THE CONTROLS ON
SPECIAL WASTE AND HOW THEY AFFECT YOU
Do you use
chemicals, products with hazard symbols or safety data sheets?
Then read on...
This document is
about the changes to the controls on Special Waste, those wastes which
cause the greatest environmental damage or are dangerous to human life.
The new controls
* Change the
definition of special waste;
* Change the form
(consignment note) you must use before you can get rid of special waste;
* Change who
receives the forms (pre notification)
* Bring in fees for
* Restrict mixing of
Special waste used
to be covered by the 1980 Special Waste Regulations. But the controls set
out in this leaflet are new. They are known as the 1996 Special Waste
Regulations (the Regulations). They completely replace the 1980
You need to know
about the Regulations if you have to dispose of, carry or receive special
wastes. This includes special wastes going into storage, treatment,
recycling or disposal.
WHAT IS WASTE?
Waste can be
anything you own, or your business produces, and which you want to get rid
of. The publications shown in appendix A will help you decide whether
something is waste.
A rule of thumb is
that is an item is being treated as waste by the producer then it is waste.
WHAT ARE SPECIAL
These are the most
dangerous wastes. They include hazardous or toxic wastes. Most of them are
listed in the new regulations. Wastes are not special if the hazardous
properties set out in the regulations are absent for any reason. Some
common special wastes are listed below:
LIST OF TYPICAL
* Alkaline solutions
* Oil fly ash
* Waste oils
that was special waste under the e1980 regulations is still special waste under
the 1996 regulations. However some wastes became special wastes for the
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY
WASTE IS SPECIAL?
You MUST tell the
regulators before your special waste is removed. This is called
pre-notification. You do this by filling in a form called a consignment
note. You must send off the form at least 3 clear working days before you
want the waste removed. The regulations do not say how the waste should be
packaged and handled but you should follow the Duty of Care.
WHAT IS DUTY OF CARE?
There is a duty of
care which applies to the producers of ALL waste, special or otherwise, to
ensure that that waste is handled in a correct manner. For special waste
the consignment note replaces the duty of care transfer note. The duty of
care means that you must give a good enough description to enable your
waste to be safely managed. Most special wastes need very clear
description. Waste must always be transferred to an authorised person e.g.
registered waste carrier or a licensed waste manager. Remember that
transport, health and safety and other safety legislation may also apply.
The Duty of Care A Code of Practice, available from HMSO price £7.50)
WHO ARE THE
The regulators are
the Environment Agency (England and Wales), and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
The regulators have
to see that the waste is properly described and going to a suitable site.
The paperwork also helps to track the waste to prevent illegal dumping. All
of this helps to ensure special waste is handled properly - protecting the
environment and preventing harm to human health.
HOW DO CONSIGNMENT
If I want to get rid
You are the
Before any special waste
leaves your site, you (or the person moving the waste - the carrier) must
fill in parts A and B of a five-copy consignment note.
You (or the carrier)
must send one copy to the regulator for the area where the waste is going.
His must be done at least three working days, but not more than one month,
before the waste is to be moved. You will be left with four copies. When
the waste is about to be moved, the carrier must agree with you the
information at parts A and B. the carrier will complete part C to the form.
You MUST then sign part D. You MUST keep a copy.
WHY ARE FEES CHARGED?
Fees have been
introduced to help the Environment Agencies meet the costs of supervising
special waste movements. The Environment Agency charges for the consignment
notes to be used to consign special waste.
CAN I MIX SPECIAL
If you produce
special wastes the regulations do not stop you mixing them. However it is
usually safer to keep them separate. An establishment or undertaking which
disposes, recovers, collects or transports special waste must not mix
different types of special waste under the regulations. Nor can it mix
special and non-special wastes.
WHAT RECORDS MUST I
Producers of special
waste need to keep a record of the waste produced prior to detailing it on
the consignment note.
carriers MUST keep a register of the consignment note copies for three
years, but consignees will need to keep copies of the consignment notes
until they surrender the licence for the site they manage.
ARE THERE FINES FOR BREAKING THE RULES?
Yes - if the court convicts you of not complying
with the regulations you could suffer a fine of up to £5,000, ordered to
pay costs and / or spend 2 years in prison.