Dealing with hazardous waste
Moving and transferring hazardous waste
All businesses that produce waste have a duty of care to make sure that it is handled safely and transported in compliance with the law. If the waste is hazardous, extra controls apply. Hazardous waste is waste that may be harmful to human health or the environment - see what is hazardous waste?
Moving hazardous waste
Make sure all hazardous waste is:
- transported by a registered or exempt waste carrier
- accompanied by a consignment note (there are only a few exceptions where consignment notes are not required)
- sent to a facility that holds a suitable pollution prevention and control permit, waste management licence or a registered exemption that authorises them to take that type of waste for the activity they intend
Before moving hazardous waste, you should evaluate the recycling, recovery and disposal options available for the waste you produce.
You must pre-notify the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) at least 72 hours and not more than one month before any hazardous waste leaves your site. You do this by filling in a consignment note.
Some hazardous waste movements are exempt from pre-notification. The exemption will apply to you if:
- you regularly produce and transport the same type of waste to the same disposal or recovery facility - you only need to pre-notify the NIEA of the first consignment in any one year provided you refer to the number of the initial pre-notification in all consignment notes
- your business operates on a number of sites, and you transport your hazardous waste to a site that you own that holds a suitable licence, permit or exemption to receive the waste
- you return faulty products or materials as hazardous waste to the supplier or manufacturer
- your consignment only contains lead-acid vehicle batteries
Movements of hazardous wastes that are exempt from pre-notification must still be accompanied by a consignment note.
Use consignment notes when moving hazardous waste
When you move hazardous waste from your premises it must be accompanied by a consignment note. This includes moving it to any other site that you may operate. The waste must be accompanied by a consignment note until it reaches its final destination. You must keep a copy of all consignment notes for three years. There are only a very few exceptions where consignment notes are not needed.
Your waste carrier can use single or multiple collection forms. Your consignment note must include a unique code. You must get this code from NIEA. You can buy consignment notes from NIEA.
Since 8 October 2011, you have to include new information on your consignment notes to declare that you have applied the waste management hierarchy for dealing with your waste. This means you must take all practicable steps to reuse or recycle your waste before deciding to dispose of it - see choosing a waste management option.
Cross-border movements of hazardous waste
All hazardous waste produced within Northern Ireland must be consigned using a consignment note or number issued by NIEA, regardless of its final destination within the UK.
If you export hazardous waste to England or Wales, the site which receives the waste must send a completed deposit note to NIEA.
If you export hazardous waste to Scotland, the site which receives the waste must send a completed deposit note to their local Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) office. SEPA will then forward a copy of the note to NIEA.
Meet carriage of dangerous goods requirements
If you transport hazardous waste you must comply with controls on the carriage of dangerous goods - find out about the carriage of dangerous goods.