Chemical manufacturing waste and hazardous waste

Chemical manufacturing hazardous waste responsibilities

Your business is likely to produce some hazardous waste, which is harmful to human health or the environment. This waste may be flammable, corrosive, or ecotoxic - toxic to people or the environment.

Examples of chemical manufacturing hazardous waste

Hazardous wastes that you may produce from chemical manufacturing include:

  • organic and inorganic chemical process residues, eg heavy ends and oily sludges
  • used chemical products, eg adhesives, paints, inks and varnishes
  • spoilt or unusable solvents or other chemicals
  • spent or contaminated catalysts
  • sludges, eg oily or from effluent treatment plants
  • containers containing chemical residues, eg resins
  • pollution containment equipment that has been used on spills of hazardous materials

Identify hazardous waste

If the waste you produce has hazardous properties, you may need to deal with it as hazardous waste. You will find information that can help you make this decision on safety data sheets and product labels. Safety data sheets contain information about substances, including how to store, use and dispose of them safely.

If you intend to discard containers, you must assess whether they are hazardous waste. Containers may need to be classified as hazardous waste if they contain residues of hazardous or dangerous substances or materials. If the residue is hazardous, the whole container will be hazardous waste.

Use and keep copies of paperwork

If your business produces hazardous waste, you must:

  • use consignment notes whenever the waste is moved to another location, and keep copies for three years
  • keep copies of return to producer forms for three years (these are records of what has happened to your waste)
  • notify NIEA at least three working days before the waste is moved
  • comply with your duty of care for waste

Store hazardous waste safely

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

You must store hazardous waste securely and separately from all other waste materials. You must use containers that are sealed, labelled, covered and waterproof.

If you store hazardous waste you may need to comply with the conditions of a waste exemption or you may need a waste management licence.

Transport hazardous waste safely

If you carry hazardous waste produced by other businesses, or your own construction or demolition waste, you must usually register as an upper tier waste carrier - see waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

If you pass your waste to someone else to transport for you, you must ensure that they are registered or exempt.

Dispose of hazardous waste correctly

You must ensure that your hazardous waste is disposed of and treated at an appropriate facility. You should recover and recycle your hazardous waste wherever possible.

Good practice with hazardous waste

Look for alternative materials and practices that do not produce, or produce less, hazardous waste.

Provide written instructions for storing and disposing of each type of hazardous waste produced on your premises. Ensure that all employees and contractors follow these instructions.