What should I do concerning Waste?

The Issue Wiltshire College
Waste disposal involves
  • Intensive use of energy
  • Loss of materials and energy incorporated in the waste
  • Use of land for landfill sites (these are rapidly filling up)
  • Pollution of land, air and particularly water
  • Nuisance to people living nearby
  • Loss of money incorporated in the waste (materials purchased, processed and stored)
  • Costs to contractors
  • Landfill tax
There are a lot of companies illegally handling waste, sometimes making huge profits while contributing to major pollution.
We produce
  • General waste
  • Waste that can be recycled (paper, bottles etc)
  • Hazardous waste (fluorescent tubes, chemical wastes from curriculum areas such as beauty salons, printing and engineering)
  • Electrical and electronic waste (IT, but also physics and other technical areas)
  • Tyres (motor vehicle)
  • Batteries
There are legally-binding requirements on the disposal of all waste.


'Waste' includes materials we have used, those we no longer need, and those we should dispose of. It includes all materials that are to be recycled (i.e. broken down to reclaim components or materials), but not items that are to be re-used in their current form.

Legal summary

For all waste we must:

  1. Keep it securely, so it does not leak, is not spread by vermin, is not accessible to vandals and arsonists, and is not liable to be stolen;
  2. Ensure that it does not fall into the hands of unlicensed organisations, and that it is safely disposed of;
  3. Keep records of all waste that we dispose of on Waste Transfer Notes (Consignment Notes for hazardous waste); these must be kept for two years (three for Consignment Notes). It is College policy that the Estates Department keep all Waste Transfer Notes.
  4. Reduce the amount of waste we produce, reuse items where practical and recycle where we can.

It is illegal for any waste, however innocuous, to be disposed of improperly or handled by an un-licensed company (apart from the Council).

Therefore, it is College Policy that only the Estates Department may organise the removal of waste. No other employees are permitted to arrange for the removal of materials from College premises.


This document provides:

Serious pollution may occur if waste is not handled properly, and the College may be prosecuted for failing to comply with any of these provisions, with fines likely to run into thousands of pounds. Please help make sure we comply.

The law on waste as it applies to Wiltshire College

All waste, whether solid or liquid, must be:

  • stored securely in containers that are clearly marked with the type of waste that should be put in them, lidded and secure.
  • NOT allowed to go down the sink (unless written approval from Director of Estates), down the drains, onto the land, be burnt on site or otherwise disposed of whether deliberately OR accidentally.
  • stored separately to other types of waste to prevent cross contamination
  • if liquids, stored in containers that are themselves in a protected ('bunded', i.e. surrounded by an impervious wall) area
  • removed only by a company approved by the Director of Estates. Removal by anybody else is considered theft
  • recorded in detail (scrupulous accuracy is essential) on Waste Transfer Notes (or Hazardous Waste Consignment Notes), using the correct waste coding (ask the Enviro Co-ordinator) and passed to your Site Manager (Estates) for safe keeping

Additional rules for recyclable waste, including any electrical or electronic waste

  • must be kept separately from other waste and secure from contamination
  • must be recycled
  • All staff must be vigilant to ensure proper use of waste containers

Report any improper use to your Site Manager (Estates) immediately.

As well as legislation pertaining to all types of waste material - i.e. any material that the College no longer needs or wants - there are additional specific requirements for:

  • Hazardous waste
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • Vehicle tyres
  • Batteries (rules coming in during 2009)


All wastes

All wastes must be stored securely, protected from:

  • vandalism
  • theft
  • spread by vermin or the wind
  • corrosion / flooding caused by rain
  • leakage

In particular, where there is any risk of leakage causing damage to land, drains, sewers, ground water or surface water the container must be protected within a suitable bund, and the bund maintained and regularly inspected.

All waste receptacles, including skips, must be clearly marked with the type of waste they are to be used for and use should be supervised to ensure against contamination.

Storage of hazardous waste

All hazardous waste must be held separate to non-hazardous waste; i.e. it is illegal to allow non-hazardous items to be disposed in container designated for hazardous waste, and to allow hazardous waste to contaminate a non-hazardous waste container. It is also illegal to mix different types of hazardous waste; e.g. fluorescent tubes must be stored and disposed separately to oils.

Storage of waste electrical & electronic equipment (WEEE), batteries and tyres

In order to minimise the risk of contamination that may reduce the efficiency of recycling processes, these items MUST be stored

  • separately to each other and
  • separately to other types of waste
  • in clearly labelled containers

Note: some WEEE may also be classed as hazardous waste. This can be a particular concern if items are broken or partially dismantled (when health and safety concerns are likely to arise).


All wastes

No waste may be disposed of on-site (such as by burning, burying or pouring down drain). Nobody may be permitted to remove waste from any College site unless they are licensed by the Environment Agency and approved by the Director of Estates. All waste movements (except for Hazardous Waste, see below) must be fully described on a Waste Transfer Note, detailing the exact types and amounts of waste using the European Waste Catalogue descriptions, and held by the Estates Department for two years.

It is illegal for the College to allow any non-licensed organisation (apart from the Council) to handle any of its waste. Evidence, in the form of an authorised copy of their licence, must be viewed for all contractors used. It is the legal duty of the College to ensure that organisations are correctly licensed and to keep proof; it is not sufficient to rely on the waste company's assurances. This process is managed by the Director of Estates.

College waste must not be taken to household waste recycling centres (or similar), even if staff are taking their own waste there.

Disposal of hazardous waste

For hazardous waste, additional checks are required to ensure that waste companies are licensed for the particular materials.

All Hazardous Waste must be recorded on a Hazardous Waste Consignment Note. This will be provided by the waste handling contractor, but should be completed by the Faculty / Division generating the waste. The items to be disposed of must be enumerated in detail on the note - generalisations can lead to legal comeback, and even the waste being returned to us. Completed consignment notes must be forwarded to your Site Manager (Estates) for archiving.

Disposal of WEEE, Tyres and batteries

It is illegal for such items to be disposed of at landfill sites. Specialist disposal which maximises recycling opportunities must be utilised, which will involve using a specialist company.

Waste minimisation

Furthermore the College is legally obliged to minimise waste production either directly through efficient use, or indirectly through utilising recycled materials.

Some examples of how this might be achieved:

  • ordering only what is needed, especially for materials with use-by dates
  • double-sided printing
  • storing and using materials carefully so that they do not become damaged or contaminated
  • Imbuing learners, and colleagues, with the need to reduce waste

I'm sure your students will come up with more - might be a good topic for a project.

Further Information

Please contact the College Environmental Co-ordinator for further advice. You may also find the following websites helpful:


What are the issues? What should I do?