Special Waste Guide (Scotland)

Special Waste- Producer Guide to Complying with Environmental Legislation (Scotland)

When the UK waste regulations were changed to fulfil the requirements of the EU Hazardous Waste Framework Directive the term “special waste” was retained in Scotland.  In England and Wales this was changed and the term “hazardous waste” is now used.  The classification of both Special and Hazardous waste is carried out in exactly the same way.

Special waste is…

…waste that is chemically hazardous or infectious to humans or the environment.

To ensure that special waste does not pollute the environment or cause injury, it needs to be dealt with in line with:

  • The EU Hazardous Waste Framework Directive transposed to  Scottish Statutory Instrument 2004 No. 112, The Special Waste Amendment (Scotland)Regulations 2004  and WM2 2008 (updated 2009) guidance.


As a waste producer, you are responsible for the safe and legally compliant removal and disposal of your waste. One of the most important steps in fulfilling this ‘duty of care’ is identifying whether you have any special waste on your site

To classify your waste, you will need to know the chemical components and their concentrations. You will also need to be able to describe how the waste was produced.

The WM2 guidance document provides detailed instructions on how to classify a waste. This can be downloaded from the Environment Agency website and includes a list of European Waste Catalogue (EWC) Codes.

WM2 http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/waste/32200.aspx

WM2 is used in conjunction with Table 3.2, European Commission Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation. This indicates hazards of individual chemicals in the form of “risk phrases”:

Table 3.2 http://ecb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/classification-labelling/

If you are unsure about what is in the waste or how to classify it the Enviroco Environmental Business Advisors team will be happy to carry out this classification for you. We will require as much information about the waste and process as possible so that we can determine the components and concentrations’ and we may request:

  • Material safety data sheet (MSDS) for products present in the waste
  • The process that gives rise to the waste
  • Raw materials used in the process
  • A sample of the waste
  • An existing analysis

At present the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) have not implemented a pre-acceptance requirement, so whilst no pre-acceptance form is required, we still require the same level of information to determine the disposal route, create hazard labels etc. Further, many special wastes from Scotland are disposed of in England and for these transfers the requirements of pre-acceptance exist.

Premises Registration

Unlike England and Wales, at present there is no requirement to register as a producer of hazardous waste in Scotland.

Consigning Special Waste

Enviroco can collect from UK mainland sites and will generate all paperwork (special waste consignment note) and labels required for transporting your waste.


Pre-notification of Special Waste Movements

In Scotland you are required to pre-notify the movement of special waste to SEPA at least three working days and no more than one month prior to the movement of the consignment.  This is done by completing sections A & B of the consignment note and then sending the white pre-notification copy to the SEPA office in the area that the waste is to be moved to.  SEPA will accept a pre-notification copy of a consignment note sent by fax. However, the original pre-notification copy should be sent to the consignee’s local SEPA (or EA) office, before, or within one day of removal of the waste if pre-notification was sent electronically.

There is no pre-notification requirement for special waste being landed from a vessel.

Transportation of Special Waste

You may transport your own waste to one of our sites, however, please make sure that your driver and vehicle comply with dangerous goods regulations.


If using a third party carrier to transport your waste please ensure that they are registered as a waste carrier with either SEPA or the Environment Agency.


Duty of Care

Further information on your responsibilities under the “duty of care” can be accessed here