Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE): appropriate measures for permitted facilities – 4. Waste storage, segregation and handling appropriate measures – Guidance


1. You should design and operate your facility in a way that minimises the handling of waste. Waste handling must be carried out by competent staff using appropriate equipment.

2. Where possible, you should locate storage areas away from watercourses and sensitive perimeters (for example, those close to public rights of way, housing or schools).

3. You must store all waste within the security protected area of ​​your facility to prevent unauthorized access and vandalism.

Storage duration and capacity

4. You must clearly establish the maximum storage capacity of the site and designated storage areas and you must not exceed these maximum capacities.

5. You must define capacity in piles sizes as well as tonnage. You must regularly monitor the quantity of waste stored on the site and within the designated areas to check against the maximum allowed capacity. You must also monitor the quantities and pile sizes against those set out in your fire prevention plan.

6. Where relevant, you must conform to the Health and Safety Executive (HSEguidance and standards.

7. You must not accumulate waste unnecessarily. You must treat wastes, or remove them from the site, as soon as possible. Generally, all wastes must be removed within a maximum of 6 months of receipt. If you have a shorter time period as a permit condition or one is specified in your fire prevention plan, you must comply with that condition or the fire prevention plan.

8. You must store all waste in a way that allows easy inspection. You must maintain safe access between piles of wastes. There must always be pedestrian and vehicular access (for example, forklift) to the whole of the storage area.

9. You must store and handle waste in a way that prevents pests and vermin. You must have specific measures and procedures in place to identify and manage any wastes that are causing pests or vermin at your site.

10. Waste storage areas and stored equipment must be subject to frequent inspection to make sure that any leaks, spillages of liquids, dust or loose material are identified and managed appropriately, and fire breaks are maintained. You must keep written records of the inspections. You must rectify and log any spillages of waste.

11. You must not carry out activities that represent a clear fire risk within any storage area. Examples include:

  • grinding
  • welding or brazing of metalwork
  • smoking
  • parking of normal road vehicles except while unloading or loading
  • recharging forklift truck or power tool batteries

12. You should assess areas of the site where explosive atmospheres could occur. Where appropriate these must be classified into hazardous zones in accordance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).

13. Outdoor waste storage areas must have an impermeable surface with a sealed drainage system. It must collect all surface water run-off and channel it to a blind sump unless it may be lawfully discharged.

14. Indoor waste storage areas must have an impermeable surface and you must provide spillage collection facilities.

15. You must use weatherproof covering to store any items that may be reused as whole appliances or may have components recovered from them for reuse. The type of covering will depend on the types and quantities of waste but must ensure the WEEE is protected from the weather. It could be as simple as a lid or cover over a container for small items but in other cases may require the construction of a roofed building.

16. You must also use weatherproof covering in areas used for storage of waste containing hazardous material or fluids where this is necessary to avoid contamination of surface water. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the storage of:

  • lamps and processed fractions
  • flat panel display equipment which may contain cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlights and where these are processed by shredding, the shredded fractions
  • broken cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and CRT glass
  • shredded WEEE or plastic containing fractions that may be persistent organic pollutant (POPs) waste

17. Covering may still be required even if you have a consent to discharge surface water to sewer or if water is tankered away. For example, to avoid leached chemicals such as POPs from WEEE plastic entering the water environment.

18. Any spillage or leakage resulting from the storage of WEEE or processed materials must be collected without delay using equipment and procedures appropriate to the type of spillage. The collected residues must be stored in a lidded, leakproof container. Any containers or surfaces affected by the spill must be cleaned.

19. You must train forklift drivers in the handling of waste, to minimise forklift truck damage to the integrity of containers or individual appliances.

20. Any liquids removed from WEEE must be collected and stored in lidded, leakproof containers. Containers must be kept closed when not being filled and must be stored within a bunded area to contain any leakage or spillage.

21. You must store the following separately and securely from other WEEE in leakproof containers to prevent leakage and spillage:

  • batteries, capacitors and other similar components which could leak
  • any components which may contain residual liquids

Containers must be closed or stored under cover to prevent the accumulation of rainwater.

22. You must clearly label containers to identify their contents.

23. Where lithium-ion batteries are stored (either separately or as mixed batteries) these must be recognised as a fire hazard and marked and stored accordingly.

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