Northern Ireland secondary legislation

The following provides details on the secondary legislation used in Northern Ireland in relation to waste treatment and management.

Transport of waste

The Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 1999/362 detail the application procedure to be followed when applying for a licence to transport controlled waste. The regulations also list certain types of organisation who are exempt from registration and specify the procedure for seizing a vehicle which is used for the illegal disposal of waste.

Hazardous waste regulations

The Hazardous Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 (SR 2005/300) and the List of Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 (SR 2005/301) came into force on 16 July 2005, revoking the Special Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998 (SR 1998/289). These new regulations were introduced to implement the provisions of European Commission (EC) Directive 91/689/EEC as amended and Commission Decision 2000/532/EC.

Their purpose is to provide a more effective system of control over special waste from the time of its production to the time of its final destination for disposal or recovery ('the cradle to the grave approach'). They also enable waste holders to comply with the statutory 'Duty of Care' in relation to waste.

These regulations deal with the assignment of these codes to hazardous waste and the relevant fees charged for doing so, the completion of consignment notes, the pre-notification of a consignment and also the keeping of registers and site records. Details of offences and penalties are also provided.

Packaging and Packaging waste

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 1999/115 came into force on the 1 June 1999 and apply to Northern Ireland only. They are made under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Northern Ireland) Order SI 1998/1762 and implement Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.

Directive 94/62/EC has developed a unique system in Europe that places the responsibility for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste on the producers. Unlike the rest of European Union (EU), who mainly place responsibility on a single part of the packaging chain, the UK has placed the responsibility on everyone involved in the supply of packaging.

The regulations have been brought in to make sure that the UK meets its recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste. The Department of Environment (DOE) (NI) is the body responsible for monitoring and regulating these provisions. They impose certain obligations on producers whose turnover exceeds £2,000,000 and who handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging and packaging material. However, a producer can pass these obligations on to a registration scheme if they wish. The scheme then fulfils the obligations on the producers behalf. The purpose of such schemes is to reduce the burden on the producers.

These Regulations have been amended by the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 1999/496. The main amendments are as follows:

  • the turnover threshold for the year 2000 and later years, is increased to £2,000,000 from £1,000,000
  • the percentage activity obligations for the:
    • convertor obligation is reduced from 11% to 9%
    • packer/filler obligation is increased from 36% to 37%
    • seller obligation is increased from 47% to 48%
  • the recovery target used to calculate recovery obligations is increased from 43% to 45%, for the year 2000
  • the recycling target used to calculate recycling obligations is increased from 11% to 13%, for the year 2000
  • wholesale operations are excluded from any obligation
  • the fees for registering producers and schemes are increased by 27%

Duty of care

The new provisions under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order SI 1997/2778 include a Duty of Care for waste.

The basis of duty of care is that any person who imports, produces, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of controlled waste, or as a broker, has control of such waste, must take all measures applicable to him in that capacity as are reasonable in the circumstances to:

  • prevent the deposit of controlled waste on land except under the terms of a waste management licence
  • prevent the escape of waste from his control, or that of any other person
  • secure that any transfer of waste is only to an authorised person
  • be accompanied by a description adequate to help any subsequent holder avoid breaching the duty

Legislation pending

Waste Collection and Disposal Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 1992/254

These regulations came fully into force on 1 October 1992 and apply to Northern Ireland only. They make provision for the collection and disposal of controlled waste in accordance with Part 2 of the Pollution Control and Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order SI 1978/1049.

These regulations revoke the Pollution Control (Licensing of Waste Disposal) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 1980/98.

Waste Collection and Disposal (Amendment) Regulations (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) SR 1997/52

These regulations came into force on 14 March 1997 and amend the Waste Collection and Disposal Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 1992/254. They also implement in Northern Ireland, EC Directive 91/156/EEC on waste and make it an offence to carry on an exempt activity without being registered with the district council.

Landfill Tax Regulations SI 1996/1527

These regulations came fully into force on 1 October 1996 and apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They outline various administrative procedures relating to the operation of the landfill tax. Specifically they deal with the registration of those organisations that intend to make disposals covered by the tax and the payment of the tax. These regulations have been amended by Landfill Tax (Amendment) Regulations, SI 1996/2100, Landfill Tax (Amendment) Regulations, SI 1998/61 and Landfill Tax (Amendment) Regulations, SI 1999/3270.

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