Hazardous Waste

What is hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is any form of waste which can harm human health or the environment, or is difficult to handle. Each of the items on the list below is now classed as hazardous waste:

  • TV and computer monitors

  • Fridges and freezers

  • Fluorescent light tube

  • Infectious clinical wastes

  • All asbestos containing wastes

  • Waste oils

  • End of life vehicles

  • Lead acid batteries

It is not permissible to dispose of hazardous and non-hazardous waste together in landfill.

What does this mean to me?

For household waste, the regulations simply mean that you must separate out any hazardous waste from your general household waste before taking it to your local household waste recycling centre. 

Any waste items found on the hazardous waste list above and any other hazardous materials such as paint, thinners and garden and household chemicals must not be placed in general waste skips at these sites, but handed to an attendant. If you are unsure about any of your waste items them please ask at the recycling centre.

Your local district or borough council may be able to collect your hazardous waste - to find out if this service is available, please contact your local district or borough council.

Private waste contractors will deal with hazardous and special waste arising from a trade or business. Special precautions may be needed when disposing of and moving hazardous waste such as asbestos.

Hazardous waste not accepted at household waste recycling centres includes:

Acetylene is a highly reactive, unstable gas that can suddenly decompose. This creates a significant risk of fire and/or explosion, which would quickly spread to other areas of the site. Acetylene has no household use, however should you as a householder need to dispose of acetylene please contact Renewi Cumbria on 0845 450 3990.

Boat flares
Boat flares are not considered to be household waste. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency currently provide storage facilities at 18 locations around the UK. Unfortunately Cumbria doesn't have a storage facility for boat flares. Please contact Colin Brown for further information (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre on 0151 931 3341 or 01519 316625).

Car air bags
Car air bags are explosive devices along with seat belt pre-tensioners. These are trade waste items covered by the End of Life Vehicles Directive. Dismantling should only be done at a premises permitted under ELV for example Scrap Yards.

Fireworks could be classed as household waste but only in small quantities and can be taken to your local Recycling Centres. Larger quantities would be classed as commercial waste. For larger quantities, please be advised to contact the merchandiser for advice on disposal.

Any questions please contact the Waste Helpline on 0300 003 1118.