Hazardous Waste on the Farm

Hazardous wastes are defined as wastes that have the potential to cause harm to human health or the environment.  The properties of hazardous waste can be grouped as follows

• Physical properties: flammable, explosive, oxidising

• Health hazard properties: carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic for reproduction, toxic, corrosive, irritant, infectious, harmful.

• Environmental hazard properties: for aquatic environment, for terrestrial environment, for ozone layer

The following are examples of common wastes that can be encountered on a farm.

Waste Oils  photo of waste oil containers BatteriesPhoto of batteries
Fluorescent tubes photo of fluorescent tubesPaintsphoto of paint tins
Pesticides   photo of pesticide containersNeedlesphoto of needles
Waste Medicinesphoto of medicinesWaste Chemicalsphoto of waste chemicals


Other types of hazardous waste which may occur occasionally on farms include:

• Refrigerant gases from redundant refrigeration equipment

• Asbestos from maintenance or building works on older buildings

• PCBs contained in old electrical transformers

Hazardous waste should be treated with the respect it deserves. In terms of waste chemicals, the key is to look at the label on the product to determine if it is hazardous or not, i.e. are any of the following on the packaging

Corrosive Material symbol for corrosive materialsDangerous for the environmentsymbol for dangerous for the Environment
Explosive    symbol for explosive FlammableSymbol for Flammable
Oxidizing Material  symbol for oxidising materialExtremely Toxicsymbol for extremely toxic
Harmfulsymbol for harmful  


What to do with Hazardous wastes

  • Those supplying you in some cases will also offer a take back scheme – check with your suppliers.
  • See tips on Rinsing Chemical Containers
  • Hazardous waste may be collected by an Authorised waste collector or brought to an Authorised waste facility. please contact the Environment Section on (057) 9357403 to ensure the collector/facility has a permit.

How to prevent hazardous waste

  1. Look for alternatives or products that are less damaging to the environment.
  2. Use products such as chemicals before they go out of date.
  3. Only purchase the amounts needed.
  4. Store and dispose of hazardous waste through a licensed waste contractor.