Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
You should separate waste materials into different types (paper and cardboard, plastics, metals, etc) for storage, transport and recycling. You should store your waste securely in sealed, labelled containers ready for recycling or disposal.
You should check whether you need a permit or exemption if you are storing your own waste for recycling or disposal. See the page on how to store waste correctly in our guide: Duty of Care - your waste responsibilities
Hazardous/special waste may be harmful to human health or the environment. It is not usually suitable for in-house recycling, as there are strict controls on how you can store, transport and process it.
You must prevent waste from escaping and causing pollution. Take steps to prevent:
Be aware that some materials you store for recycling can contaminate land and you could be responsible for clean up costs. For example, poorly handled fluorescent tubes could smash, spreading mercury across your site.
Store waste in areas that can contain a leak or spill and are isolated from surface water drainage systems.
Label containment areas or bins for different materials and activities. Consider using colour coding for quick identification, eg red for hazardous waste and green for glass.
Do not mix any hazardous wastes with other waste or you will need to dispose of all of it as hazardous waste.
If possible, remove contaminants such as metal staples or adhesive tape from materials before recycling. This could make your materials more valuable as they will require less treatment.
Separate and store plastics according to their grade and type. The three most common types of recyclable plastic are:
You will need to agree with your waste management contractor how you separate your waste for collection.
If you have a large amount of waste, use a baler or compactor to crush materials into blocks or bales. This allows you to transport larger volumes in one go, which could save you money.
If you do compact your waste, you should:
You may need to register an exemption from waste management licensing before you can use your baler or compactor. You should contact your environmental regulator for more information.
Separating and storing waste
Guidance - Noise and vibration management: environmental permits, Guidance - Noise and vibration management: environmental permits
Environmental Plans, Principles and Governance for Northern Ireland – Synopsis of Responses, Public responses to the Discussion Document: Environmental Plans, Principles and Governance
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