Guidance

Hazardous waste: rejected loads guidance

When to reject hazardous waste and what to do if you are the consignee, carrier, producer or holder.

Rejecting hazardous waste: overview

This guidance explains the:

  • procedure for rejecting hazardous waste
  • the rules that apply to the consignee, carrier, producer and holder

Consignee role and responsibilities

Hazardous waste acceptance checks and when you must reject the waste

You must check both the waste and the consignment note before you accept the waste.

You may commit an offence if you do not reject hazardous waste that arrives at your site:

  • without a consignment note
  • with a consignment note that is incomplete or incorrect
  • that you are not permitted to accept

See step 4 in the consignment note guidance for more advice on when you must reject waste.

You may also reject waste if your site operations are affected by site closure, maintenance, breakdown or bad weather.

You must decide whether to accept or reject the waste before you sign part E of the consignment note. Once you have signed part E you cannot change your decision. So if you sign as accepting you cannot later reject a waste. You became the holder of the waste at the point of signing.

When you have an incomplete or incorrect consignment note

You must:

  • complete part E of the consignment note, enter the waste(s) you are rejecting and the reason
  • keep one copy of the note
  • give one copy to the carrier
  • make copies of the note and send one to each of the consignor, producer and holder (they may be the same) immediately

Hazardous waste arrives without a consignment note

You may commit an offence if you (or another party) create a consignment note when the waste arrives at your site. This is a false and invalid note.

You must create a written explanation that includes:

  • the reason you rejected the waste
  • the description or classification of the waste, if known
  • the names of the producer, holder, consignor and carrier
  • a consignment note code you assign in the format REJECT/XXXXX where ‘XXXXX’ is any 5 letters or numbers you use to give the load a unique code

You must then:

  • keep a copy of the explanation in your records
  • give one copy to the carrier
  • send a copy to each of the producer, holder and consignor (they may be the same) as soon as you can
  • use this information for your returns to the Environment Agency and to the waste producer or holder

What happens to the rejected waste?

The carrier must tell the Environment Agency and contact the producer or holder for further instructions.

The producer or holder has 3 options. They can:

  1. Move the rejected waste to a new consignee.
  2. Move the rejected waste back to their own premises.
  3. Ask you to accept the waste you have rejected.

All of these require the producer to create a new consignment note.

If the producer or holder picks options 1 or 2 you do not need to be involved. They must arrange to remove the waste:

  • immediately, if you’re not authorised or willing to store the waste temporarily
  • within 5 working days in all other circumstances

Accepting the rejected waste

You can only accept a hazardous waste with a missing, incomplete or inaccurate consignment note if:

  • you have first rejected it and explained your reasons for doing so
  • the producer or holder asks you to accept the rejected waste
  • your permit or exemption authorises you to do so

You are not obliged to accept it.

If you want to accept it the producer or holder must first:

  • produce a new consignment note that is complete and correct
  • address the reasons why the waste was rejected

Complete consignee returns for rejected wastes

You must report any waste you reject on your consignee return.

You will not be charged for this.

If you subsequently accept the rejected waste, this will be entered as a separate consignment on the consignee return.

See the guidance on completing consignee returns for the detail.

Carrier responsibilities

You may commit an offence if you

  • collect hazardous waste from a producer or holder with a missing, incomplete or incorrect consignment note
  • leave the rejected waste at the consignee’s site

The consignee must tell you why they rejected the waste and enter the reason in part E of the consignment note. They must give you a copy. If there is no note, they must provide you with a written explanation. You must keep this as a record.

You must immediately telephone the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 (call charges) and give them the:

  • consignment note code (or advise if there was no note)
  • consignee’s name and address
  • date and time of consignment rejection
  • list of waste code(s), description and quantity in kg
  • consignee’s reasons for rejecting the waste
  • producer or consignor details
  • your details

You must then contact the producer or holder entered in part A2 of the consignment note for more instructions.

Tell them the consignee rejected the waste and why.

You must take all reasonable steps to carry out their wishes.

The producer or holder has 3 options. They can:

  1. Move the waste to another consignee.
  2. Move the waste back to the producer or holder - themselves.
  3. Ask the rejecting consignee to accept it.

All of these require the producer to create a new consignment note. They may ask you to assist them.

You must not return the waste to the producer or holder if you have mixed the waste collected from 2 or more producers, for example in a tanker.

Producer or holder responsibilities

If a consignee rejects your waste, the carrier must contact you immediately and explain why.

It is your responsibility to decide what happens next to the rejected waste. You have 3 options, you can:

  1. Move the waste to another consignee.
  2. Move the waste back to your premises.
  3. Ask the rejecting consignee to accept it.

All of these require you to create a new consignment note.

Once you decide you must do both of the following:

  • tell the carrier what to do with the waste
  • telephone the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506 (call charges) to tell them what you have decided to do

Option 1 and 2 require that the waste must be moved:

  • immediately, if the rejecting consignee is not authorised to store the waste or declines to do so
  • within 5 working days, in all other circumstances

Moving the hazardous waste to another consignee

You can arrange for the rejected waste to move to a new consignee who has a permit or exemption that allows them to accept the waste.

You must tell the new consignee why the first consignee rejected the waste.

Moving the hazardous waste back to your premises

You can arrange for the waste to be returned to the premises it was collected from - the place entered in part A2 of the rejected consignment note.

When you receive the returned hazardous waste you become a consignee. You must:

  • hold a permit or exemption that allows you to store this waste on your premises
  • provide a consignee return to the Environment Agency, reporting receipt of the waste

You cannot use this option if:

  • the carrier mixed your waste with other waste during collection, for example in a tanker
  • the premises in A2 is a domestic household

Ask the consignee to accept your hazardous waste

The consignee who rejected the waste must give their reasons for doing so.

If you want them to accept the rejected waste you must contact them and fully address these reasons.

They are not obliged to accept the rejected waste, but may do so if their permit or exemption allows them to.

New consignment notes for rejected hazardous waste

Each of the 3 producer options requires a new consignment note.

You can ask the carrier to complete a new note for you, for example if the consignee’s site is not near your premises.

The carrier can complete parts A, B and D including signing as the consignor. But you are responsible for all the information entered being correct.

Copies of the new consignment note must be provided to the:

  • original consignor, producer or holder - you
  • carrier
  • new consignee

When completing the new note, the consignment note code must have an ‘R’ added at the end of:

  • the original consignment note code (if correct) for the rejected consignment - in the format XXXXXX/YYYYYR
  • the code assigned by the rejecting consignee if there was no note (or if the consignment note code was missing or incorrect) - in the format REJECT/YYYYYR

The information entered in part A2 should be the detail of the original producer or holder’s premises from which the rejected consignment originated - not the details of the site that rejected the waste.

Rejecting part of a consignment or load

If a consignment contains 2 or more wastes:

  • you may choose to reject part of the consignment if the reason for rejection does not apply to all of the wastes
  • you must follow the rejected loads procedure for the rejected waste
  • you must follow the normal consignment and return procedure for the accepted waste

If a load consists of 2 or more consignments you may choose to reject one or more consignments if the reason for the rejection does not apply to all of the consignments. However if the wastes have been mixed (for example in a tanker) or for any reason cannot reliably be linked to a particular consignment, you must reject all the consignments.

Published 1 April 2014
Last updated 9 February 2018 + show all updates
  1. Additional guidance for rejecting part of a consignment or load.
  2. Removed out of date guidance following implementation of new Regulations effective from 1 April 2016.
  3. From 1 April 2016, premises will no longer need to register as hazardous waste producers. This change will affect the entire hazardous waste control system. See the guidance effective from 1 April 2016. Or use the current guidance that applies until 31 March 2016.
  4. First published.