Hazardous waste

If you produce, transport, or receive hazardous waste you must conform to the Hazardous Waste Regulations.

What are hazardous wastes?

Hazardous wastes are those which are dangerous and difficult to handle. If your business produces hazardous waste you have a duty of care to make sure it is disposed of properly.

The purpose of the Hazardous Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 is to provide an effective system of control for these wastes and to make sure that they are soundly managed from their point of production to their final destination for disposal or recovery.

Who do the regulations apply to?

The regulations apply to those who produce, broker/deal, carry and receive hazardous waste to keep, treat or dispose of. This is explained in the guidance leaflet Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 and how they affect you.

Definition and classification of hazardous waste

Together with the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency we have produced a detailed technical document called ‘WM2, Hazardous Waste: Interpretation of the definition and classification of hazardous waste’.

The latest 3rd edition was published on 1st August 2013. We have sought to improve the document by making it clearer and more concise as well as reviewing it to align with changes in legislation.

Appendix A

Appendix A contains four types of changes, we have:

  • reviewed EWC entries and how we interpret them, to ensure that we have correctly identified entries as mirror hazardous or absolute hazardous. We have changed some, but only to reflect the interpretation we already have
  • colour coded the non-hazardous entries that form part of mirror entries, to ensure that they are not mistaken as absolute non-hazardous entries
  • included a number of examples on classification to address common aspects, again in most cases these are the existing interpretation
  • certain examples represent a change in interpretation – packaging and oil contaminated waste are the two to be aware of

Appendix B

Appendix B significantly updates the advice on where to obtain data on chemicals from. This reflects ongoing changes to chemical legislation and the increasing availability of European on-line databases. The aim is to help people find the information they need, and ensure that information is reliable.

Appendix C

Appendix C is significantly shorter, and some information has been removed. The main change is that the availability of alternative test methods means that we can now more clearly align H4 Irritant and H8 corrosive with the Approved Classification and Labelling Guide by requiring confirmation of the acid/alkali reserve test.

Appendix D

Appendix D is a new supplement to provide advice on waste sampling for hazardous waste purposes in accordance with the 2006 European and British Standard on waste characterisation. If sampling is used to inform waste classification, to be reliable it needs to be done properly and consider the relevant variables.

NIEA have also produced a simple non technical guide to help you work out if your waste is hazardous or not explaining the key principles of classification and assessment.

The way waste is classified has changed significantly since 1 June 2015 due to changes in the Hazardous Waste Regulations and more specifically recent changes in chemical legislation. As a result WM2 has been completely reissued and updated, the new guidance now being referred to as WM3.

Hazardous waste streams

Hazardous Waste streams include:

  • asbestos waste    
  • fluorescent tubes
  • clinical waste       
  • chemicals
  • used oil filters
  • brake fluid
  • batteries (lead acid, Ni-Cd and mercury)        
  • some printer toner cartridges
  • waste paint and thinners   
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

PCBs are recognised as a threat to the environment due to their toxicity, persistence and tendency to build up in the bodies of animals.

Consignment Note System

A standard coding system has been introduced whereby a consignment note with a unique code must be used for a particular movement of hazardous waste. We dispense, control and administer these notes.

We have produced 2 guidance documents to help explain how to use consignment notes.

The Pre-notification may now be carried out via e-mail or by fax (contact details can be found below).


Fees allow us to meet the cost of supervising hazardous waste movements. The fees vary depending on the type of movement involved, either £24, £10, or in certain cases the codes will be given out free of charge.

One of the features of the consignment note is the need in Part B to enter the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 2007) code for the process giving rise to the waste. 

Other regulation requirements

The regulations include restrictions on the mixing of wastes, revised requirements for record keeping, periodic inspections of waste producers' facilities by our staff and fixed penalty notices for certain offences.

For further information you can telephone us on 028 9056 9710. For Prenotification our Fax number is 028 9056 9310 and emails can be sent to hazwaste@doeni.gov.uk


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