hazardous waste collection

What are the Hazardous Waste Regulations?

Hazardous Waste Regulations control the management, storage, disposal, and tracking of hazardous waste items in England and Wales. The regulations detail everything you need to know and follow as a business for safe, legal, and responsible hazardous waste management. This legislation provides an enforceable to prevent illegal and dangerous disposal of hazardous waste.

Hazardous waste legislation was introduced to protect the environment through a new way to control and track hazardous waste, ensuring it’s disposed of safely and securely. It covers the specific waste types, mixing and moving such rubbish, the need for the right hazardous waste consignment note and codes, enforcement, offences, and penalties.

Discover everything you need to know about Hazardous Waste Regulations in the UK. Keep your business safe and protect the environment when you create any type or amount of dangerous waste with this hazardous waste legislation guide.

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Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 summary

Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 govern the management and disposal of hazardous waste in the two countries. There are 12 parts to the hazardous waste legislation, which are each broken down into subsections (with 78 in total). Rather than reading through each one, we’ve pulled together a short Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 summary.

The Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 dictate that:

  • Hazardous waste must be ‘recovered or disposed of without endangering human health, and without using processes or methods which could harm the environment.’
  • Waste producers (i.e. business owners) must classify their waste and store hazardous waste separately from their commercial waste.
  • Waste producers must also ensure a licensed carrier collects their hazardous waste. This means you must work with a registered company, with the appropriate environmental permits.
  • Each time hazardous waste is collected, a consignment form must be filled out. Both the carrier and producer must keep a copy of this note.
  • Treatment, storage, and disposal facilities must meet the requirements under the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations. This includes holding the correct permits or licences, complying with technical standards, and having proper control measures to avoid pollution and harm to human health and the environment.
  • Failing to comply with UK hazardous waste regulations could result in a fine of up to £5,000.

What do Hazardous Waste Regulations 
in the UK cover?

There are 12 parts to the current hazardous waste law in the UK that cover everything from defining the material to how it should be moved and the required documents. For any business that produces hazardous waste the most important parts detail what are hazardous and non-hazardous waste, mixing hazardous waste, moving it, and required producer records.

Here’s a summary of some of the main areas that the Hazardous Waste Regulations in the UK cover:

  • List of wastes – this establishes a list of hazardous waste and covers the types of hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste, identifying which should be treated as such under the regulations.
  • Transporting hazardous waste – regulating the movement of hazardous waste including required documents and consignment notes, the duty of the producer and carrier, and regulations for multiple collections. It also covers cross-border movement of hazardous waste and procedures for rejected collection consignments.
  • Records and returns – the required records for the disposal, storage, and recovery of hazardous waste. This includes producers’, holders’, consignors’, and carriers’ records, as well as consignee and self-disposal quarterly returns and duties to supply information.
  • The agency’s functions – inspections of hazardous waste producers, inspections of collection and transport operations, and fees in connection to the hazardous waste regulations.
  • Enforcement – it’s the duty of the agency (Defra and the Welsh government) to enforce the hazardous waste management regulations. This section covers offences, defences, liability, and penalties (including fixed penalties).
Hazardous waste facts
empty plastic oil containers.

Who needs to follow 
hazardous waste legislation?

Every business in England and Wales that produces any amount of hazardous waste must follow the current hazardous waste legislation for safe and legal storage and disposal. This includes whether you run a local shop with just a small battery bin, a garage with barrels of waste oil, or a laboratory producing lots of chemical waste.

Following the guidelines and complying with hazardous waste legislation is vital to protect your business and the environment. Even if you only create one type of hazardous waste in a low volume it must still be stored separately from any other commercial waste and removed by licensed waste carriers who transport it to an appropriate disposal site.

Some of the main businesses and industries that produce lots of such dangerous waste and must follow hazardous waste legislation closely include:

When did the hazardous waste regulations 
come into force in the UK?

The Hazardous Waste Regulations came into force on 16th July 2005. They were introduced to replace the Special Waste Regulations Act (1996).

How can my business comply with 
hazardous waste disposal regulations?

The easiest way to comply with the hazardous waste disposal regulations in the UK is to use a professional waste management company, such as Business Waste. Our expert team can advise on the correct bins and containers to store such waste and the appropriate processes to follow. This ensures your hazardous waste is stored, removed, and disposed of legally.

There’s lots of information in the UK hazardous waste regulations, so we’ve summarised the main things your business must do to comply with them. Follow these steps to comply with current hazardous waste disposal regulations in the UK:

  • Notify the Environment Agency if your industrial or commercial premises produce more than 500kg of hazardous waste annually.
  • Register as a hazardous waste site if you generate more than 500kg of hazardous waste and annually renew your registration. There’s no need to register if you produce less, such as running a small shop with just a battery bin.
  • Use appropriate sizes and types of bins and containers to separate and store hazardous waste on your site. Do not mix hazardous and non-hazardous waste types
  • Complete a consignment note every time before any hazardous waste is removed from your site. This should include a description of the waste that covers:
    • The process that created the hazardous waste
    • Its quantity
    • Chemical and/or biological components and their concentrations
    • Hazard codes and List of Wastes (LoW) codes
    • Container type, size, and number
    • Where the waste is going
    • A unique consignment code number
  • Only allow licensed waste carriers to collect commercial waste from your business (including hazardous waste types).
  • Ensure all hazardous waste removed from your site is transported to a facility with the proper permits and licences for legal and responsible disposal. Ask your waste collector for proof if you’re unsure.

The UK government published the Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in England (2010). It sets out principles to advise businesses that produce, handle, and manage hazardous waste. This can help you determine if your waste classes as hazardous and to make the right decisions for proper storage and disposal.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Welsh Government have also published guidance on applying the waste hierarchy to hazardous waste.

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Get hazardous waste law 
help and advice

Use our services and we can help arrange hazardous waste disposal near you. This includes collection services that ensure your business abides by the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 to avoid your organisation facing any fines or penalties for improper disposal. Contact us online or call 0800 211 8390 today and speak to one of our expert team.

They can listen to your needs and offer advice about how to manage your hazardous waste legally and safely. This includes providing a free no no-obligation quote for the collection of hazardous waste from your business anywhere in the UK. Simply provide information about the types, amount, collection frequency, and location for a tailored quote.

How to reduce hazardous waste

Speak to one of our friendly team and they can listen to your queries and work out a cost-effective, legal, and responsible solution. This includes providing free bins and containers to store your hazardous waste. There are no delivery or rental fees – you only pay for collection.

All hazardous waste is removed by licensed waste carriers and transported to hazardous waste disposal facilities with the proper permits. You receive a free duty of care certificate and all relevant consignment notes in line with the hazardous waste regulations and for added peace of mind.

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Get a fast and free quote

Get a fast FREE quote for your hazardous waste collections

  • Free quote within 1 hr
  • Any type of hazardous waste
  • FREE bins and delivery
  • We cover all of the UK