Waste Manager Portal
Under environmental legislation waste is deemed as 'hazardous' when it contains substances or properties that could make it harmful to human health or the environment. The risk is not always immediate but can happen over time. Examples of hazardous waste include paints, chemicals, fluorescent tubes, batteries and some waste electricals. In Scotland it is known as Special Waste.
What are the Hazardous Waste Regulations and who do they affect?
These Regulations aim to control and track the movement of hazardous waste, to ensure waste is recovered or disposed of without endangering human health or causing harm to the environment.
Across the UK, each country regulates hazardous waste separately. Requirements will differ slightly depending on where your business is operating and there are much tighter legal controls in place compared to those that exist for non-hazardous waste. On top of the requirements to meet duty of care obligations, businesses must have procedures in place to ensure waste is stored safely and separately to non-hazardous waste. Before waste leaves your premises you need to ensure a hazardous or special waste consignment note is generated. These notes are a legal requirement and contain information about where the waste has come from, where it is going and who is moving it.
Extra requirements must also be met depending on whether the business produces, stores, collects or receives waste for recycling or disposal. Again this can vary dependent on location.
Furthermore, the co-disposal of hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste at the same landfill site is now prohibited; therefore, businesses are now required to ensure that their waste meets Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC). This means that basic characterisation of waste at an early stage is essential.
How does a business comply with Hazardous Waste Regulations?
First and foremost a business needs to find out if the waste they handle is defined as hazardous. The Regulators have produced a list of definitions and interpretations in their technical guidance, and the Hazardous Waste List, which can be found in the European Waste Catalogue, which is used for classifying all waste in Europe.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
When hazardous waste isn’t handled correctly, businesses are breaking the law. Failure to comply with the Regulations will lead to failed inspections during routine audits by the relevant environmental agencies. Failed inspections are not only costly to businesses due to the fines they incur, but they can severely damage a business’s reputation and even result in prison sentences.
How can Valpak help?
We have developed an online Waste Manager portal, a single platform solution to keep businesses up to date with waste legislation, track compliance position, store required waste documentation and produce waste performance reports to specific requirements.