Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If your business produces hazardous/special waste, you must make sure that it is disposed of or treated by an appropriate facility. You must not treat your own hazardous/special waste unless you are authorised to do so, and have the required in-house skills and facilities. Hazardous waste is waste that may be harmful to human health or the environment
Some hazardous/special waste such as solvents, waste oils and metals can be recovered and recycled. Some hazardous/special waste can be incinerated, usually with other fuels, to generate power. Specialist incinerators for the most difficult hazardous/special wastes work at extremely high temperatures and have strict emission controls.
Treatment involves physical, thermal, chemical or biological processes (including sorting) that change the characteristics of waste in order to:
Diluting hazardous/special waste by mixing it with non-hazardous materials doesn't qualify as treatment. If hazardous/special waste is mixed in this way it must still be classified and managed as hazardous/special waste, or separated when it is safe to do so.
Mixing different categories of hazardous/special waste, or hazardous/special waste with non-hazardous waste or non-waste, is only allowed in certain circumstances and always requires a permit.
You must only dispose of hazardous/special waste at authorised sites.
You should try to reduce and recycle your hazardous/special waste before sending it for disposal.
See the page in this guideline: Reducing your hazardous/special waste
Make sure that your waste is transported by a registered or exempt waste carrier.
In Scotland, contact SEPA to find out if your waste carrier is registered or has an exemption. You can also find a list of registered waste carriers online:
If you intend to take hazardous/special waste to a landfill site, you must use a site that is authorised to accept it.
Hazardous waste landfill sites may not be able to take all types of hazardous/special waste. Landfill sites will only accept certain types of hazardous/special waste if all of the following requirements are met:
Certain types of hazardous/special waste are banned from landfill sites including those that are explosive, corrosive, flammable or infectious. All liquid waste is also banned from landfill.
Hazardous/special waste must be treated before it is sent to landfill.
Hazardous/special waste can only be exported for recovery or recycling (not for disposal) to another Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country. Exports can only be made by authorised treatment facilities.
Waste Thesaurus: SEPA guidance for coding waste An alphabetical list of waste types with their corresponding EWC codes.
Treating and disposing of hazardous/special waste
View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.