for classification of specific waste types. With recent changes in classification it is important to distinguish between those classified as hazardous and those that would be non-hazardous. What is hazardous waste?

If you are a business or simply a household, the same basic rules apply. If you throw away hazardous waste, such as paints, oils, television sets and asbestos, you must do this at properly managed waste facilities. Your local council will be able to advise how and where.

For businesses it is important to register as a hazardous waste producer. At around £18 per premise the cost is fairly low, but failure to register could land you up with a hefty fine, or even a custodial sentence!

As well as the disposal of hazardous waste, there are also regulations for moving hazardous wastes. In order to move waste you must obtain certain consignment notes. These notes are specific to where and how you wish to move them i.e. moving waste using a pipeline from a ship, or cross-border movements.

You may wish to use a waste contractor to take your waste away. In which case it is important to know that until the waste is disposed of properly it is still the responsibility of the waste producer and fly tipping is a common offense by non-reputable companies. For this reason, finding an authorised waste carrier is essential.

If you are the receiver of any hazardous waste it is your responsibility to send the Environment Agency a consignee return. This is a detailed summary of all hazardous waste that the consignee has received or deposited, as well as the consignments the consignee has rejected. For any movements of hazardous waste, including receiving, transport, storage, disposal or recovery it essential to keep records and maintain a register.