Tankered Waste: Your Responsibilities

Businesses who discharge a large amount of liquid waste as part of their operations are subject to certain restrictions on the disposal of this waste.

Depending on what the liquid waste consists of, there are a number of different methods that businesses can adopt to ensure that their waste is being disposed of responsibly and within the law.

  • Discharge through the public sewers – waste that is classed as domestic waste, which includes from toilets and sinks, can be safely discharged into the public sewer without the need for a permit. For larger volumes of liquid waste, or waste that is likely to contain food or hazardous materials, a permit from your water company is needed, which may incur trade effluent charges.
  • On-site treatment – if you’re unable to receive permission for your trade effluent from your water supplier, or the costs are too much, treatment of the liquid waste on site is possible. Treating the waste to remove any hazardous materials or organic matter so that it is permissible to be discharged into the public sewer system can also lower your effluent charges.
  • Tankered Waste Collection – If on-site treatment is not an option, or your premises is not connected to the public sewer system, tankered waste services are the best option. Arrange for your waste to be collected, and it will be transported to a sewage treatment centre. You may need to provide a sample of the liquid waste you will be disposing of in advance, so that the sewage treatment facility is aware of exactly what processes need to be performed on the waste.

When disposing of waste, businesses are obliged to conform to a duty of care under UK laws set out by the Environment Agency. These responsibilities include: keeping waste to a minimum and ensure all reasonable measures are taken to prevent, reuse, recycle or recover waste; sorting and storing waste safely and securely by ensuring it is clearly labelled and poses no risk of leaking and threatening the environment; complete all necessary documentation, including waste transfer notes; ensure that your waste carrier is in possession of all the correct permissions and are registered to dispose of waste, and are doing so legally.

When disposing of hazardous waste, additional obligations apply, including the correct classification of your waste to check if it’s hazardous; responsible, safe and secure storage of hazardous waste; only contracting waste handlers who have the authority and correct environmental permits to treat hazardous waste; and ensure that all paperwork including consignment notes and rejection notes are maintained.

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