Paper manufacturing waste and hazardous substances

Paper 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 hazardous waste from paper manufacturing

Hazardous waste produced by paper and cardboard businesses includes:

  • residues or unusable chemical products, such as solvents, adhesives, coatings, inks, varnishes and biocides
  • containers that include chemical residues
  • sludges, eg from cooling tanks and effluent treatment plants
  • waste oil, lubricants and fuel
  • some office equipment, including computer monitors and laptops that contain cathode ray tubes
  • kitchen equipment containing ozone-depleting substances, eg fridges and vending machines
  • fluorescent tubes and energy saving light bulbs
  • pollution containment equipment that has been used on hazardous material spills

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 72 hours and not more than one month 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

You can currently carry your own hazardous waste without registering as a waste carrier, unless it is construction or demolition waste. You must still complete a consignment note. However, you will have to register with NIEA as a lower tier waste carrier before 31 December 2013 if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste.

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. If you had a waste carrier certificate before 8 April 2011, it will be classified as an upper tier registration. When your certificate is due to be renewed it will be replaced with an upper tier certificate - 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

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.