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Dealing with Hazardous Business Waste

Hazardous waste, produced or handled by businesses, needs to be disposed of in a safe manner. You must follow the set procedures to ensure the dangers do not cause damage or harm in England.

The duties and licences are in place to reduce its detrimental impact. This section explains the different processes for managing hazardous waste generated by business (e.g. industry and manufacturing).

There are responsibilities (called ‘duty of care‘) for owners of any business that produces or handles hazardous waste.

You also need to follow additional requirements. So, your exact duties will depend on whether you are:

  • A waste carrier (your business collects and transports it)
  • A consignee (e.g. you receive waste for recycling or disposal)
  • A holder (you store waste) or a producer (you produce waste)

European and UK requirements on importing and exporting waste govern how you can ship waste into or out of the United Kingdom.

Note: This guide focuses on managing hazardous waste in England. But, some of the rules will vary in Scotland, Wales, and in Northern Ireland.

Checking if Your Business Waste is Hazardous

As a rule, the Environment Agency will consider waste as hazardous if it (or the material or substances contained in it) are harmful to humans or to the environment. Typical examples of hazardous waste items include:

  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • Chemicals (e.g. brake fluid or print toner) and cleaning agents
  • Equipment containing ozone depleting substances (e.g. F gas fridges and freezers)
  • Hazardous waste containers
  • Oils, such as vehicle oil (excludes edible oils)
  • Paints and other solvents
  • Pesticides

Note: Another section explains how to classify business waste so you know how to manage it according to the law and dispose of it safely.


Hazardous Waste Carriers

Strict regulations govern the activities of hazardous waste carriers and dealers in England. Many of the collection and transport rules differ to those when moving inert or non-hazardous waste.

The section explains:

  • What records you need to keep (and for how long)
  • What to do if a consignee rejects your waste delivery

Consignees and Hazardous Waste

As a business operation, consignees receive, treat, or dispose of hazardous waste substances. Doing so means you must keep proper records (e.g. consignment notes and related documentation).

You will find further guidance and information on:

  • The use of consignment notes when moving hazardous waste
  • The process of consignee returns and deadlines for sending them

Hazardous Waste Producers and Holders

The regulations that govern the activities of hazardous waste producers and holders are stringent. Extra requirements apply to certain situations (e.g. if you receive, treat, or dispose of waste).

The section provides further guidance on:

  • The records that producers and holders need to keep
  • What to do if your waste is rejected by the destination site

Important: Your local council will have further information about asbestos in your home and how you can dispose of it in a safe manner.

How to Deal with Hazardous Waste from Your Business in United Kingdom