Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
To dispose of your business waste, look for a local reuse and recycling centre, or waste site: Find a reuse and recycling centre, or waste site, near you.
The following guidance is relevant to you if your business collects or receives hazardous waste or special waste: Receiving hazardous waste or receiving special waste.
If your business receives waste or sewage (wastewater) there are a number of obligations you need to comply with. See our guidance: Receiving waste or sewage.
This guidance is relevant to you if your business generates and manages healthcare or medical waste: Segregation of healthcare or medical waste
A Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) sets out how resources will be managed and waste controlled at all stages during a construction project.
A SWMP covers:
SWMPs help to manage and reduce the amount of waste produced by construction projects, which means less waste goes to landfill. Other environmental benefits include less damage to the local environment, less fly-tipping, lower energy use and greater use of recycled materials.
Managing your materials more efficiently immediately cuts costs. Better storage and handling reduces waste and makes it easier for materials to be recovered. Reusing materials on site will cut your disposal costs.
If you are in Northern Ireland or Scotland, you do not need to have a site waste management plan (SWMP) for your construction project. However, following the procedure could help you to reduce the amount of waste you produce and will help you manage your waste more effectively. SWMPs are being promoted as an example of best practice in the construction industry.
Information and tools to help develop a site waste management plan are available;
In Scotland on the Resource Efficient Scotland website:
In Northern Ireland on the NI Business info website:
Guidance is also provided from WRAP:
WRAP: Achieving good practice waste minimisation and management. Each project should have one SWMP.
A SWMP is a live document. It must be updated through the course of the project.
Because it is produced at the very beginning of a project, the designer can consider ways that waste can be reduced and site-gained materials can be reused or recycled as part of the project. Identifying waste materials at an early stage that can not be reused on that project will make it easier to find other alternative uses for them.
SWMPs affect anyone who is:
If you are the client, you are responsible for:
If you are the principal contractor, you are responsible for:
You should update the plan regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects the progress of the project.
The level of detail that your SWMP should contain depends on the estimated build cost,
A basic SWMP may be suitable for smaller projects for example up to around £500,000. A basic SWMP should:
Within three months of the project being completed, the SWMP should be updated to include confirmation that it was regularly monitored and updated, and an explanation of any deviations from the plan.
An advanced SWMP may be suitable for all projects above £500,000 in value. The advanced SWMP is more comprehensive than the basic SWMP, and the principal contractor should make sure that they also:
Within three months of the project being completed, the SWMP should be updated to include:
All SWMPs should include a declaration signed by the client and the principal contractor. The principal contractor should keep the SWMP for two years after completion of the project.
You must still comply with the duty of care for waste. Because you will need to record all waste movements in one document, having a SWMP will help you to ensure you comply with the duty of care.
If you are working as a sub-contractor, check your contract for requirements on:
Watch our short videos:
This guidance is relevant to your businesses if you store waste, wastewater or sewage at your site: storing waste, wastewater or sewage
This guidance is relevant if your business transports waste from a mine or quarry: transporting mine or quarry waste
This guidance is relevant to your business if you transport waste, wastewater or sewage: Transporting waste, wastewater or sewage
This guidance applies to all mines or quarries in the UK that are required to have a WMP: Waste management plans for mines or quarries
Read our guidance on how to: Reduce, reuse and recycle your business waste
This guidance is relevant if you operate a landfill site: Waste & sewage landfill site operators
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects
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