Are you fully compliant with current waste regulations?

The Buying Group's approved supplier for waste management services Greenzone has written this guidance to help practices ensure they are adhering to all the current waste regulations...

What is commercial waste?

Any waste that comes from premises used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a trade or business. This includes private sector businesses (e.g. shops and offices) and public sector services (e.g. schools and hospitals). Therefore, waste from a GP or dental practice is considered to be commercial waste.

Your responsibilities

As a producer of waste you must:

  • Prevent unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of your waste
  • Prevent a failure by any other person to meet the requirements of an environmental permit
  • Prevent the escape of waste from your control (see below)
  • Ensure that any person you transfer the waste to has the correct authorisation (e.g. that any person transporting your waste is a registered carrier)
  • Provide an accurate description of the waste when it is transferred to another person (see “waste transfer note” below)

This is referred to as the “duty of care”. Failure to comply with the duty of care requirements is a criminal offence and could lead to prosecution.

You must also:

  • do everything you reasonably can to prevent, reuse, recycle or recover waste (in that order) and you must declare that you have done this (this is called the “waste hierarchy”)
  • provide certain waste information when the waste is transferred to another person (see “waste transfer note” below)

Any person collecting your waste paper, metal, plastic or glass must, if necessary to ensure recovery of the waste and if it is technically, environmentally and economically practicable to do so, ensure the separate collection of the waste paper, metal, plastic and glass.

You have extra responsibilities if you’re dealing with hazardous waste.

Sorting and storing waste

You must store waste safely and securely. To do this:

  • Store waste in a secure place
  • Use suitable containers that will stop waste escaping
  • Label containers clearly with the type of waste they contain
  • Use covers to stop waste blowing away
  • Use waterproof covers if rain could cause contaminated run-off or prevent the waste from being reused
  • Store waste paper, metal, plastic and glass separately (where required)

You have extra responsibilities if you’re storing hazardous waste.

Waste Transfer Notes

The description of the waste and the waste information can be provided in any document, but is usually provided in a waste transfer note.

The waste information must:

  • identify the waste to which it relates by reference to the appropriate codes in the List of Wastes, give a description of the waste and state: (i) its quantity and whether it is loose or in a container, (ii) if in a container, the kind of container, (iii) the time and place of transfer, and (iv) the SIC code of your business;
  • give your name and address and the name and address of the person to whom you are transferring the waste be signed by you and them;
  • state whether you and the person to whom you are transferring your waste are the producer, importer, transporter, a local authority, a permit holder, a registered carrier or a registered broker or dealer; and
  • confirm that the transferor has discharged the duty in regulation 12 (waste hierarchy).

You must keep the waste transfer note for two years from the last collection of waste and be able to produce it to the regulator within seven days. Waste Transfer Notes can cover multiple collections of waste over a period of time. Guidance suggests that waste transfer notes should be renewed annually.

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is subject to significant regulatory requirements in additional to usual waste management requirements.

Waste is hazardous waste if it is listed as such in the List of Wastes or in regulations made by the Secretary of State from time to time.

Examples of hazardous waste are:

  • Cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines
  • Amalgam waste from dental care
  • Sharps whose collection and disposal is subject to special requirements in order to prevent infection

You must

  • Consider if any of your waste is potentially hazardous waste
  • Apply the waste hierarchy
  • Comply with the duty of care
  • Not mix hazardous waste with non-hazardous waste
  • Not mix different categories of hazardous waste
  • Comply with the record keeping requirements (i.e. consignment notes) by completing the part that applies to you and keeping for 3 years
  • Consignment notes must accompany hazardous waste as it travels
  • Hazardous waste must be delivered promptly without undue delay

The Good News…

Greenzone Facilities Management Limited is a registered waste broker and they arrange for the collection of your waste by local, compliant waste management companies. They ensure the person collecting your waste is “authorised” so you don’t have to.

They produce the waste transfer note, all you need to do is check the information and sign it. Greenzone are moving to electronic waste transfer notes to make your life easier and to ensure waste transfer notes are kept securely.

Your signed waste transfer note will be available on their customerzone, usually within 24 hours of receipt. The system will ensure you are reminded about renewals so you will not miss a deadline. Guidance is available on customerzone and by telephoning Greenzone’s customer service team. They offer a nationwide service across all waste streams saving you time and money with a zero waste to landfill objective.

For more information or to request a quote, visit the Greenzone page in our Suppliers section.

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