Handling waste

What you will find on this page

Advice and guidance on how to prevent injury and ill health while handling, storing or transporting waste.

Your duties as an event organiser

Event organisers and /or contractors are responsible for assessing the risks associated with storage, handling or use of waste and implementing effective control measures to avoid or control these risks.

What you should know

There are a number of hazards associated with poor management of waste at an event:

  • Accumulations of waste can block emergency access or escape routes, hamper movement around the site, and present tripping hazards to workers and the audience.
  • Waste can cause fire hazards if it is ignited accidentally or purposely.
  • Vehicles collecting waste materials can cause a hazard.

Other waste-specific hazards include:

  • Injury to workers during handling of waste onsite, for example needle stick injuries, back strains due to manual handling, and possible infection by pathogens including tetanus and leptospirosis.
  • Waste attracting vermin, with resultant risks to health.

Find out more

See HSE's waste and recycling webpages for general advice and guidance on how to prevent injury and illness when handling waste

In some circumstances, businesses involved in waste and recycling activities may have obligations under the REACH Regulations (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), especially where waste substances are being recovered for re-use. For more information see REACH Guidance on waste and recovered substances.

Hazardous Waste Regulations

If you produce, transport or receive hazardous waste you will have responsibilities under the Hazardous Waste Regulations. For more information on the Regulations and on identifying hazardous waste please visit the Environment Agency website or the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency website.

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Updated 2020-08-28