Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You may use shot and grit in your mechanical cleaning processes.
Shot or grit blasting removes contaminants, such as rust, paint, scale, swarf, oil and grease, before processing or coating your metal product. You may also use it to increase the surface area of your metals.
Your systems may have a closed circuit for the abrasive material used in blasting. This reuses the shot or grit and reduces the amount of abrasive material you use. You can wet-propel, in a water suspension, or dry-propel the abrasive material.
If you have a permit, licence or registered exemption you must comply with its conditions. Your permit may contain conditions relating to your levels of noise or air emissions. You can be fined or even sent to prison if you do not comply with conditions.
Mechanical cleaning can have significant impacts on your local air quality and can cause noise pollution. You may have to take steps to control air quality and prevent noise pollution from your site.
If your process creates levels of noise or odour that could cause a nuisance or harm the health of the surrounding community, your local council can issue an abatement notice that:
Anyone who is affected by the nuisance, such as your neighbours, can apply to the court in Northern Ireland or sheriff in Scotland to issue you with an abatement notice.
You can be fined if you do not comply with an abatement notice, and the local council can take steps to stop the nuisance itself and charge you for its costs.
You must comply with your duty of care responsibilities when you manage your waste.
If your spent shot or grit is contaminated, you may need to deal with spent shot and grit as hazardous/special waste. For more information, see our guidance on hazardous/special waste.
Do not discharge to public sewers, surface waters or ground waters without consulting your regulator. You may need a discharge consent or other authorisation. For further information, see our guidance on discharges to water and sewer.
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