Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Controls on specific types of waste

Controls on specific types of waste

There are specific legal requirements you must comply with if you are recovering or disposing of the following objects and materials:

Hazardous/special waste - if you produce, handle, transport, recover or dispose of wastes that could cause harm to human health or the environment, you must comply with more legal requirements than non-hazardous waste.

Hazardous/special waste

Liquid waste - if you discharge liquid waste including fats, oils and greases, chemicals and detergents to sewers, you must have a trade effluent consent.

Trade effluent – discharges to sewer

Packaging waste - if your business makes, fills, sells or handles packaging or packaging materials, you should keep the amount of packaging you use to a minimum, design your packaging so that it is easy to reuse and recycle, and minimise the amount of waste you have to dispose of. You must also comply with rules on packaging if you handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year and your company has a turnover of more than £2 million.


Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) - if you produce, import, distribute or use electrical and electronic equipment, or store, treat or dispose of other people's waste electrical and electronic equipment, you must comply with rules on WEEE. Some WEEE may be classed as hazardous/special waste.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

Batteries - if you produce or import industrial, automotive or portable batteries and accumulators (rechargeable batteries) or supply more than 32 kilograms of portable batteries per year to end users, you will be affected by rules on the disposal of batteries. Some waste batteries can be classed as hazardous/special waste.


End-of-life vehicles - if you send a waste motor vehicle to be dismantled or disposed of, you must ensure that you send it to an authorised treatment facility. You should receive a certificate of destruction that allows you to deregister the vehicle with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

End-of-life vehicles (ELVs)

Construction waste - if you are planning a construction project, it is good practice to have a site waste management plan (SWMP)..

Site waste management plans – a simple guide

NIEA: Construction and Demolition Waste and Recycled Concrete

Animal by-products and food waste - animal by-products are entire animal bodies, parts of animals, products of animal origin, catering waste or other products obtained from animals that are not fit or intended for human consumption. There are strict controls on the ways animal by-products can be collected, transported, stored, handled, processed and recovered or disposed of.

Animal by-products

Radioactive waste - if you keep or use radioactive substances, or accumulate or dispose of radioactive waste materials, you may need:

  • a certificate of registration or authorisation from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency
  • an authorisation from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Radioactive substances and wastes

Food waste - In Scotland, except in rural areas, if you process, prepare or sell food and produce more than 5kg of food waste a week, you will be required to separate that food waste from the rest of the waste you produce for separate collection. Except for domestic premises and food waste producers in rural areas, it is forbidden to use macerators to dispose of food waste in the sewer system.

Food waste – In Northern Ireland, if your business produces more than 5kg of food waste per week (approximately 1 kitchen caddy full), you are required to have separate collection of that waste. There is no requirement for food businesses which produce less than 5kg of food waste. From the 1 April 2017 food waste must not be deposited in a lateral drain or public sewer. The legislation does not apply to householders.

NIEA: Food waste – Are you compliant?

Farm Waste

NIEA has produced guidance for farmers on their responsibilities for managing farm waste.

NIEA: Duty of Care for Farmers - responsibilities for agricultural waste

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