Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

More waste materials (A-D)

More waste materials guidance in alphabetical order from A to D

Additional resources

  

This guidance is for staff who operate student halls of residence, residential schools, flats or other accommodation for those attending educational courses.

What you must do

The waste generated by accommodation that is owned or run by an educational establishment is considered to be commercial waste. If you produce commercial waste you must have a waste contract with your local council or waste contractor to ensure that your waste is legally disposed of.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

Most waste from accommodation is similar to domestic waste. However your waste could also contain items which are classed as hazardous/special waste. Examples of hazardous/special waste include:

  • fluorescent tubes
  • appliances such as fridges
  • some waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), eg monitors
  • used chemicals, eg from cleaning or repairs.

You must deal with this waste as hazardous/special waste.

Hazardous / special waste

Items such as fluorescent tubes and other waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) may be covered by a take back scheme operated by your supplier. Your contract with your supplier should contain details of these schemes.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

Businesses in Scotland are required to segregate key recyclable materials for collection. You should speak to your waste collector to make sure your waste is being recycled.

Good practice

Find out if waste contractors in your area provide collections for separated wastes. Many contractors will collect separate materials including:

  • paper
  • steel and aluminium cans
  • plastic drinks bottles
  • packaging glass
  • cardboard
  • textiles.

Contractors often charge less for collecting separated materials than they do for collecting mixed waste.

Provide recycling facilities which make separation of waste easy. It should be as easy to put materials in separate recycling containers as it is to place them in a mixed waste bin.

Make sure that there is clear and accurate guidance available on how to use your recycling systems and never assume that it is obvious to the user.

Check that your waste is being properly separated. Contamination of separated materials can result in a whole load being consigned to landfill.

Reduce, reuse and recycle your business waste

Your waste responsibilities

Your business will produce waste and you have a responsibility to ensure that you produce, store, transport and dispose of it without harming the environment. This is called your duty of care.

In the past, agricultural waste has not been covered by general waste controls. However, the same regulations that apply to commercial and industrial waste now also apply to agricultural waste.

Manure and slurry are not considered waste when used as a fertiliser on farms. There is, however, a range of environmental issues that you should be aware of.

Landspreading livestock slurries, silage effluent and solid manures

What you must do

Comply with your duty of care

The duty of care applies to controlled waste. Controlled waste includes agricultural waste, as well as commercial waste, industrial waste, hazardous/special waste, construction and demolition waste, and household waste.

The duty of care places obligations on you as a waste producer, and also on carriers and any person within the chain of persons handling waste, to consider the manner in which they deal with the material.

Make sure that your waste does not escape your control and that it does not cause pollution or harm while you hold it.

Demonstrate that you have taken into account the Waste Hierarchy when making decisions on the management of your waste

You must make sure that you only pass waste to someone who is authorised to take it. If you do not check, and the person you have passed your waste to disposes of it illegally, you could be held responsible, prosecuted and fined.

You must keep records of all transfers of your waste.

The duty of care has no time limit. You are specifically responsible for your waste from when you produce it until you have transferred it to an authorised person. However, if you think that your waste is not being managed correctly you must take action to check and prevent this.

For more details see our guidance on Duty of Care

Use an authorised waste carrier

You must only pass your waste to, or have it collected by, an authorised person.

Anyone who collects and transports your waste must:

  • be a registered carrier of controlled waste, or
  • be exempt from registration as a carrier - this includes your local council's waste collection services.

Contact your local council

In Scotland, carriers, brokers and dealers who deal only with agricultural waste do not have to be registered as waste carriers, brokers or dealers, but have to be registered with SEPA as professional collectors or transporters of waste.

Check that your carrier is registered

You must check and keep proof that anyone that you pass your waste to is authorised to take it. If you do not check and keep proof of this you could be held responsible if your waste is disposed of illegally, for example by fly-tipping.

You can check your environmental regulator's database of registered carriers, brokers and professional collectors of waste.

DAERA: Public register of waste carriers

SEPA: Registered Carriers, Brokers and Professional Collectors and Transporters

If you are in any doubt about someone's authority to carry your waste you must contact your environmental regulator.

Contact your environmental regulator

For more information see our guidance Duty of Care – Who can deal with your waste?

Carrying your own agricultural waste

In Northern Ireland, if you normally and regularly carry your own agricultural waste, you are required to complete a one-off registration with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. If you are not certain whether you should be registered NIEA can guide you.

In Scotland, if you carry your own agricultural waste, you need to register as a professional collector or transporter of waste, with SEPA

Make sure that you only pass your waste to someone who is authorised to take it. Anyone who recycles, treats, stores, reprocesses or disposes of your waste must have:

  • a waste management licence or pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit
  • a registered exemption from permitting for your type of waste and what they do with it.

Use our waste directory to find licensed recycling and waste disposal sites in your area.

For more information see our guidance Duty of Care – Who can deal with your waste?

Use waste transfer notes

You must complete a waste transfer note (WTN) for every load of waste you pass to others. This will include a detailed description of the waste.

You may be able to use a 'season ticket' if you have regular collections of waste of the same type and from the same place, by a 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. If you use a season ticket you must keep a log of the individual waste transfers.

A WTN shows carriers and site operators who handle your waste what they are handling. WTNs also ensure that there is a clear audit trail for the waste from when it is produced until it is disposed of.

A WTN must be completed and signed by both the person sending the waste and the person collecting it.

Waste holders and transporters must carry the WTN alongside the waste it relates to and must produce the note if stopped by an authorised officer. If the movement is covered by an annual note which is held at a different location, this note will have to be made available on request.

You must keep copies of all your WTNs for at least two years and be able to produce them on demand to your environmental regulator or local council, or you could be fined.

There is no standard WTN. Many waste carriers produce their own versions.

WTNs can now be in electronic format, as long as they are legible and include an authenticated electronic signature.

For more information on WTNs, see our guidance Duty of care - Complete waste transfer notes.

Pre-treat waste for landfill

You must make sure that your waste is treated before it goes to a landfill site. This applies to most types of waste. You can either treat your waste yourself or make sure that a later holder of the waste will treat it before they send it to a landfill site.

For more information see our Landfill guidance.

Handle liquid wastes safely

If you handle liquid wastes, you must ensure:

  • they are stored securely on your site while they await disposal or recovery
  • they cannot escape into drains, watercourses or surrounding ground
  • any accidental spills are properly and effectively contained.

Follow hazardous or special waste controls

Waste that is potentially harmful to humans and the environment is known as hazardous waste in Northern Ireland and special waste in Scotland.

Most businesses produce some hazardous or special waste. Examples include some types of batteries, fluorescent tubes, computer monitors and certain paints.

You must:

  • always keep hazardous or special waste separate from other waste
  • store hazardous or special waste in sealed, labelled containers
  • use designated, secure, labelled, waterproof containment areas to store hazardous or special waste
  • bund containment areas for hazardous or special waste by building a secondary barrier around the main containment area to hold hazardous or special waste if the containers (eg drums) leak
  • use a consignment note when hazardous waste is moved and keep copies of consignment notes for three years.

See our Hazardous/Special Waste guidance.

Some types of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are classed as hazardous/special waste.

Check your waste is disposed of correctly

If you transport your own waste, you must make sure that the site you take your waste to is authorised to accept it.

Anyone who recycles, treats, stores, reprocesses or disposes of your waste must have:

  • a waste management licence or pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit
  • a registered exemption from permitting for your type of waste and what they do with it.

Use our waste directory to find licensed recycling and waste disposal sites in your area.

See our guidance Duty of Care - Check your waste is disposed of correctly

Permit, licence, registrations you require

If you collect, treat, dismantle, reprocess, recycle or dispose of any waste materials yourself, you must have a waste management licence, or register an exemption.

Waste management licences

You can take most waste produced by your own business directly to an authorised waste management site or recycling facility.

If you normally and regularly transport your own agricultural waste you must register:

  • in Scotland, you need to register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste.
  • in Northern Ireland you need to register with the NIEA

You must register with your environmental regulator as a waste carrier, broker or dealer if you:

  • transport your own construction or demolition waste
  • handle, transport, recycle or dispose of any waste on behalf of another business
  • buy or sell waste.

Further information on your waste responsibilities

DAERA: Waste

SEPA: Agricultural waste

More information on recycling and disposal options for your waste is available from online waste recycling directories.

DAERA: WML public register

Resource Efficient Scotland: Recycling and Re-use Directory

Anatomical waste includes:

  • body parts
  • organs
  • blood bags and blood preserves.

You must segregate teeth containing amalgam and dispose of them as waste dental amalgam.

Dental amalgam

All anatomical waste is potentially infectious.

If you have sufficient evidence that an item is non-infectious, based on definite knowledge of the item and the patient it came from, you can classify the waste as non-infectious anatomical waste.

What you must do

You must ensure that your waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally. You must comply with your waste responsibilities, known as your duty of care.

Duty of Care: Your waste responsibilities

Hazardous/special waste and non hazardous waste

Infectious anatomical waste is classified as hazardous/special waste.

You must store, transport and dispose of this waste as hazardous/special waste to make sure you do not cause a risk to human health or the environment. You are committing an offence if you do not follow the regulations for dealing with hazardous/special waste.

Hazardous/special waste

You must not mix hazardous/special waste with your other waste or with other types of hazardous/special waste. Segregate your waste so that different wastes types do not get contaminated.

Segregating your waste

You must complete consignment notes for any hazardous/special waste that leaves your site. You must keep a register containing all of the consignment notes and the consignee returns. You must keep these records for three years.

You must complete waste transfer notes for any non-infectious anatomical waste that leaves your site. You must keep copies of all waste transfer notes for two years.

How to complete the waste paperwork

Classifying and describing anatomical waste

If you have segregated your waste according to this guidance, you will need to classify the waste in the waste transfer note or consignment note as follows:

Infectious anatomical waste

Use the European waste catalogue code 18 01 03*
Example description: Clinical waste – infectious, containing anatomical waste, for incineration only.

Non-infectious anatomical waste

Use the European waste catalogue code 18 01 02
Example description: Non-clinical waste – non-infectious, containing anatomical waste, for incineration only.

You may also need to use the European waste catalogue code 18 01 06* if your waste includes formaldehyde.

Do not enter non-hazardous waste codes on consignment notes. Describe and code each hazardous/special waste present on the consignment note.

Disposing of anatomical waste

All anatomical waste must be disposed of by incineration, to make it safe.

Good Practice

Containers for anatomical waste

You should contain and dispose of anatomical waste in yellow leak-proof containers with red lids. This helps distinguish it from other types of waste.

Further information

Waste Thesaurus: SEPA guidance for coding waste An alphabetical list of waste types with their corresponding EWC codes.

GOV.UK: Safe management of healthcare waste (UK-wide)

Laboratories, particularly in the biological sciences, are often involved in activities which result in the use and production of materials which are classed as animal by-products. This includes entire animal bodies, parts of animals, blood, fluids or any products of animal origin that are not intended for human consumption.

The Animal By-Products Regulations are aimed at protecting human and animal health and the environment.

They contain rules for the collection, storage, handling, processing, use and disposal of animal by-products. They also control the marketing, export and transit of animal by-products and products derived from them.

What you must do

If you produce, or intend to use animal by-products for research, diagnostic or educational purposes you must have an authorisation from:

  • Animal & Plant Health Agency Health (formerly Animal Health) in Scotland
  • your Divisional Veterinary Office in Northern Ireland.

Scotland: Animal & Plant Health Agency: Postcode search

Northern Ireland: DAERA: List of Approved Premises and Operators

You must store and dispose of all waste material of animal origin from laboratories according to the Animal By-Products Regulations. Waste material from educational establishments is subject to the same regulations that apply to businesses.

Animal by-products produced in animal experiments are classed as very high risk Category 1 material and you must dispose of them accordingly. For more detailed information see the NetRegs guidance.

Animal by-products and food waste

What you must do

If you reprocess broken ware from firing into usable material, either at your plant or at another site, you may need a waste management licence or exemption.

An exemption allows you to recover or dispose of waste at the place where it is produced. This is only if the waste was generated from an integral part of the production process.

You must register this exemption with your environmental regulator.

You must still ensure that your activity does not:

  • endanger human health or cause pollution to water, air or soil
  • cause a risk to plants or animals
  • cause a nuisance in terms of noise, dust, fumes, smoke or odour
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest.

Waste management licences

If your business prepares or serves food in any way, then this guidance is for you.

Canteen wastes come from a wide variety of different businesses including:

  • restaurants and cafés
  • canteens
  • self-catering kitchens
  • mobile caterers
  • outside caterers supplying buffets.

Canteen waste includes:

  • waste from food preparation
  • left-over food
  • food packaging materials
  • disposable cutlery, plates and napkins
  • waste electrical and electronic equipment such as cash registers and microwaves
  • waste water.

“Catering waste” means all waste food including used cooking oils originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens.

What you must do

Duty of care

You must comply with your duty of care responsibilities. Only transfer your waste to a person or business authorised to deal with it, otherwise you could be held responsible. You must provide a written description with the waste and you must also keep records of all waste that you transfer or receive for at least two years.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

From 1 January 2014 new regulations affect food businesses in Scotland. Large producers of food waste (more than 50 Kg per week) will have to segregate food waste for separate collection. Businesses that produce more than 5Kg of food waste per week will have to segregate food waste from 1 Jan 2016. There are special arrangements for businesses in rural areas.

Scottish Government: Duty of care: A code of practice

Zero Waste Scotland: The Waste (Scotland) Regulations FAQs

SEPA Guidance: Food waste management in Scotland

New duties for food businesses in Northern Ireland

If you are a food business and produce more than 5kg of food waste per week (roughly one kitchen caddy full) you will be required to separate that food waste from the rest of your waste for separate collection. This applies to large producers (>50kg) from 1 April 2016 and to small producers (>5kg) from 1 April 2017.

NIEA: Duty of Care – A Code of Practice

NIEA: Regulatory position statement – Food Waste Guidance

DAERA: Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

Waste water

The waste water your business creates might be classed as liquid waste (trade effluent), you must check with your water company to see if you require a permit.

Water UK: Contact your water company

Trade effluent – discharge to sewers

Waste cooking oil

You must not dispose of used cooking oil with the rest of your canteen waste.

If you produce waste cooking oil, you must:

  • store it properly using oil containers that are strong enough and that are unlikely to burst or leak during ordinary use
  • store containers within a secondary containment system (SCS), such as a drip tray, bund, or any other suitable system, which will contain any oil that escapes from its container
  • ensure that only an authorised waste carrier collects your waste and takes it to an authorised site for recovery or disposal.

Oil storage

Recycling and disposal facilities

Find your nearest recycling and disposal services using the NetRegs Waste Directory.

Find your nearest waste site

Disposing of catering waste and waste food of animal origin

If your catering waste includes animal by-products, you must only send it for disposal at authorised premises including:

  • approved landfill sites
  • approved composting plants
  • approved biogas plants
  • incineration plants
  • approved rendering plants.

You may be required to segregate your catering waste to exclude meat if you send it to an approved biogas or composting plant.

If you produce catering waste from international transport ie from planes or ships you must dispose of it by incineration, rendering or burial in a licensed landfill site.

It is your responsibility to ensure the correct disposal of your canteen waste. It must not contaminate the environment and must never be fed to livestock.

There are specific rules that apply to animal by-products, which cover all animal, fish and shellfish waste.

Animal by-products

Animal by-product disposal facilities

Scottish Government: List of approved premises

DAERA: List of Approved Premises and Operators

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

If you dispose of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), such as microwaves, kettles and vending machines, you must comply with the WEEE regulations.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

Good practice

Disposing of waste oil

You should not pour waste cooking oil and fats down drains or sewers. This can lead to:

  • use of highly polluting chemicals for unblocking drains
  • blockages leading to flooding of drainage systems, which might be a nuisance to your neighbours
  • pollution of watercourses, for which you can be prosecuted and fined.

Noise, odour and other nuisances

You can install fat traps or oil interceptors in your drainage system which will reduce the chances of blockage.

Water UK: Disposal of fats, oils, grease and food waste – Best management practice for catering outlets

Waste minimisation

You can reduce, reuse or recycle a large proportion of waste created in canteens:

  • when possible use reusable cutlery, plates and cups
  • buy items in bulk to reduce the amount and cost of packaging
  • install grease traps or interceptors into sinks to reduce the amount of cooking oil discharged with water
  • use salt, pepper and sugar dispensers instead of individual packages
  • provide the same number of recycling bins to waste bins. This will make recycling easier
  • when possible choose glass instead of plastic, as you can recycle it more easily.

Reduce, reuse and recycle your business waste

Composting

You can compost food waste and it is a good way to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

If you compost animal by-products you must have an authorisation from:

  • your local Animal Health Divisional Office (AHDO) in Scotland
  • the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDNI) in Northern Ireland.

Animal by-products

If you are unsure of compost options and which type of composting will best suit your business, check the NetRegs compost page.

Compost

Waste water

The water industry opposes the use of food waste macerators because of the potential for blockages. In Scotland the use of macerators to dispose of food waste in the sewer system has been banned from 1 January 2016, except for domestic premises and food producers in rural areas.

Water UK: waste macerators

Further information

Food Standards Agency: Waste cooking

Health and Safety Executive: Catering and hospitality

Scottish Water: Commercial kitchens clean environment guide (Adobe PDF - 316KB)

SEPA Guidance: Food waste management in Scotland

What you must do

You must not normally bury animal carcasses or parts of animal carcasses on your farm.

You may only bury animal carcasses in very limited circumstances: for emergency disease control or if you are located in areas designated as 'remote areas' in the Animal By-Products Regulations (ABPR).

Carcass disposal

Check you are authorised

In Northern Ireland, you may only bury animal carcasses if you have permission from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). Burial or burning of fallen stock is permitted in areas designated as ‘remote’. The ‘remote areas’ in Northern Ireland are Rathlin Island and Copeland Islands.

In Scotland, you can only bury animal carcasses:

  • on farms that are in the designated 'remote areas', and
  • if an alternative approved disposal route is not available.

Most of the Highlands and islands in Scotland are defined as 'remote areas'.

Scottish Government: Map showing 'remote areas' (Adobe PDF - 1.89MB)

Authorised burial

If you are authorised to bury carcasses, you must:

  • Consult your environmental regulator to discuss the best location for your disposal sites.
  • Ask your environmental regulator whether you need to apply for a groundwater authorisation (Northern Ireland) or an authorisation under the Controlled Activities Regulations (Scotland).
  • Never dispose of carcasses in or near watercourses, boreholes or springs. You may be committing a pollution offence if you allow any polluting matter to enter surface waters or groundwater.
  • Keep a written or electronic record of your disposal sites for at least two years.

Contact your environmental regulator

Good practice

If you are authorised to bury carcasses and have complied with all conditions required in your authorisation, you will still need to ensure that:

  • burial sites are at least 250m from any well, borehole or spring that supplies drinking water or water for use in a farm dairy
  • in Scotland, burial sites are at least 50m from any watercourse and at least 10m from any field drain
  • there is at least 1m of subsoil below the bottom of any burial pit and 1m of soil to cover the carcasses
  • there is no standing water at the bottom of the hole when you first dig it
  • you do not leave pits open or carcasses unburied as dogs, foxes and other scavengers could gain access to them.

Further information

The codes of good agricultural practice provide further information for burying carcasses.

Northern Ireland: DAERA Fallen Stock Guidance

This guidance is relevant if you need to dispose of dead animals.

There are different requirements for disposing of farmed animal carcasses and wild animal carcasses.

You must not bury or burn in the open farmed or wild animal carcasses.

What you must do

Dispose of farmed animal carcasses correctly

If you handle or dispose of fallen stock or parts of animal carcasses, you must meet the requirements of the Animal By-Products Regulations (ABPR).

The ABPR contain rules for collecting, transporting, storing, handling, processing, using and disposing of animal carcasses or parts of animal carcasses. Most significantly, they ban the routine on-farm burial or open burning of carcasses or parts of carcasses.

The only exceptions to the ban are when there is a disease outbreak or if you are disposing of animal remains in the designated remote areas. Even in these cases, you will have to take certain measures to protect human and animal health and the environment, such as only burying carcasses in areas agreed with your environmental regulator.

Animal by-products and food waste - your environmental responsibilities

Carcass burial

Carcass incineration

Local councils and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Scotland, or the Divisional Veterinary Offices (DVO) in Northern Ireland enforce the ABPR. Your environmental regulator also regulates some elements of carcass disposal, such as groundwater authorisations for burying carcasses.

Scotland: Animal & Plant Health Agency

DAERA: List of Approved Premises and Operators

Contact your environmental regulator

Dispose of wild animal carcasses correctly

Wild animals and birds are not covered by the Animal By-Products Regulations. Wild animals include wild deer, wild boar, rabbits, foxes, rats, squirrels, moles, pigeons, crows.

If you have killed a wild animal as vermin or to reduce the population, you need to dispose of carcasses appropriately. This includes animals caught in a trap or snare, and animals that have been shot. Wild animal carcasses that you don't have a use for are waste, and you have a duty of care to dispose of them safely, so you don't cause pollution or attract vermin.

You must make sure that your waste is handled, stored and recycled or disposed of safely and legally.

You must:

  • store and transport your waste appropriately and securely so it doesn't escape
  • check that your waste is transported and handled by people and businesses that are authorised to do so
  • complete waste transfer notes (including a written description of the waste) to document all waste movements, and keep these as a record for at least two years.

See our guidance on who is allowed to deal with your waste.

Do not bury animal carcasses

You must not bury any animal carcasses or parts of carcasses on your land. This applies to dead farmed and wild animals and birds.

However, you are allowed to bury dead pets on your own premises or in an authorised pet cemetery or landfill site.

You can only bury carcasses or parts of carcasses in certain circumstances, such as when a disease outbreak occurs or in designated remote areas. Even if you have permission to bury carcasses you will have to comply with certain restrictions.

For more information about when you can bury carcasses, and the restrictions that apply, see our guidance on carcass burial.

Bury poisoned vermin safely

You can bury small quantities of vermin that you have killed on your land Scotland. If you bury rodents, you must ensure that you don't cause water pollution.

The NIEA has produced guidance with conditions which you must meet if you bury rodent carcasses on your land in Northern Ireland.

NIEA: Regulatory Position Statement - Burial of Rodents Poisoned on Farmland 

SEPA has produced a position statement with conditions which you must meet if you bury rodent carcasses on your land.

SEPA: Position statement - Burial of small quantities of rodent carcasses poisoned on farmland (Adobe PDF - 178KB)

Good practice

The National Fallen Stock Company helps farmers and horse owners comply with the ABPR by providing a scheme that offers a legal, reliable and low-cost means of collecting and disposing of carcasses. The scheme is open to all farmed-livestock owners and businesses. If you join the scheme you will be provided with the rates for collection operators in your area.

Scotland and Northern Ireland: National Fallen Stock Company

You do not have to join the National Fallen Stock Scheme. You can still arrange to dispose of animal carcasses independently. Contact the scheme on 0845 054 8888 for contact details of local disposal services.

If you arrange disposal of carcasses yourself, you should ensure they are removed by:

  • an Animal Health or DVO approved renderer or licensed knacker's yard
  • incineration in an incinerator licensed under the ABPR
  • an Animal Health or DVO approved hunt kennels if they are to be used as dog feed.

You must ensure that the recipients of the carcass hold the appropriate licence, permit or authorisation.

Furthern Information

Northern Ireland: DAERA Fallen Stock Guidance

This guidance is relevant if you have to burn dead animals on your land. For example, you may have an incinerator, or you may need to burn carcasses if there is a disease outbreak.

If you don't have an incinerator, see our guidance on disposing of carcasses.

What you must do

Burning carcasses in the open

You must not burn any animal carcasses in the open. The only exceptions are during disease outbreaks or similar circumstances if you have authorisation from the Animal and Plant Health Agency in Scotland or DAERA in Northern Ireland. You must also contact your environmental regulator before you incinerate animal carcasses.

Scotland: Animal and Plant Health Agency

DAERA helpline numbers

Contact your environmental regulator

Burning carcasses in incinerators

If you operate an on-farm incinerator that only burns whole carcasses, you must ensure the incinerator is approved by:

  • Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Northern Ireland.
  • Animal Health in Scotland

Northern Ireland: Divisional Veterinary Offices

Scotland: Animal and Plant Health Agency

If you burn non-agricultural animal carcasses or parts of animal carcasses, your incinerator must be authorised by your local council or your environmental regulator, in addition to Animal Health or DARD.

You must have a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit from your environmental regulator or local council (in Northern Ireland) if you operate an incinerator:

  • with a capacity greater than 50kg per hour, and
  • that is only used to incinerate whole animal carcasses.

Pollution prevention and control permits

Exemptions for small-scale incinerators

In Northern Ireland, if you operate a small-scale onsite incinerator for whole animal carcasses you must register an exemption from waste management licensing with NIEA.

Waste management licensing

In Scotland, you must not operate an animal carcass incinerator without consulting SEPA.

SEPA: Contact details

Incinerating other types of waste

If you incinerate materials other than animal carcasses, eg meat, bone meal and tallow, or packaging waste, you may have to comply with waste incineration regulations. See our waste incineration guidance.

Good practice

If you are authorised to burn carcasses you should take a number of steps to reduce your environmental impact.

Avoid producing dark smoke by:

  • placing primary fuel (eg straw, fuel oil, heavy untreated timbers, coal) in the base of the fire, and the carcasses on top
  • designing the pyre to allow burning to take place up and through the material rather than from the top down; this creates a much higher temperature and reduces the risk of creating dark smoke
  • never using plastics or tyres as fuel.

You should:

  • supervise burning at all times and have a fire extinguisher, water supply or a bowser available for emergencies
  • only burn carcasses in daylight hours
  • contact your local fire brigade to let them know you are burning, before lighting the fire.

Further Information

Northern Ireland: DARD Guidance Incineration and Rendering

What you must do

You may need a waste management licence or to register an exemption to reprocess clay off-cuts into usable material, either at your plant or at another site.

An exemption allows you to recover or dispose of waste at the place where it is produced. This is only if the waste was generated from an integral part of the production process.

You must register this exemption with your environmental regulator.

You must still ensure that your activity does not:

  • endanger human health or cause pollution to water, air or soil
  • cause a risk to plants or animals
  • cause a nuisance in terms of noise, dust, fumes, smoke or odour
  • adversely affect the countryside or places of special interest.

Waste management licences

What is clinical waste?

Clinical waste can be hazardous to anyone who comes into contact with it. Clinical waste may contain:

  • human or animal tissue
  • blood or other body fluids
  • excretions
  • drugs or other pharmaceutical products
  • used swabs or dressings
  • used syringes, needles or other sharp instruments.

Clinical waste also includes any other waste that could pose a risk of infection and may be produced by:

  • medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, pharmaceutical or similar practices
  • investigation, treatment, care, teaching or research
  • collecting blood for transfusion.

Clinical waste can be a health risk to anyone who comes into contact with it. It can be treated to be made safe.

What you must do

You must separate clinical waste and non-clinical waste.

You should assess each type of material for hazards before you segregate it, and dispose of it correctly.

Keep records of your clinical waste

You must track your clinical waste and keep records of when you receive and dispose of it. You will usually need to complete hazardous / special waste consignment.

You could track your waste using:

  • a service delivery note signed by the haulage business that took your waste, with details of the type and quantity of containers collected and the date of the next proposed collection
  • a waste acceptance record sheet signed by the driver and the waste site operator, with details of the type, quantity and weight of waste delivered
  • a certificate of safe destruction signed by the treatment or disposal operator with details of when your waste was processed, the quantity and description of the waste.

Research alternative materials and practices to reduce clinical waste.

Consider if you can reuse or recycle your clinical waste. For example, you may be able to use it in an energy-from-waste plant.

You must ensure that clinical waste is stored and transported in suitable containers. Regularly check that storage containers are intact and that there is no risk of pollution.

Label containers adequately and securely with the name of the producer and source of the clinical waste.

If you deal with clinical waste you must ensure that you comply with your duty of care for waste.

Treat clinical waste as hazardous/special waste

All clinical waste is hazardous/special waste with two exceptions:

  • medicines that are not cytotoxic or cytostatic.
  • clinical wastes that are not associated with healthcare such as drug litter.

Cytotoxic substances are harmful to cell structure and function and can kill cells. Cytostatic substances prevent or limit cell growth. These substances are found in some pharmaceutical products. You should check if your waste contains these substances.

If you produce store or transport most types of clinical waste you must comply with the hazardous/special waste regulations.

Use authorised carriers and facilities

Your waste carrier must transfer your clinical waste to a facility authorised to accept it. The facility must hold either:

  • pollution prevention and control permit
  • waste management licence or exemption.

If you transport your own waste, you must take it to a site that is authorised to accept it.

It is good practice to check that both the carrier you use and the facility they take your waste to are authorised to handle clinical waste. Ask to see proof of authorisation and keep this for your records.

Checking that your waste is taken to an authorised site is a good way to show that you have taken all reasonable steps to ensure your waste is being handled and disposed of legally.

Pollution prevention and control permits

Waste management licensing

If your clinical waste includes dead animals, or parts of animals, you will need to comply with animal by-products controls.

If your clinical waste contains radioactive substances or is contaminated by radioactive materials you must have the correct authorisation from your environmental regulator and comply with the radioactive substances and wastes regulations.

Radioactive materials are often used in diagnostic medical imaging and cancer treatments.

Further information on clinical waste

GOV.UK: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste

Health Protection Scotland: Clinical waste

SEPA: Clinical waste

Waste Thesaurus: SEPA guidance for coding waste An alphabetical list of waste types with their corresponding EWC codes.

This guidance is relevant if you offer collection services for your customers' waste.

You may provide recycling banks for plastics, paper and glass, on your premises, for example in a car park, or you may offer free collection of batteries or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). You could provide an incentive, for example reductions in your store, for customers who recycle.

What you must do

Provide a free take-back system for batteries

If you sell more than 32kg of portable batteries to end users per year, you must allow customers to return waste batteries free of charge to all your retail outlets. This applies if you sell batteries in a store, online or via mail order.

For more information see our guidance on selling batteries.

Provide a free take-back system for WEEE

If you sell electrical and electronic equipment to end users, you must have a free take back system for customers to dispose of their WEEE. You can set this up yourself or you can join the UK distributor take-back scheme.

For more information about your obligations, and more details about how to comply, read our guidance for distributors and retailers of electrical and electronic equipment.

Good practice

Have a maintenance agreement with recycling bank owners

If you have recycling banks or 'bring banks' on your premises, have a written agreement with the company that owns the banks about how often they are going to be emptied or replaced. This agreement might be with your local council or with a waste management company.

Your agreement could also state how you will deal with any problems with windblown rubbish or misuse of recycling banks.

If windblown litter becomes a problem around recycling banks on your land, you could cause a nuisance to the local community. Your local council could serve a litter abatement notice on you, and you will have to clear the area.

For more information, see our guidance on noise, odour and other nuisances.

Host a charity recycling bank

You could provide banks on your premises to collect for a charity. Charity banks can be used to collect second-hand clothing, shoes, books, CDs and DVDs. It is best to contact the charity of your choice directly if you want to host a bank for them.

Alternatively, you could provide a collection scheme. For example, Community RePaint has collection points at DIY stores for recycling unwanted paint.

Community RePaint

Inform your customers

Tell your customers about the services you offer. Make it clear what types of waste and recycling facilities you have.

Any waste that is contaminated by cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines should be classed as cytotoxic and cytostatic waste.

Cytotoxic and cytostatic waste includes medicines in tablet, liquid, cream or aerosol form.

Cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines are medicines that are either: toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction. They include:

  • most hormonal preparations
  • some anti-viral drugs
  • amanyantineoplastic agents
  • immunosuppressants
  • some antibiotics.

Waste that could be contaminated by these medicines include:

  • sharps, eg needles, syringes, scalpels, blades and sharp instruments
  • used glass bottles and vials
  • personal protective equipment, eg gloves, masks and gowns
  • syringe bodies and tubing.

What you must do

You must ensure that your waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally. You must comply with your waste responsibilities, known as your duty of care.

Duty of Care: Your waste responsibilities

Sewage containing cytotoxic and cytostatic waste

If you pollute the water environment, you are probably committing an offence.

You must not discharge waste medicines to foul sewer. However, urine and faeces from medicated patients may contain excreted cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines. This may vary with the individual drug.

You should consider which drugs are likely to be excreted in this manner and assess whether it is appropriate to dispose of this material to foul sewer.

You should ensure that your water company or water authority is aware of this issue before discharging any sewage containing cytotoxic or cytostatic waste.

If you discharge to a private sewage works you should consult your environmental regulator.

Contact your environmental regulator

Water UK: Water and sewerage operators

Hazardous/special waste

Cytotoxic and cytostatic waste is classified as hazardous/special waste. You must store, transport and dispose of this waste as hazardous/special waste to make sure you do not cause a risk to human health or the environment. You are committing an offence if you do not follow the regulations for dealing with hazardous/special waste.

Hazardous/special waste

You must not mix hazardous/special waste with your other waste or with other types of hazardous/special waste. Segregate your waste so that different wastes types do not get contaminated.

Segregating your healthcare waste

You must complete consignment notes for any hazardous/special waste that leaves your site. You must keep a register containing all of the consignment notes and the consignee returns. You must keep these records for three years.

How to complete the waste paperwork - classifying and describing cytotoxic and cytostatic waste

You will need to classify the waste in the consignment note as follows:

Use the European waste catalogue codes 18 01 03* and 18 01 08*
Example description: Clinical waste - cytotoxic and cytostatic waste, for incineration only.

If sharps are included or if medicines are present in aerosol form you should mention them in the description.

Do not enter non-hazardous waste codes on consignment notes. Describe and code each hazardous/special waste present on the consignment note.

Good practice

Containers for cytotoxic and cytostatic waste

Your containers should be clearly labelled by the manufacturer to identify that they are suitable for and contain cytotoxic and cytostatic waste.

You should contain and dispose of cytotoxic and cytostatic waste in yellow clinical waste sharps containers with purple lids.

Further information

GOV.UK: Safe management of healthcare waste (UK-wide)

What you must do

Tanks and underground structures

Before you begin demolition work, identify the location and condition of any storage tanks and pipes that need to be removed.

You must empty tanks and pipelines that contain polluting materials before you remove them. Make sure that the contents are properly disposed of.

You must identify any liquids left on site, for example, in barrels or containers, or liquids from decommissioning storage tanks and pipes and dispose of them at an appropriately licensed facility such as a treatment plant.

Any liquid wastes you store on site should be clearly labelled and contained within a bunded area.

Recycling

Materials for recycling are likely to be classed as waste until they are fully recovered. As such, they will be subject to waste management and the duty of care regulations. If in any doubt, seek advice from your environmental regulator. These materials include:

  • scrap metal
  • broken out concrete
  • timber
  • bricks
  • tiles.

Reduce, reuse and recycle your business waste

You can find local sites that will take demolition waste for reuse at:

Resource Efficient Scotland: Construction materials exchange

WRAPNI: Industrial Symbiosis (NISP Network)

Recycled aggregates

If you recover aggregates from construction, demolition and excavation waste and sell them as products (recycled aggregates), rather than waste, you must comply with the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation.

For further information on REACH and recycled aggregates visit the WRAP website.

WRAP: REACH - Obligations for producers of recycled aggregates

NIEA: Construction and Demolition Waste and Recycled Concrete

For further information on REACH see the NetRegs REACH guidance.

REACH Regulation - manufacturing, importing, selling and using chemicals

Northern Ireland

The NIEA in association with the EA and WRAP have revised the end of waste Quality Protocol (October 2013) for the production of aggregates from inert waste. It reflects the latest approved industry standards, including factory production control, and incorporates other improvements and clarifications to make it easier for producers and users to ensure full compliance with the end of waste criteria.

WRAP: Aggregates from inert waste

Land contamination

You must ensure that your demolition activities do not create pathways by which contamination can move around or off your site. For example, if you remove concrete hard-standing this can increase the flow of rainwater through contaminated ground. This could lead to pollution of surface or groundwater.

Waste dental amalgam includes:

  • unwanted amalgam
  • old fillings
  • teeth with fillings
  • grindings
  • surplus amalgam which cannot be reused
  • residues containing amalgam, eg from separators
  • packaging such as capsules containing residues.

What you must do

Disposing of waste dental amalgam

Waste dental amalgam is classified as hazardous/special waste. You must store, transport and dispose of this waste as hazardous/special waste to make sure you do not cause a risk to human health or the environment. You are committing an offence if you do not follow the regulations for dealing with hazardous/special waste.

Hazardous/special waste

You must not mix hazardous/special waste with your other waste or with other types of hazardous/special waste. Segregate your waste so that different wastes types do not get contaminated.

Segregating your healthcare waste

You must complete consignment notes for any hazardous/special waste that leaves your site. You must keep a register containing all of the consignment notes and the consignee returns. You must keep these records for three years.

You must ensure that your waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally. You must comply with your waste responsibilities, known as your duty of care.

Duty of Care: Your waste responsibilities

Dental amalgam must be treated using a mercury recovery process before final disposal.

Amalgam separators

If your practice uses amalgam, it must be fitted with an amalgam separator.

Amalgam separators remove particles of amalgam from waste water. The amalgam particles can then be collected and disposed of as hazardous/special waste. You must position separators to protect all routes by which amalgam may enter the drains.

Your amalgam separators must meet the requirements of the British Standard Dental equipment – amalgam separators (BS EN ISO 11143:2000). You can buy this British Standard online.

British Standards: Dental equipment – amalgam separators (BS EN ISO 11143:2008)

Further information

GOV.UK: Safe management of healthcare waste (UK-wide)

Normally, owners will take back their dead pet and either bury it or have it cremated.

What you must do

If you dispose of dead animals you must make sure that the disposal complies with the requirements of the Animal by-products regulations (ABPR).

You can find further information on the requirements of the ABPR in our animal by-products guidance.

Animal by-products and food waste

You must not bury or burn dead animals.

Pet owners can bury their own pets, provided that the pet is one normally kept as a pet, such as dogs and cats. Animals such as sheep and goats, which are primarily kept as farm animals cannot be buried. Even if they are kept as pets, they must be disposed of by an approved route.

If owners do not wish to have their pets returned to them, you should use a registered waste carrier to dispose of dead animals. You have a duty of care to make sure they are disposed of at a licensed animal crematorium or pet cemetery.

Horses

The National Fallen Stock Company provides a reliable, low-cost scheme to collect and dispose of horse carcasses.

You do not have to join the National Fallen Stock Scheme. You can still arrange to dispose of animal carcasses yourself. The National Fallen Stock Company can provide you with contact details for local disposal services.

National Fallen Stock Company

If you arrange the disposal of horse carcasses yourself, you should ensure that removal is by:

  • a renderer approved by DAERA (Northern Ireland) or Animal and Plant Health (Scotland), or a licensed knacker's yard
  • incineration in an incinerator licensed under the ABPR
  • a hunt kennels approved by Animal Health or DVO.

You must ensure that the recipients of the carcass hold the appropriate licence, permit or authorisation.

Waste management licences

What you must do

You must have a licence before you can deposit substances or articles in the sea:

  • In Northern Ireland, you will need a Food and Environmental Protection Licence issued by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
  • In Scotland, contact Marine Scotland.

You can deposit some things without a licence, including:

  • whole or parts of fish or shellfish caught during certain licensed fishing operations, or processing at sea, as specified in regulations made under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985
  • sewage originating on the vessel
  • food or domestic waste produced on the vessel
  • cooling or ballast water or tank washings
  • fishing gear (fixed and unfixed) other than for disposal.

For more information contact your relevant regulator:

Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)

Marine Scotland

If you have a larger fishing vessel (over 400 gross tonnage (gt)) which you use for international voyages, you must meet additional requirements for sewage discharge. For more information, contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Disposal of oil at sea

You must not discharge any oil or any mixture with an oil content of more than 15 parts per million into the sea if your vessel:

  • is less than 12 miles from the nearest land
  • is stationary
  • does not have an oil-water separator
  • is within a special area (protected areas include the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Antarctic).

Your anti-fouling system must meet certain legal requirements depending on the size of your vessel. It should meet the relevant requirements of the EU regulation on the prohibition of organotin compounds on ships, and the related International Maritime Organisation (IMO) convention. For more information, contact the MCA.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Good Practice

Do not dispose of non-degradable litter over the side of your boat – dispose of it appropriately when you return to shore.

Use a low-sulphur fuel to power your vessel if possible, to reduce the impact of fuel burning on the environment.

Carry out routine maintenance on your vessel to ensure that it uses fuel and oil as efficiently as possible, and to reduce the likelihood of spills or leaks while at sea.

If you have refrigeration on your vessel choose non-CFC based refrigerants wherever possible. CFCs are a major contributor to climate change.

Every harbour authority must provide adequate facilities to receive the following types of waste from ships using the harbour:

  • food, domestic and operational waste generated during the normal operation of the ship, excluding fresh fish and parts of fish
  • cargo residues
  • ship-generated sewage
  • oil and oily mixtures
  • noxious liquid substances.

You may be charged for using these facilities. The harbour will usually have a waste management plan that includes information on the costs, availability and type of facilities on offer. Very small facilities may not have such a plan and in these cases the information should be available from the Harbour Master or local council.

What you must do

You must make sure that you know and comply with the bylaws which apply in all ports you use. All ports have their own bylaws which are likely to include banning the disposal of:

  • waste on the harbour side, including fish or parts of fish
  • fish, bilge or anything which may be offensive, either visually or because of odour, in the harbour waters.

Many of the port authorities publish their bylaws on their website. The British Ports Association list their members on their website.

British Ports Association

Good Practice

If you store liquid wastes on land or on your boat, make sure that they are stored securely and cannot escape or be pumped by mistake into drains, watercourses or coastal waters, or contaminate the land where they are stored.

Minimise the waste you produce by reusing or recycling materials wherever possible.

Domestic type waste or mixed municipal waste from healthcare premises is similar to waste from domestic households. For example:

  • newspapers, magazines and office papers
  • sandwich wrappers
  • drinks cans

Domestic type waste from healthcare premises does not include:

  • sharps chemicals medicines
  • dental amalgam
  • anatomical waste, eg body parts, organs or blood
  • dressings and protective clothing, eg masks, gowns and gloves
  • hygiene waste and sanitary protection, eg nappies and incontinence pads
  • wastes contaminated with any body fluids
  • personal or healthcare aerosols that are hazardous waste
  • hand gel containers or dispensers (unless emptied and cleaned)
  • fluorescent tubes
  • any hazardous waste.

You should ensure that you thoroughly segregate your waste at source. If any of the above are present in the waste, it is not classed as domestic type waste.

Segregating your healthcare waste

Waste from healthcare premises containing items such as nappies and incontinence pads are classed as offensive waste.

Offensive waste

Disposing of domestic type waste

Domestic type waste is classified as non-hazardous waste.

You must complete waste transfer notes for any waste that leaves your site. You must keep copies of all waste transfer notes for two years.

You must ensure that your waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally. You must comply with your waste responsibilities, known as your duty of care.

Your waste responsibilities

You can dispose of refuse sacks by either non-hazardous landfill or waste incineration.

 

You should recycle as much of your domestic type waste as you can.

Recycling your healthcare business waste

Find licensed waste sites to recycle or dispose of your business waste in your local area using the NetRegs Waste Directory.

Find your nearest waste site

Containers for domestic type waste

For domestic type waste that cannot be recycled you should use black or clear refuse sacks.

How to complete the waste paperwork

Classifying and describing domestic type waste

If you have segregated your waste according to this guidance, you will need to classify the waste in the waste transfer note as follows:

Use the European waste catalogue code 20 03 01
Example description: Mixed municipal waste.

Further information

Waste Thesaurus: SEPA guidance for coding waste An alphabetical list of waste types with their corresponding EWC codes.

GOV.UK: Safe management of healthcare waste (UK-wide)

What you must do

Disposal

If you dispose of dead fish or shellfish or animal waste from, culling or on-site processing of fish or shellfish, you must meet the requirements of the Animal By-Products Regulations (ABPR). These regulations control collection, transport, storage, handling, processing, use and disposal of animal carcasses or parts of animal carcasses.

Animal by-products and food waste

You must not landfill or bury fish waste.

Incineration

If you operate an on-farm incinerator that only burns on-farm fish mortalities and processing waste you must ensure the incinerator is approved by:

  • Animal & Plant Health Agency in Scotland
  • your local Divisional Veterinary Office in Northern Ireland.

Animal & Plant Health Agency

Northern Ireland: Divisional Veterinary Offices

If you incinerate animal waste, you may need a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit from your environmental regulator or local council.

Pollution prevention and control permits

Ensiling in Scotland

In Scotland, ensiling macerated fish waste in formic acid is one of the main methods of waste disposal.

You may need a Pollution Prevention and Control permit from SEPA if you operate an ensiling facility or store dead fish or fish offal. If you only ensile and store very small quantities of fish waste, for example in a small ensiling unit at a shore base, a triviality exemption may apply to your site. Contact your local SEPA office for more information.

Contact your environmental regulator

SEPA Guidance on ensiling fish and fish offal (Adobe PDF - 42KB)

You must ensure that liquid wastes:

  • are stored securely on your site while they await disposal or recovery
  • cannot escape into drains, watercourses or surrounding ground
  • spills can be properly and effectively contained.

Good practice

Clean shells are classed as animal by-products, but there is an exemption that may allow you to use them as a marketable product for use in construction, drainage and gardening.

The National Fallen Stock Company helps fish farmers comply with the Animal By-Products Regulations by providing a scheme that offers a reliable, low-cost means of fish waste collection and disposal.

National Fallen Stock Company

Further information

In Scotland, the Scottish Government has set up the Fish Waste Management Group (FWMG) to develop a more sustainable strategy for fish waste management.

Scottish Government: Sustainable fish waste management

Seafish.org: Information on the disposal of seafood waste

This guidance is for businesses that remove sewage and sewage sludge from cesspools, septic tanks and package treatment plants.

What is a cesspool, septic tank or package treatment plant?

A cesspool is a covered watertight tank used for storing sewage. It does not treat the sewage and relies on road transport for the removal of raw sewage. Cesspools should only be used as a temporary disposal system while a suitable permanent solution is found. You must not use a cesspool in Scotland.

A septic tank is usually a two or three chamber system that partially treats sewage through natural processes. Solids settle and form sewage sludge at the bottom of the tank. The remaining liquid effluent drains from the tank through an outlet pipe. Septic tank sludge is the residual sludge that is removed periodically from septic tanks and other similar installations that treat wastewater.

Septic tanks

There are several types of package treatment plants available. Most package treatment plants provide a treatment unit or biological zone where the sewage contacts microorganisms that break down the organic matter in the sewage. Treated sewage effluent discharges to land or water and sewage sludge separates into a settlement tank for periodic removal.

Cesspools, septic tanks and package treatment plants dispose of sewage from domestic, commercial or industrial premises where it is not possible to connect to the public sewerage system.

What you must do

Discharging sewage effluent

Before you discharge sewage effluent from package treatment plants, you must check with your regulator if you need consent to discharge the effluent to land, groundwater, surface water or sewer.

Removing raw sewage

If your business removes raw sewage from cesspools or septic tank sludge, you must:

  • be registered as a waste carrier or broker
  • comply with your waste responsibilities
  • check if you need an environmental permit, waste management licence or registered exemption to spread, treat or dispose of sewage or septic tank sludge
  • comply with planning and building regulations.

Waste carriers and brokers

Your waste responsibilities

Contact your local council in Scotland

Contact DOENI Planning in Northern Ireland

Spreading sewage sludge

If you spread sewage sludge on agricultural land you must meet the requirements of the Sludge (Use in Agriculture) Regulations. For more information, see our guidance for agricultural businesses on landspreading sewage sludge.

In Northern Ireland, see section 4 of the DARD code of good agricultural practice for water, air and soil.

DARD: Code of good agricultural practice for the prevention of pollution of water, air and soil

In Scotland, see section 5 of the Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activity (PEPFAA) Code.

Scottish Government: Prevention of Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activity (PEPFAA Code) 2005 (Scotland) (Adobe PDF - 1.34MB)

If you spread sewage sludge on non-agricultural land or agricultural land not used for commercial food crops or stock rearing purposes, you may need an environmental permit, waste management licence or registered exemption from environmental permitting or waste management licensing. You should contact your regulator for further information.

Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA): Paragraph 10A exemption for storing and spreading sludge on non-agricultural land

SEPA: Waste management licensing exemptions

Treating sewage sludge

If you treat sewage sludge, you must have:

  • a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit in Northern Ireland
  • a PPC permit or waste management licence in Scotland.

For further information, see PPG 4 on treating and disposing of sewage sludge when no foul sewer is available.

PPG 4 Treatment and disposal of sewage where no foul sewer is available (Adobe PDF – 244KB)

Landfilling sewage sludge

You cannot dispose of liquid waste at landfill. Liquid waste includes wastewater, but does not include sewage sludge. If you dewater sewage, you can:

  • Discharge treated effluent from dewatering to surface water or the sewer for treatment at a sewage treatment works. You will need an authorisation to do this.
  • Reuse the water at your site, eg for wetting a composting unit. You will need pollution prevention control permit or waste management licence to do this.
  • Send the effluent for disposal at another site that is authorised to take the effluent.

You can only dispose of sewage sludge at a landfill that is permitted to accept this waste. The sludge must also meet the waste acceptance criteria for the landfill.

If you send your waste to landfill, you must check that the landfill has a pollution prevention and control permit or waste management licence.

Ask the landfill site operator to show you a copy of their permit. The permit will specify whether the site can accept hazardous, non-hazardous or inert waste. It may also include or exclude specific types of waste.

For further information, see our landfill guidance.

Using sewage sludge as a fuel

If you use sewage sludge to produce energy, see our energy-from-waste guidance.

This guidance is relevant if you use batteries in your retail or wholesale business, and have to dispose of your own waste batteries.

What you must do

If you need to dispose of batteries that you have used in your business, for example from portable telephones or smoke detectors, you must dispose of them appropriately.

Comply with your duty of care

You must ensure that you comply with your waste responsibilities.

You must make sure that your batteries are collected and transported by a registered waste carrier who will dispose of them legally.

Duty of Care: Your waste responsibilities

To find a licensed waste site to take your batteries, use our waste directory.

Check if you need to deal with waste batteries as hazardous/special waste

Some batteries, including mixed portable and lead acid batteries, are classed as hazardous/special waste. See our guidance on hazardous/special waste for further information.

Provide a battery take-back system if you sell, distribute or import batteries

If you sell, distribute or import batteries into the UK for sale, you must comply with the Batteries Regulations. You may have to offer a free waste battery collection service for your customers.

For more information, see our guidance on selling batteries

Whats new on NetRegs

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    Did you miss December's NetRegs Update? You can view them here <Scotland Update> <Northern Ireland Update> or visit the updates archive pages on this website.

  • LIFE SMART Waste project news

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    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

  • Please let us know your thoughts on our new website

    What do you think about our new and improved website. We want your feedback on what you like, what you don’t like and ways we can continue to improve the website. Follow the link to complete the very short survey: NetRegs website – User feedback

  • NEW guidance on Environmental Management Systems

    We have recently updated and improved our guidance on Environmental Management Systems (EMS). You can find the guidance via the Environmental Topics tab or alternatively select the following link Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

  • Consultation on proposed changes to the packaging recycling business targets

    See NI Future legislation or Scotland Future legislation for details of the Consultation

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    NIEA: Guidance on the Regulation of Greenfield Excavated Materials in Construction and Development

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    Consultation documents

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