Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
All businesses that produce waste have a duty of care to make sure that it is handled safely and transported in compliance with the law. If the waste is hazardous/special, extra controls apply.
Make sure all hazardous/special waste is:
You can contact the NIEA to check if your carrier is registered or has an exemption.
In Scotland, check that your carrier is registered or has an exemption by contacting SEPA. You can also see a list of registered waste carriers online:
Before moving hazardous/special waste, you should evaluate the recycling, recovery and disposal options available for the waste you produce.
In Northern Ireland, you must pre-notify the NIEA at least 72 hours and not more than one month before any hazardous waste leaves your site. You do this by filling in a consignment note
In Scotland, you must pre-notify SEPA of a special waste movement if:
Movements of special waste between sites in Scotland do not require pre-notification.
If you do need to pre-notoify SEPA you do this by completing parts A and B of the pre-notification sheet of a consignment note. The pre-notification sheet must be delivered to SEPA at least 72 hours, and not more than one month, before special waste is moved out of Scotland, or imported into Scotland from England or Wales.
Some hazardous/special waste movements are exempt from pre-notification. The exemption will apply to you if:
Movements of hazardous/special wastes that are exempt from pre-notification must still be accompanied by a consignment note.
When you move hazardous/special waste from your premises it must be accompanied by a consignment note. This includes moving it to any other site that you may operate. The waste must be accompanied by a consignment note until it reaches its final destination. You need to use one consignement note per vehicle. You must keep a copy of all consignment notes for three years. There are only a very few exceptions where consignment notes are not needed.
Your waste carrier can use single or multiple collection forms. In Scotland, when waste is picked up from more than one producer you need to use a carrier's schedule, which you can get from SEPA.
Your consignment note must include a unique code.
In Northern Ireland you can buy consignment notes and unique codes from the NIEA.
In Scotland you can obtain consignment notes and unique codes from SEPA. During the COVID-19 outbreak SEPA gas introduced a single page SWCN.
You can pass this one-page consignment note electronically (via email or other means) between parties, or you can print a copy and use it to accompany the waste, passing it between holders at the time of transfer. Insturction for its use are included.
In Northern Ireland, you will have to include new information on your consignment notes to declare that you have applied the waste management hierarchy for dealing with your waste. This means you must take all practicable steps to reuse or recycle your waste before deciding to dispose of it.
See the page on choosing a waste management option in our guideline: Reduce, reuse and recycle your business waste
Waste Thesaurus: SEPA guidance for coding waste An alphabetical list of waste types with their corresponding EWC codes.
All hazardous waste produced within Northern Ireland or Scotland must be consigned using a consignment note or number issued by the NIEA in Northern Ireland or SEPA in Scotland, regardless of its final destination within the UK.
If you export hazardous/ special waste from Northern Ireland or Scotland, to England or Wales, the site which receives the waste must send a completed deposit note to the NIEA for Northern Ireland, or SEPA for Scotland.
If you export hazardous waste from Northern Ireland to Scotland, the site which receives the waste must send a completed deposit note to their local SEPA office. SEPA will then forward a copy of the note to the NIEA.
If you export special waste from Scotland to Northern Ireland, the site which receives the waste must send a completed deposit note to the local NIEA office, which will then forward a copy of the note to SEPA.
Note: If a carrier transports waste from Northern Ireland to the mainland UK, or from mainland UK to Northern Ireland, the carrier must have a valid registration in both Northern Ireland and one of the mainland UK countries.
If you transport hazardous/special waste you must comply with controls on the carriage of dangerous goods.
Moving and transferring hazardous/special waste
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