Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
All waste has the potential to pollute the environment if you do not handle or store it properly.
You may store your own waste while you wait for it to be removed from your site.
To store other people's waste, you may need a waste management licence or a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit.
If your waste is going to be reused or recycled, you can register an exemption to store various amounts of non-hazardous waste securely, depending on the waste type.
You should give instructions to all employees and contractors working at your premises on how to handle and dispose of each type of waste you produce. Check regularly that your employees and contractors are following these instructions.
You must store all waste materials safely and securely in suitable, well maintained containers.
Label containers clearly with their contents so that the correct waste is stored in them and future holders will know what they contain. If you reuse containers, make sure that you remove any old labels.
Ensure that waste cannot blow away. If you store waste in skips or other similar containers, ensure that they are covered or netted. Store waste under cover, if exposure to the elements will prevent it from being reused, or cause contaminated run-off.
You must separate hazardous/special waste from other types of waste and keep different types of hazardous/special waste separately. You should separate materials that are incompatible, such as chemicals that may react together if they leak.
There are new legal requirements for businesses:
SEPA and the NIEA have produced guidance on the new regulations.
It is good practice to separate all different recyclable waste types. This can increase the value of your waste to the waste contractor and save you money in disposal costs.
The NIEA has produced a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
You must prevent liquid wastes and pollutants from escaping into drains, watercourses, waterways or surrounding ground. Store wastes on impermeable surfaces within a secondary containment system. Ideally this should be a bund which is large enough to hold the leaked contents of the storage containers.
Ensure that your storage facilities are secure against vandalism, theft and accidental damage. You are responsible for any pollution caused by materials that come from your site.
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