Metals production businesses produce hazardous waste, which is harmful to human health and the environment.
Types of metal manufacturing hazardous waste
Materials and substances from metals production and processing that may be hazardous waste include:
- sludges, eg from cooling tanks
- swarf that is contaminated with cutting fluid or oil
- oil and oil emulsions
- acids and alkaline solutions
- solvents used for degreasing scrap and cleaning boilers
- sand from casting processes that is contaminated with metals or chemicals
- pollution containment equipment that has been used on spills of hazardous materials
- computer monitors
- fluorescent tubes
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
- 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 a registered or exempt waste carrier.
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 for hazardous waste
Look for alternative materials and practices that do not produce, or produce less, hazardous waste.
Refine your processes to minimise the amount of sand that you use, and reuse as much as possible. You may be able to send sand for recycling in cement, asphalt and concrete blocks - see using sand in metal production.
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.