Tackling Hazardous Waste Changes - How Will They Impact Construction?

25 Apr 2017 by Paul Cox

You’ve got to be on the ball when complying with waste legislation.  Unlike a football match, it’s not a game of two halves. It’s one where you have to be on your toes for the whole match. Drop the ball and the penalties are punitive. It can be a real challenge keeping up with the ever-growing rules and regulations.

But there is some good news from the sidelines. Two aspects of the Hazardous Waste Regulations have changed in the last quarter. The first is less paperwork (I can hear you cheering from the stands). The second is the format of the unique consignment note code. You may not think these are major changes and you would be right. Nevertheless they are changes you have to keep up with if you don’t want to receive a red card.

So now:

* If you produce or store 500kg or more of hazardous waste per year you will no longer need to register your premises with the Environment Agency provided you are in England. If you are in Wales you should continue to register with Natural Resources Wales.

* You still have to complete a consignment note code (if the waste is produced in England) but instead of the premises registration number you should put the first six letters or numbers (not symbols) of the business name.

e.g. RECONO 12345

The other change to the consignment note is that the SIC code 2007 matches the requirements for waste transfer notes (for non-hazardous). But we think that these are minor changes and they could have been much more arduous.

What you need above anything else when it comes to hazardous waste legislation is a good waste management provider. Regulations in this area can be a real minefield, but a knowledgeable provider will help you keep on top of it.

Construction will always be a major producer of waste. Although much of it will be non-hazardous and can be dealt with fairly easily, you do need to ensure the two are kept separate if you want to avoid any fines and of course, any potential damage to the environment.

So, there are three things to consider:

  • Have you classified the waste? Is it hazardous or non-hazardous? If you are unsure there is plenty of information on the GOV.UK website.

  • Once classified, have you now ensure the waste is separated and stored safely until such time as it can be collected?

  • Is the company you are using registered to do the job?

The main point with the management of any site is you need to be consistent with your paperwork. For hazardous waste in particular it makes sense that all movements of waste are tracked and you have to have the documents to prove it.

When you are busy running a site, paperwork is the last thing you may want to deal with. But it is something you can’t get away from. These latest changes in legislation are a move in the right direction in terms of all the red tape. But make sure you read the small print – or you run the risk of scoring an own goal.

Key Takeaways:

  • Segregate your waste.
  • Ensure the paperwork is consistent - even though there is less of it.
  • Is the company you are using registered to do the job?

Find Out More About Waste Management Compliance for Your Business. Download: How Best Practice in Waste Management Improves the Bottom Line in the Construction Industry

How Best Practice in Waste Management Improves the Bottom Line in the Construction Industry

Originally published 04/10/2016