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Hazardous waste: What’s so ‘Special’?. Mark Heggie Waste Policy Unit mark.heggie@sepa.org.uk. Introduction. Regulatory framework What is it, how is it regulated and what are our duties/responsibilities Consigning Special Waste Differences within the UK Who wants to be a SWillionaire

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hazardous waste what s so special

Hazardous waste: What’s so ‘Special’?

Mark Heggie

Waste Policy Unit


  • Regulatory framework
  • What is it, how is it regulated and what are our duties/responsibilities
  • Consigning Special Waste
  • Differences within the UK
  • Who wants to be a SWillionaire
  • Q & A.
regulatory framework
Regulatory Framework
  • Hazardous Waste Directive (Council Directive91/689/EC)
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • The Special Waste Regulations 1996 (as amended)
  • European Waste Catalogue/Hazardous Waste List
  • WM2 - Interpretation of the definition and classification of hazardous waste.
hazardous waste directive hwd
Hazardous Waste Directive (HWD)
  • Framework for member states to control the movement of hazardous waste
  • Provides a precise and uniform (European wide) definition of hazardous waste
  • Ensures correct management and regulation of hazardous waste
  • 1994 – European Waste Catalogue
  • 1994 – Hazardous Waste List.
environmental protection act 1990
Environmental Protection Act 1990
  • A key piece of UK environmental legislation
  • Provides the main statutory framework in relation to waste, including:
    • criminal offences in relation to waste
    • the waste management licensing system
    • a duty of care in relation to waste
  • Controls many aspects of how the environment is protected and regulated
  • SWR introduced under s62.
special waste regulation 1996 as amended
Special Waste Regulation 1996 (as amended)
  • Formed under s62 of the EPA 1990
  • Introduced to transpose the HWD
  • Revoked and the replaced the Control of Pollution (special waste) Regulations 1980
  • The Special Waste Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2004
  • Different regime south of the border.
european waste catalogue hazardous waste list
European Waste Catalogue/Hazardous Waste List
  • 1994 –the European Waste Catalogue (EWC), a comprehensive list of all wastes, hazardous or otherwise
  • 1994 – the Hazardous Waste List (HWL)
  • 2002 – EWC and HWL updated and combined
  • Revised EWC intended to be a catalogue of all wastes, grouped according to generic industry, process or waste type
  • Wastes listed with an asterisk are hazardous
wm2 interpretation of the definition and classification of hazardous waste
WM2 - Interpretation of the definition and classification of hazardous waste
  • Joint agency technical guidance document
  • Guides you through the classification process and enables you to assign an EWC
  • Absolute Entry – always hazardous
  • Mirror Entry – assessment will be required and if it contains dangerous substances above thresholds it will be hazardous
  • Non-hazardous entry – if part of mirror entry it may be hazardous and an assessment is required. If it is not listed with an asterisk it is not hazardous.
what is special waste
What is Special waste?
  • Special Waste is the Scottish term for Hazardous Waste
  • Hazardous Waste used in other EC member states including E & W.
  • Hazardous wastes contain ‘dangerous substances’ in amounts that pose a risk to human health and/or environment.
duties and requirements
Duties and Requirements
  • Every movement must be accompanied by a special waste consignment note (SWCN)
  • All notes must bear a unique purchased from SEPA
  • Enhanced duty of care provides a ‘Cradle to grave’ approach
  • You must keep a copy of the special waste consignment note for three years
  • Producers must also keep a register of their special waste consignment notes
  • Disposers/consignees (WML/PPC Permit holders) must retain records until surrender of WML/Permit accepted.
duties and requirements 2
Duties and Requirements (2)

SEPA has to:

  • enforce the legislation (SWR 1996, EPA 1990, WMLR 1994 etc.)
  • identify producers and inspect the consignment notes and registers
  • report on:
    • arisings
    • movements
    • disposals
mixing separation
  • Mixing Hazardous wastes/Non-hazardous wastes requires a permit
  • Must separate where technically or economically feasible
  • Landfill Regs also address need to segregate and separate
  • Duty of Care on waste holders
  • Ensure proper storage, effective collection, recovery and disposal
  • Contract requirements and waste license compliance.
Producer – Person who produces the waste

Consignor – Removes or transports the waste from the place where it is being held (this can also be the producer)

Carrier – Transports the waste between the premises of the consignor and the consignee

Consignee – Receives the waste for treatment, disposal or recovery at a suitably licensed or permitted facility e.g. treatment facility or landfill site.

section a consignment details
Section A – Consignment Details
  • A1 - Where is it being collected
  • A2 - Where is it going
  • A3 - What type of movement is it
  • A4 - When is it being moved
  • A5 - Confirmation
  • A6 - A contact telephone number
  • A7 - Producer details if different from information given in A1
section b description of the waste
B1 - Description of the waste to be collected

B2 - EWC code

B3 - Physical form of the waste

B4 - Colour(s) of the waste

B5 - Estimate of the total weight of the waste

B6 - List the components of the waste and the concentrations they are present in

B7 - Indicate the relevant hazard code(s)

B8 - How was the waste produced.

Section B – Description of the waste
section c carriers certificate
Section C – Carriers Certificate
  • C1 - The carrier’s registration number or reason for exemption
  • C2 - The vehicle registration number or the mode of transport (if not by road) e.g. train, ship
section d consignors certificate
Section D – Consignors Certificate
  • Confirms
    • that the information in sections B & C are correct
    • that the waste is being transferred to a licensed/permitted facility
  • If collection is being done under a carriers round the relevent section of carriers schedule should be completed
section e consignee s certificate
Section E – Consignee’s Certificate
  • E1 – Date and time of day
  • E2 – Quantity
  • E3 – Vehicle registration
  • E4 – Type of waste management operation and WML/Exemption number
special waste consignment note
Special Waste Consignment Note

Classify the waste using WM2 and the EWC and assign the appropriate code(s) and hazard code(s)

Complete sections A&B and send the pre-notification (white) copy to the appropriate SEPA office

Complete Section D (and check that the carrier had completed Section C) before waste leaves the premises

Make sure at least 3 copies (yellow, pink and gold) travel with the waste stream to the Consignee

Consignee retains the pink and yellow copies, and returns the gold copy to the Carrier/Haulier

Consignee sends deposit copy (yellow) to SEPA

assessing your waste
Assessing your Waste

Step 1 - "Directive Waste" is any substance or object which the producer or the person in possession of it discards or intends or is required to discard. This forms the basic definition of waste in the UK.

Step 2 and 3 – under powers provided by the Special Waste Regulations the Scottish Government can determine the classification of a waste.

Step 4 – how is the waste listed on the EWC and what is it listed as? Is it an absolute, mirror or non-hazardous entry.

Step 5 – you should have enough information about the chemical substances in your waste to know if it is hazardous or not (e.g. from safety data sheets, or knowing how the waste was produced).

If not you may need to test the waste for hazardous properties (see Step 6b).

Step 6a- There are three ways to find out if the substances in a “mirror” entry waste are dangerous: The ASL, MSDS or reference books/internet (peer reviewed).

If none of the substances in the waste are classified as “dangerous substances”,

the waste will not be hazardous and the non-hazardous EWC code can be used.

Step 6b - If you do not know what is in the waste, you must still find out if the waste is hazardous or not. You may have to use consultants or your waste contractor to

help you make this determination.

If you do not have this information, you may have to arrange for the waste to be

tested (see WM2 Appendix C for test methods).

Step 7 - a waste will be hazardous if it contains a dangerous substance(s) with a concentration at or above the appropriate threshold; and/or a test shows a hazardous property and the appropriate classification H1 to H14 can be applied.

theoretical example
Theoretical Example

Waste A produced from a manufacturing process contains 10% of chemical X and 18% of chemical Y with the remainder being water.

Step 1 – Yes

Step 2 and 3 – there are no specific provision, under domestic legislation, relating to the waste

Step 4 – it is listed with a mirror entry on the EWC 2002

Step 5 – Chemical X is listed on the ASL and we have the safety data sheet for chemical Y, so the composition of the waste is known and we can move onto step 6a.

Step 6a – Chemical X classified as F; R11, Xn: R20/22; and Chemical Y is classified as Xi: R36, Xn: R21 and N: R50, 53.

Based on the classifications Waste A could display the hazardous properties H3 (Highly flammable/Flammable), H4 (Irritant), H5 (Harmful) and H14 (Ecotoxic) and tests are needed

Step 7 - The results of the tests show that the threshold concentrations for H5 (Harmful) and H14 (Ecotoxic) are exceeded. The waste is therefore hazardous.

types of movements
Types of Movements
  • Movement
    • Single movement – requires pre-notification
    • Succession - repetitive movement of the same waste to same destination for up to 1 yr (pre-notification of 1st movement required)
  • Collections
    • Carrier’s Round - pick-up of same waste from a series of producers
    • Extended Carriers Round
scotland v england wales
Scotland v England & Wales
  • Scotland uses amended (2004) version of the Special Waste Regs 1996
  • E&W (i.e. the EA) replaced SWR 1996 with the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005
  • HWR require Producers of HW to register with EA
  • HWR require post consignment quarterly returns
  • Cross border movements can cause confusion!
  • Any movement of Special Waste from Scotland must be done using a SWCN regardless of the destination
  • The consignee who receives the waste is required to send a copy of the completed note to SEPA
  • Movement into Scotland still requires a pre-notification (where applicable)