Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If you store any kind of oil on your premises, including waste oil, you must comply with Regulations for Oil Storage .
Waste oils, except edible oil, are classed as hazardous/special waste and should be disposed of accordingly.
Wastes contaminated with oils, for example oily rags, would in most cases be classed as hazardous/special waste. Read our guidance for hazardous/special waste.
If you have waste oil to dispose of, make sure it is taken or collected for recycling by a licensed business. As a construction or demolition business, if you transport your waste to a disposal site, you will need to be registered as a waste carrier.
Use our waste directory to find licensed sites in your area that can recycle or dispose of waste oil.
You must not mix waste oil with any other materials, including different types of oils. If you mix hazardous/special waste with other materials, the whole load will be classed as hazardous/special waste. This will make it more expensive for you to dispose of. You must have an appropriate permit or licence if you want to mix different types of hazardous/special wastes.
You must not tip oil into drains or onto land as this can result in the pollution of rivers and groundwater and cause land contamination.
Trade effluent is any liquid waste you discharge from your business.
Before you discharge trade effluent into a public sewer you must have a trade effluent consent or enter into a trade effluent agreement with your water or sewerage company or authority. You must comply with the conditions of your consent or agreement.
If you burn waste oil in an appliance you may need a pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit, waste management licence or exemption.
You must not burn waste oil on a bonfire as this will cause air pollution.
If you use oil filters, for example for engine lubricating oil, you should drain waste oil from the filters and send them as hazardous/special waste to be crushed and recycled. This also makes the waste oil easier to handle and to send for recovery.
SEPA Special Waste Consignment Notes – updated position, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is now accepting special waste consignment notes (SWCNs) by email only.
DAERA Waste Policy Tracker, The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published a Waste policy tracker to stay informed of waste policy developments.
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