Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
If your business receives waste or sewage (wastewater), including if this is hazardous waste / special waste, you will need to put in place pre-acceptance and acceptance procedures - with these procedures you check the suitability of the waste you receive. You can only receive specific waste types if you are authorised to do so in your Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) permit or waste management licence (WML).
If you do not know the nature or composition of the waste you receive there is the risk that it could react with other waste or lead to pollution incidents through uncontrolled emissions. Acceptance procedures are also important to prevent that.
Special requirements apply to hazardous waste / special waste. If you receive hazardous waste / special waste you should also see our guidance on receiving hazardous waste or receiving special waste.
If your business has a permit, licence or registered exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions about receiving waste or sewage.
Does your waste or sewage business need a permit, licence or exemption?
You must comply with Duty of Care when you receive waste or sewage.
Duty of Care - Your waste responsibilities
Before you agree to accept any waste or sewage:
If you agree to accept waste:
The waste producer must provide information about the waste in the waste transfer note or consignment note, including the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) code. This is sometimes called the lists of waste code.
Waste Thesaurus: SEPA guidance for coding waste - an alphabetical list of waste types with their corresponding EWC codes.
Consolidated version of the European Waste Catalogue (Adobe PDF - 162KB)
You should carefully check all of the information you receive. If a number of parties have handled the waste before you receive it, you should check the information with the original waste producer.
You must use a waste management tracking system to record details of all waste enquiries you receive.
Give every waste enquiry a unique reference number and record all actions you take with the waste against this reference number, for example:
You must comply with the conditions in your PPC permit or waste management licence (WML), including any condition to send a waste return to your environmental regulator.
Your waste return must include information about the waste you receive at your site, such as the origin of the waste, the amount of waste, the EWC code, and whether you sent the waste to another site.
In Northern Ireland, you can complete your waste return using the relevant form on the Northern Ireland Environment Agency's (NIEA) website.
NIEA: Waste forms
In Scotland, you can complete your waste return using the relevant form on SEPA's website.
SEPA: Licence permitted site data returns
There are special requirements for receiving hazardous waste or receiving special waste.
Stay informed: Coronavirus (COVID-19), In this challenging time, NetRegs’ running organisations the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) have created information websites to keep you informed on the current situation....
NetRegs: Supporting businesses across Scotland and Northern Ireland, Businesses in Scotland and Northern Ireland have a huge role to play in helping to deliver world-leading climate change action, not only by ensuring environmental compliance, which is non-negotiable, but going beyond compliance to achieve a low carbon and circular economy.
View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.