hazardous waste

Vol. 1, Issue 30 (Dec 05) Hazardous Waste

Part of the Hazardous Waste regulations came into force on 16 April 2005 with the requirement “Where hazardous waste is produced at or removed from, any premises other than exempt premises, the premises must be notified to the Environment Agency”.

This now means that any business producing hazardous waste has a legal duty to register with the “Environment Agency” any premises where hazardous waste is produced.

Certain types of premises are exempt from the requirement to register if less than 200kg of hazardous waste are produced in any twelve month period. These include domestic premises, shops, offices, agricultural premises, dental, veterinary or medical practices, ships, schools, prisons and charity premises.

Premises in Scotland or Northern Ireland do not have to register as producers for these Regulations – they only apply to England and Wales.

Requirement to Notify
Producers of hazardous waste are required to notify premises at which they produce hazardous waste. Some premises are exempt from notification – those are premises:

Listed in regulation 23(3) of the Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 (HWR);

At which less than 200kg (in total) of hazardous waste is produced in any twelve months period (except a ship).

Any hazardous waste produced there is removed by a registered carrier (under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989) or a person exempt from registration.
Include any ship and any other means of transport from which a mobile service is operated.

Recognising that they can include ships and other vehicles such as road vehicles, trains, barges, aircraft etc. from which a mobile service is operated.

It will be a question of fact what are premises. All the circumstances need to be considered but the following factors are likely to be relevant (though this is not an exhaustive list – all the facts must be considered):

Is an area used exclusively by an operating unit.

Is there a specific area in which a particular activity is carried out separate from other activities occurring at the site.

Is there clear demarcation between areas – this could be physical separation such as walls or boundaries or if not physical a clear understanding that an area is for one operator’s use.

Does an operator have the right to exclude others from their work area.

Is there a legal interest in a particular space – a legal interest should be given a wide meaning and can include a licence.

Where a site consists of several buildings all within the control of the same operator/business unit the buildings taken together will generally constitute premises. If buildings are a significant distance apart and there is no obvious common boundary around them it will be unlikely that the two buildings together are the same premises and more likely that each will have to be notified separately.

Contractors carrying out construction works (other than works that can properly be described as maintenance, which would be completed very quickly) should notify the construction site. The extent of that site will need to be determined on the facts. There might be small interruptions in the continuation of the site, which would not necessarily mean that there were separate premises. Any significant interruption in the continuation of the site is likely to mean separate notifications for two or more sites is needed.

Some definitions of Hazardous Waste from “The Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations” 2005 Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 894.

Categories or generic types of hazardous waste listed according to their nature of the activity which generated them (waste may be liquid, sludge or solid in form)

Hospital and other clinical wastes; pharmaceuticals, medicines and veterinary compounds; wood preservatives; biocides substances; residue from substances employed as solvents; halogenated organic substances not employed as solvents excluding inert polymerized materials; mineral oils and oily substances (e.g. cutting sludge’s, etc.); oil/water, hydrocarbon/water mixtures, emulsions; resins, latex, plasticizers,

Glues/adhesives; photographic chemicals and processing materials; animal or vegetable soaps, fats, waxes; ion-exchange column residue; batteries and other electrical cells.

This listing is not meant to be exhaustive.

Exempt Premises
These are described in regulation 23(3) providing the qualifying limitation of less than 200kg hazardous waste in any twelve month period is produced at the premises is also met and any hazardous waste is removed by a registered carrier or person exempt from registration.

23(3) The descriptions of premises are –
office premises, to the extent that the hazardous waste arises from the use of the premises as an office;

(b) shop premises, to the extent that the hazardous waste arises from the use of the premises as a shop;

(c) premises used for agriculture within the meaning of the Agriculture Act 1947, to the extent that the hazardous waste arises from the use of the premises for agriculture;

(d) premises of a description listed in – (i) paragraphs (a) to (e) of section 75(5) of the 1990 Act; or (ii) Schedule 1 to the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992;

(e) premises at which waste electrical and electronic equipment is collected, to the extent that the premises are used for that purpose;

(f) premises used by a dental, veterinary or medical practice, to the extent that the premises are used for that purpose; and

(g) any ship.

Have a safe Christmas and a healthy new year.

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