Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Transporting mine or quarry waste

Transporting mine or quarry waste

You are responsible for storing and transporting your waste safely and legally. You must ensure that your waste does not harm the environment.

You must comply with the requirements of your duty of care.


What you must do

Comply with your permit, licence or registered exemption

If your business has a permit, licence or registered exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions about transporting waste.

Does your mining or quarrying business need a permit, licence or exemption?


Registering as a waste carrier

If you collect or transport waste as part of your business, you must register as a waste carrier with your environmental regulator.

If you transport only mining and quarrying waste, in Northern Ireland you must register as a lower tier waste carrier.

This is a new requirement in Northern Ireland.

In Northern Ireland you will have to register with the NIEA as a lower tier carrier if you normally and regularly carry your own business waste.

NIEA: Registration of carriers and brokers

In Scotland if you normally and regularly transport waste produced by your own business, you must register with SEPA as a professional collector or transporter of waste. This is a new requirement for businesses. If you transport your own construction or demolition waste you must usually register as a waste carrier. You can register using SEPA's online system.

SEPA: Online application forms

Alternatively you can download an application form and return it to SEPA.

SEPA: Application form to register as a professional collector or transporter of waste

See our guidance on waste carriers, brokers and dealers.


Duty of care for controlled waste

You must comply with the duty of care if you transport controlled waste. To find out whether your non-extractive waste is controlled waste, see our guidance on the duty of care.

If the duty of care applies, you must make sure:

  • your controlled waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally
  • your controlled waste is stored, handled, recycled or disposed of only by businesses which hold the correct, current permit or licence to do the work
  • you record all transfers of controlled waste between your business and another business using a waste transfer note (WTN)
  • you keep all WTNs, signed by both businesses, for at least two years
  • you record any transfer of hazardous/special waste between your business and another business using a consignment note
  • you keep all consignment notes, signed by both businesses, for at least three years.


Transporting hazardous/special waste

You must:

  • check whether your waste is hazardous/special waste before you store and transport it
  • store and transport hazardous/special waste separately from all other waste materials in designated, sealed, labelled, covered and waterproof containers
  • use separate, designated, secure, signed, waterproof, bunded containment areas to store hazardous/special waste.

For further information on hazardous/special waste, see our hazardous/special waste guidance.


Good practice

Store and transport your waste safely

Transport and store your waste in suitable, covered containers such as drums, skips or cages.

Label your containers correctly with the type of materials stored in them.

Separate different kinds of waste into separate containers.

Make sure that your waste cannot leak into groundwater, surface water or drains.

Build a bund around your loading and storing areas that can hold liquid waste if your containers leak or break.

For further information on bunds and storage, see Pollution Prevention Guideline (PPG) 2.

GPP 2 Above ground oil storage tanks (Adobe PDF - 276KB)


Be prepared to clean up any spills

Keep spill kits and have spill response procedures in place that will help you to contain any spills at your mine or quarry.

Do not use water to wash away spills. It will spread the spill, and could cause water pollution.

Keep portable spill kits in all vehicles you use to transport waste. A basic spill kit should contain:

  • gloves
  • goggles
  • resealable plastic bags
  • absorbent materials to soak up spills, such as plenty of rags, sand or earth.

Separate any absorbent materials you use to contain spills because they may need to be treated as hazardous/special waste. Check before you recycle or dispose of them.


Keep waste materials secure

Ensure your waste cannot blow away or escape by tying it down, covering it, or protecting it from wind and rain.

Ensure your site is secure. Regularly check your locks, gates and perimeter fences. You can be prosecuted if vandals cause pollution on your site.

Regularly check your vehicle locks and only drop off materials when you are sure the location is secure.

Do not:

  • bury waste materials
  • store or transport materials near fire sources such as high temperature machinery or machinery producing sparks such as angle grinders
  • mix hazardous/special waste with any other materials
  • pour any waste down a surface drain.

For information on storing and transporting waste oil, see our oil storage guidance.

More Storage handling and transport of waste topics

Environmental News Blog

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!


NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms