Dealing with hazardous waste

Producing and storing hazardous waste


All businesses that produce waste have a duty of care to make sure that it is handled and stored safely. 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?

How much hazardous waste you can store

You do not need a waste management licence or pollution prevention and control permit if you store hazardous waste on the site where it was produced for up to 12 months while you wait for it to be collected. The maximum amount of hazardous waste you can store is:

  • 23,000 litres of liquid waste stored in a secure container
  • either 80 cubic metres (m³) of any other type of waste stored in a secure container, or 50m³ stored in a secure place

Find information on the temporary storage of waste.

If you cannot meet these conditions, such as if you store hazardous waste for longer than 12 months, you must have a waste management licence or a pollution prevention and control permit - see environmental permits and licences - an overview.

How to store hazardous waste

If you keep hazardous waste on your premises, even for a short period of time, you must:

  • ensure that it is stored safely and securely to prevent pollution
  • ensure that it is packaged and labelled correctly
  • keep different types of hazardous waste separate
  • keep hazardous and non-hazardous waste separate
  • keep liquid hazardous waste in a dedicated area, with a bund or barrier to contain spills and leaks
  • regularly check storage areas for leaks, deteriorating containers or other potential risks
  • display written instructions for storing and disposing of each type of hazardous waste
  • maintain an inventory of the hazardous wastes kept on your premises, and where they are stored - this will help the emergency services to deal with any incident effectively and safely

You must assess risks posed by any hazardous substances that you store on your site, including hazardous waste, and take steps to control those risks - see how to manage harmful substances safely.

Train your staff about hazardous waste

Make sure your staff are properly trained to deal with spills of the hazardous materials that you store on your premises. This should include instructions on what to do if there is a spill, the type of personal protection equipment required and how to correctly dispose of contaminated clean-up materials.