WASTE AND THE LAW
Under government legislation any producer of waste has a Duty of Care to ensure they know who is taking their waste and where it is going to. Further information on this can be found here on the government website.
Each time waste is collected by Island Environmental Hygiene the customer will be issued with either a Waste Transfer Note or a Consignment Note depending on the types of waste being handled. If you are not already a client of Island Environmental Hygiene we advise that you check to ensure that the person collecting your waste is legally permitted to do so. This includes non-hazardous waste, otherwise known as offensive waste, such as sanitary waste from washrooms, incontinence pads and nappies. Under government legislation this type of waste has to be disposed of separately from general waste and should be placed in a tiger sack prior to disposal. As previously stated it is important to ensure that your waste carrier is licensed to do this. This can be done by asking to see a copy of their waste carriers licence and their waste transfer note. It is also advisable to ask for evidence of their waste disposal process and to establish where your waste is going. Please see here for more information on waste transfer notes.
EWC stands for European Waste Catalogue.
Any controlled waste that is collected in the UK must under Duty of Care be covered by a Waste Transfer Note or for Hazardous/Clinical Waste, a consignment Note. A requirement of these documents is for a written description of the waste. Whilst this description will vary depending on your waste carrier, they will always require a EWC code. This is a list of wastes that has been produced by the EU to standardise the description of waste across Europe and to enable waste to be recorded, monitored and controlled more effectively.
Wastesupport.co.uk in conjunction with the Environment Agency have developed a search engine http://www.wastesupport.co.uk/ewc-codes/ which enables the correct waste code to be rapidly identified using either a word search or by searching the relevant chapters.
The EWC codes have been transposed into UK regulation through the List of Wastes Regulations which can be found here.
The European Waste Catalogue is made up of approximately 650 different codes divided into 20 chapters, each of which contains a number of sub-categories. Wastes that are considered to be hazardous are denoted by an asterisk in the list. Each code is composed of six digits and many codes are double entries where there will be a code for the non-hazardous version of the waste and another – with asterisk – for the hazardous version. There are also codes that end in 99 which are used for ‘waste not otherwise specified’. Generally, the Agency does not like these to be used as a waste description on Transfer Notes and Consignment Notes. More can be found here on the governement website with regard to the classification of different types of waste.
Island Environmental Hygiene are happy to assist their clients with selecting the correct EWC codes for their waste. This ensures that the customer remains compliant with Environment Agency legislation.
Clinical Waste Management
In addition to our sanitary and washroom services, Island Environmental Hygiene is a Clinical Waste Transfer Station, registered with The Environment Agency to deal with hazardous and non-hazardous clinical waste. This means we can legally collect and store discarded sharps and prescription only medicines from organisations such as health centres, pharmacies, veterinary practices, dental surgeries, tattoo parlours and nursing and care homes. We are licensed to collect this type of waste from any bona fide producers of such waste. Our Standard Rules Permit (Please see here) sets out what we can legally collect and store ready for disposal. At Island Environmental Hygiene we take our responsibility to the environment seriously and because of this we separate all recyclable waste from waste which would otherwise be destroyed.
As a registered Clinical Waste Transfer Station, Island Environmental Hygiene have to meet a range of standards set out in our permit (please see a copy of our permit here) which is issued by the Environment Agency. We have a fully qualified, registered Technically Competent Manager who has been awarded a level 4 diploma with the Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board. He will be able to answer any questions you may have with regard to clinical, hazardous or offensive waste. He is also NEBOSH (National Examination Board of Occupational Health and Safety) qualified.
Pre Acceptance Audit
Before Island Environmental Hygiene can collect sharps or prescription only medicines from our customers, by law we have to understand what the waste is. This audit can take up to an hour to complete. Not only does it enable us to collect our customers’ waste but it can also enhance their organisations' Health and Safety and aid with staff training. This audit is free to Island Environmental Hygiene customers and is carried out at the start of their contract. Follow ups must be carried out every two years for existing customers.