What sort of waste are spent shotgun cartridges?
According to guidance from the Environment Agency (EA), spent shotgun cartridges are classed as a ‘Directive Waste’. The phrase “Directive Waste” refers to European legislation called the Waste Framework Directive. Directive wastes include nearly all household, commercial and industrial wastes. Directive wastes have to be assessed as to whether they are classed as ‘Hazardous Waste’ or ‘Non-hazardous Waste’ according to a set of criteria under the Waste Framework Directive. Even though spent shotgun cartridges contain lead (hazardous substance) residues, lead is not present in the quantities required for it to be classed as a ‘Hazardous Waste’. Spent shotgun cartridges are therefore classed as a ‘Non-hazardous’ waste and are subject to the regulations governing non-hazardous waste.
Local authorities are responsible for the removal and management of domestic household waste. Based on guidance from the EA, small quantities of cartridges can be deposited in normal domestic household waste*. No official policy exists to define the limits of ‘small quantities’, however the EA suggests anything up to 100 cartridges is reasonable. Local authorities have a duty of care to remove non-hazardous, directive waste, which spent cartridges are. Any problems encountered by the removal of spent shotgun cartridges in your domestic waste needs to be addressed with the local authority responsible.
Disposal of large quantities of spent shotgun cartridges are subject to the new agricultural waste regulations (further details on the EA website). Under these regulations disposal of large quantities of spent shotgun cartridges by burning or burial is illegal. The EA recommends contacting a local waste recycling company to arrange removal. .
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