Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Storage & transport of waste

Storage & transport of waste

 

What you must do

You are responsible for storing and transporting your waste safely and legally. You must ensure that your waste does not harm the environment.

You must comply with the requirements of your duty of care.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

Storing waste

If you store your own waste you must store it securely and get it removed regularly from your site.

If you store your own waste for long periods, or store waste produced by other people, you must have a waste management licence.

Check that your licence allows you to store your type of waste.

Make sure waste materials cannot blow away or escape. Tie your waste down, cover and protect it from wind and rain.

Prevent run-off from your waste storage area entering surface waters or drains by storing it under cover on an impermeable surface with a bund. A bund is a secondary containment area that holds liquids if the main containers leak or break.

Make sure your site is secure. Check locks, gates and perimeter fences regularly. You can still be prosecuted even if vandals cause pollution on your site.

You must not:

  • bury waste materials
  • burn waste materials unless licensed to do so
  • store and transport materials near fire sources, eg high temperature machinery or machinery producing sparks, such as angle grinders
  • mix hazardous/special waste with any other materials.

Waste storage exemptions

You can apply for exemptions to store certain types of waste for certain purposes. This means you can register with your environmental regulator and avoid having to apply for a full waste management licence. The amount you can store depends on the exemption. The purposes include:

  • composting
  • recycling and reuse of waste materials
  • using the waste as a construction material
  • using the waste material as a fuel.

In most cases you must register any exempt waste activity or operation you carry out. You must always comply with the conditions of the exemption. There may be a charge for registering your exemptions.

For further information on exemptions, see our guidance on who needs to register an exemption.

Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA): Activities exempt from waste management licensing

SEPA: Activities exempt from waste management licensing

For further information contact your environmental regulator.

Storing hazardous/special waste

You must check if the waste you store is hazardous/special waste before you store it.

You do not need waste management licence if you store hazardous/special 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/special 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.

All hazardous/special waste must be stored safely and securely to prevent pollution.

See our guidance on Storing hazardous/special waste

If you store any hazardous waste for longer than 12 months you must have a waste management licence or a pollution prevention and control permit.

If you keep hazardous/special 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 the different types of hazardous/special waste separate
  • keep hazardous /special and non-hazardous waste separate
  • keep liquid hazardous/special 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/special waste
  • maintain an inventory of the hazardous/special 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/special waste, and take steps to control those risks.

 

Transporting waste

You must register with your environmental regulator as a waste carrier if you transport:

  • construction and demolition waste produced by your own business
  • any waste produced by another business.

In Northern Ireland you will have to register with the NIEA as a lower tier carrier if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste.

NIEA: Apply online

In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. This is a new requirement for businesses. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must usually register as a waste carrier. You can register using SEPA's online system.

SEPA: Application forms

Alternatively you can download an application form and return it to SEPA.

SEPA: Application form to register as a professional collector or transporter of waste

See our guidance on Waste carriers, brokers and dealers

Waste transfer notes

You must complete a waste transfer note (WTN) for every load of waste you pass on or accept. You must keep copies of all your WTNs for at least two years.

You may be able to use a 'season ticket' if you have regular collections of the same type of waste by the same waste carrier. This is one transfer note covering a series of transfers over a year, for example weekly collections of waste from shops or commercial premises or multiple lorry trips to remove a large heap of waste.

See our guidance on completing waste transfer notes in:

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities: Completing waste transfer notes

Transporting hazardous waste

You must check if waste is hazardous/special waste before you transport it.

You must complete a consignment note whenever you or anyone else moves or transfers hazardous/special waste. Copies of consignment notes must be kept for at least three years.

If you carry your own hazardous/special demolition and construction waste, or if you carry hazardous/special waste produced by other businesses, you must be registered as a waste carrier, or register an exemption for the waste you carry.

In Northern Ireland you can currently carry your own hazardous/special waste, other than construction or demolition waste, without registering as a carrier of hazardous/special waste. You must still complete a consignment note. In Northern Ireland you will have to register with the NIEA as a lower tier carrier by the end of December 2013 if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste.

In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. This is a new requirement for businesses. You can register using SEPA's online system.

SEPA: Application forms

Alternatively you can download an application form and return it to SEPA.

SEPA: Application form to register as a professional collector or transporter of waste

See our guidance on Waste carriers, brokers and dealers

If you transport hazardous/special waste you must:

  • keep it separate from other wastes
  • use sealed and clearly labelled containers
  • check that it is transferred to a facility that is authorised to receive it.

Check vehicle locks regularly and only drop off materials when you are sure the location is secure.

See our guidance on Moving hazardous/special waste

Storing and transporting waste oil

For information on storing and transporting waste oil see our guidance: Oil Storage

 

Preventing pollution when transporting and storing waste

You must:

  • store and transport waste in suitable, covered containers such as drums, skips or cages
  • label containers correctly with the type of materials stored in them
  • separate different materials into different containers
  • ensure materials cannot leak into the ground, watercourses (streams, rivers or groundwater) or surface drains.

Only store and transfer waste materials on waterproof, contained surfaces where spills cannot escape.

Bund containment areas. This involves building a secondary barrier around the main containment area to hold liquid waste if the main containers, for example drums, leak or break.

Pollution prevention guideline (PPG) 2 contains guidance on bunding and storage.

GPP 2 Above ground oil storage tanks (Adobe PDF - 276KB)

 

Dealing with spills

Ensure accidental spills can be contained. Put spill kits and spill response procedures in place.

Do not use water to wash away spills. It will spread the spill and could pollute the ground, watercourses (streams, rivers or groundwater) or surface drains.

GPP 21: Pollution incident response planning

Keep portable spill kits in vehicles used to transport waste materials.

A basic spill kit should contain:

  • gloves
  • goggles
  • re-sealable plastic bags
  • sealing or containment materials, such as sealing putties and drain sealing mats
  • absorbent materials to soak up spills, such as plenty of rags, sand or earth.

You may need to recycle or dispose of absorbent materials used to contain spills as hazardous/special waste. Check before you recycle or dispose of them.

 

Further information on storing and transporting waste

NIEA: Waste

SEPA: Waste carriers - Who needs to register?

SEPA: Consigning Special Waste

NIEA: Construction and Demolition Waste and Recycled Concrete

Whats new on NetRegs

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.

    https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/waste-duty-care-responsibilities

  • NetRegs:- FREE, ANONYMOUS, PLAIN ENGLISH GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES

  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

    Read more on the DAERA website

  • Guidance from your environmental regulator

    Regulator logos

  • 9 NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) available now

    The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics

  • New guidance

    New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects

    http://www.netregs.org.uk/environmental-topics/environmental-management/first-steps-guidance-for-new-starts-projects-and-charities/

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!

Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms