Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Hazardous Waste Materials

Asbestos Waste

Asbestos can be found in any building built prior to the year 2000. It was widely used during the 1970’s and 1980’s to build houses and premises. Asbestos only poses a health risk if you don’t plan to disturb it.

You should never carry out major building, maintenance or demolition work on materials you know or suspect to contain asbestos. You should contact a licensed contractor who can arrange to get the asbestos removed for you.

If you only plan to carry out minor work on asbestos containing materials, such as drilling holes for fixtures and fittings, repainting a ceiling or applying new plasterboard, you can do so provided that you’re appropriately trained and know how to assess the risks and work safely.

How to dispose of Asbestos

Please note that Bonded Asbestos (generally corrugated roofing sheets) can only be disposed of at Bossack Recycling Centre, Tankerness. All Bonded Asbestos MUST be wrapped securely in plastic sheeting or placed in sealed bags. All packages or bags of asbestos should be to such a size and weight that they can be easily handled by two persons.

Please note that larger quantities (over six sheets) will only be accepted at Bossack Recycling Centre if they are pre-booked with us.

Other types of asbestos which pose a greater health risk will not be accepted by Orkney Islands Council and should only be handled and disposed of via a Specialist Contractor.

Orkney Aggregates also accept asbestos but the asbestos must be accompanied by a special waste consignment note (5 duplicate forms) from SEPA. The cost of a note is £15. The form can be purchased by cash or cheque from SEPA’s Kirkwall office, Norlantic House, Scott’s Road, Hatston Industrial Estate, Kirkwall, KW15 1GR or online by card. The first part of the note is normally submitted by the contractor to SEPA no less than 3 days before the materials are moved to alert SEPA that hazardous waste will be on the move. If a carrier is used they should take the second part of the note. The householder will keep the third part of the note and Bossack will take the final 2 parts of the note before submitting one of those to SEPA.

Householders are allowed to transport a small amount of hazardous waste i.e. car boot full, emanating from DIY projects etc themselves without a special waste consignment note.

Chemical Waste

Small quantities of hazardous waste (e.g. Roundup products) from households can be disposed of at Bossack Recycling Centre free of charge. Please report to the site operatives on arrival who will ensure the chemicals are stored in the appropriate chemical cabinet.

Clinical Waste Disposal

Orkney Islands Council only handles low grade clinical waste (e.g. from Council care homes).

The Council do not handle or provide a collection service for high grade clinical waste. This type of waste is mainly produced by NHS outpatients who receive treatment for:

  • Infectious human or animal tissue.
  • Infectious blood or other bodily fluids.
  • Infectious swabs or dressings.
  • Any waste classed as infectious.

Low grade category E clinical waste is to be double bagged and placed within the general refuse for disposal. Including waste such as:

  • Empty bedpans.
  • Incontinence pads.
  • Empty stoma bags.
  • Empty urine containers.
  • Non-infectious swabs or dressings.
  • Other waste classed as non-infectious.

There is no provision for the collection of clinical waste from commercial premises in Orkney at present. Please contact the Balfour Hospital Estates team on 01856888006 to arrange collection.

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