Working within the surface engineering and heat treatment sectors, there’s a good chance that during your day to day operation you will be producing hazardous waste products. Any company that produces hazardous waste (defined as substances that are harmful to humans or the environment) in the UK have a duty of care to dispose of their waste in line with the Hazardous Waste Regulations.These regulations require that any hazardous waste produced by companies causes no harm or damage to the environment during storage and disposal.

How to comply

Companies that produce more than 500kg of hazardous waste must register with the Environmental Agency as no hazardous waste can be collected from an unregistered site by authorised waste removal businesses.  Failure to do so can result in a significant fine.

You must only use authorised businesses to collect, recycle or dispose of your hazardous waste, and it is your responsibility to ensure that the waste carrier you use is both registered and their waste sites have the necessary environmental permits.  On collection, you will need to hand a completed consignment note to the carrier, keeping a copy for yourself – these must be kept for at least three years.

The above is only a summary on how to comply. To find out in more detail about how to comply, the records you need to keep, and the specific requirements for England & Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, please read the UK Government’s guidance on disposal of hazardous waste.

Regulations surrounding the use of hazardous substances

In addition to the Hazardous Waste Regulations, companies working in the surface engineering sector which are using substances that are toxic or dangerous to the environment have to comply with the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations.  The regulations require companies that stock quantities of hazardous substances such as dichromates, chromium trioxide, cadmium or hexavalent chromium during heat treatment processes, should take all essential steps to prevent any major accident.  They also must ensure that a range of measures are put in place to limit the consequences to human health should an accident happen.

If you would like to speak to one of our team about hazardous waste, its storage, removal and control, please contact us on 0121 237 1123 or email us at