What is waste?
Waste is any substance that the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard. Further explanation can be found in the legal definition of waste guidance.
What is controlled waste?
The Controlled Waste Regulations (England and Wales) 2012 states that household, industrial and commercial waste are classed as controlled waste and are subject to the Environmental Protections Act 1990. Sewage, sewage sludge and septic tank sludge are not controlled wastes.
The Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice
The Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice is produced by the Government to provide practical guidance on how to meet statutory requirements with regards to the disposal of waste in England and Wales. It is issued under the Environmental Protections Act 1990 and Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.
The fundamental principle behind this code is that everyone who deals with waste has a statutory obligation to ensure the waste is managed correctly to protect the human health and the environment. It therefore applies to anyone who imports, produces, handles or manages controlled waste from business or industry or acts as a waste broker in this respect.
In order to adhere to this code, parties involved in the waste industry must be able to provide a consignment note including:
- The name and address of the waste producer, from where the waste is to be removed;
- A written description of the waste being transferred and classification code from the European Waste Catalogue (EWC Code);
- An indication of how the waste is contained;
- A standard industry classification code (SIC Code);
- A statement or tick box confirming that the waste hierarchy has been considered;
- Details of the amount of waste being transferred, for example the volume of waste or its weight;
- The name of the person/company who is moving the waste, including their waste carrier registration number;
- The address where the waste is being transferred from and where it will be transferred to, as well as the date and time of the transfer; All parties are required to sign the consignment note and keep a copy for two years.
The waste hierarchy
Anyone who produces, handles or manages waste must take reasonable measures to manage waste in a specified order of preference known as the waste hierarchy.
Waste which contains certain substances or has certain properties that are considered harmful to human health or the environment are defined as hazardous waste (marked with an * in the European Waste Catalogue).
The management of hazardous waste is controlled by legislation. Legal requirements are set out in the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales)(Amendment) Regulations 2012 (Updated April 2016) and The EU Waste Framework Directive. In addition, DEFRA's Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management in England (2010) gives guidance for the management of hazardous waste.
The regulations ensure safe management of hazardous waste and provide cradle-to-grave documentation for the movement of hazardous waste. These regulations apply to anyone who produces, handles or manages hazardous waste from business or industry or acts as a waste broker in this respect.
Hazardous waste must be accompanied by a consignment note which must include:
- A consignment note code: the first six letters of the producer company name (not the individual site name) followed by a unique five-digit code;
- The name, address and contact details of the waste producer, from where the waste is to be removed;
- The name, address, permit number where the waste is being taken to;
- A statement or tick-box confirming that the waste hierarchy with regards to hazardous waste has been considered .
- A full detailed description of the waste to include:
- The process
- SIC code
- Waste description
- EWC code
- Components and concentration of the waste
- Physical form
- HP hazard code (replacing the ‘H’ code under WM3)
- Container type and size.
- The waste carrier information should include:
- Name of the person/company who is moving the waste
- Their waste carrier registration number
- Vehicle registration.
All parties are required to sign the consignment note and keep a copy for two years. Consignment notes cannot be amended once the waste has been moved and any incorrect or incomplete paperwork received on site will be rejected. It is therefore crucial that any queries or uncertainties are rectified before the waste leaves the collection point.