Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE): appropriate measures for permitted facilities – 3. Waste pre-acceptance, acceptance and appropriate measures – Guidance


1. You must implement waste acceptance procedures to check that the characteristics of the waste received matches the information you obtained during waste pre-acceptance. This is to confirm that the waste is as expected, and you can accept it. If it is not, you must confirm that you can accept it as a non-conforming waste, or you must reject it. If you are rejecting hazardous waste you must follow the guidance on the procedure for rejecting hazardous waste. Procedures should be documented and auditable.

2. Your procedures must follow a risk-based approach, considering:

  • the source, nature, condition and age of the waste
  • any hazardous properties of the waste
  • any POPs content in the waste
  • Potential risks to process safety, occupational safety and the environment (for example, the presence of lithium-ion batteries)
  • knowledge about the previous waste holders

3. If, in the case of small one-off deliveries of WEEE (for example those from tradespeople) you have not received any pre-acceptance information, you must fully assess the load to make sure it is technically and legally suitable for your process.

Storage areas

4. All relevant storage areas (quarantine, reception and general) and treatment processes in your facility must have the physical capacity needed for the waste you receive. You must not receive wastes if this capacity is not available. The amount of waste you receive must also comply with storage limits in your permit.

5. The waste offloading, reception and quarantine areas must have impermeable surfaces with a sealed drainage system. This system must collect all surface water run-off and channel it to a blind sump unless you can lawfully discharge it.

6. You must clearly designate a materials reception area (or areas). Staff controlling the inspection, reception and validation of materials at the facility, must be trained in their respective roles.

Waste acceptance

7. You must weigh each load of waste on arrival to confirm the quantities against the accompanying paperwork, unless alternative reliable systems are available (for example, based upon volume). You must record the weight in the waste tracking system.

8. You must visually check wastes and verify them against pre acceptance information and transfer documentation before you accept them on site.

9. You must check and validate all transfer documentation and resolve discrepancies before you accept the waste. If you believe the incoming waste classification and description is incorrect or incomplete, then you must address this with the customer during waste acceptance. You must record any non-conformances. If you have assessed the waste as acceptable for on-site storage or treatment, you must document this.

10. You must have clear criteria that you use to reject non-conforming wastes. You must also have a written procedure for recording, reporting and tracking non-conforming wastes, including notifying the relevant customer or waste producer to prevent reoccurrence.

11. The person carrying out waste acceptance checks must be trained to effectively identify and manage any non-conformances in the loads received, complying with this guidance and your permit conditions.

12. If there is a known risk of radioactive contamination other than the presence of smoke detectors and certain specialist lamps such as xenon lamps, you must check the waste to determine that it does not include radioactive material unless your site is permitted to accept that type of radioactive waste.

Quarantine storage

13. You must establish quarantine areas for WEEE and materials that are prohibited, awaiting full inspection, or awaiting assessment or removal.

14. Quarantine storage must be for a maximum of fourteen working days.

15. You must have written procedures in place for dealing with wastes held in quarantine, and a maximum storage volume. For some limited and specific cases (for example, the detection of radioactivity), you can extend quarantine storage time if the Environment Agency agrees.

16. Quarantine storage must be separate from all other storage and clearly marked as a quarantine area.

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