Waste Duty of Care for Householders & Businesses

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Waste disposal regulation made simple by AnyJunk, the responsible rubbish clearance company – PART I

Duty of care for householders for their waste
Occupiers of domestic premises have a duty of care to ensure they only transfer their waste to persons that are authorised to handle it, namely council refuse collectors, licensed waste carriers, or charities registered as collectors*.

Duty of care for businesses for their trade waste
Businesses, organisations and individual tradespeople that produce waste have a duty of care to store, handle and dispose of it lawfully, without harming the environment. This duty of care comprises five key obligations

  1. Store and transport waste securely and safely so it doesn’t risk damaging others or the environment
  2. If you use a third party to remove or transfer your waste, they must be a licensed waste carrier
  3. Only dispose of waste at waste facilities that are licensed to receive it
  4. Record each transfer of waste from you to another party with a waste transfer note and keep that record for at least 2 years
  5. Register as a waste carrier with the Environment Agency if you transport building or demolition waste (which includes refurbishment waste) that you have created yourself. Note this last requirement only applies to building or demolition waste – otherwise, there is no requirement to register

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Duty of care for people transporting other people’s waste
If you transport waste for others you must be registered with the EA as a waste carrier and, if you remove commercial waste, you must also record each collection and disposal with a waste transfer note. Once you have collected waste, just as with producers of waste, you have a duty of care to dispose of it lawfully, without harming the environment.

What happens if you breach your duty of care?
Breach of the duty of care is a criminal offence which could lead to a fine of up to the statutory maximum (£5,000) on summary conviction, and an unlimited fine on conviction on indictment.

What does this all mean in a nutshell?
If you use someone else to remove your waste, make sure they’re a licensed waste carrier and, if you’re a business, ask for a waste transfer note for every collection.
If you transport waste (yours or someone else’s) only dispose of it at properly licensed facilities and, if it is building waste and you’re a business or tradesperson, don’t do so unless you’ve registered a waste carrier.

Need Practical Help?
If you need a registered waste carrier to clear your waste contact www.anyjunk.co.uk, the UK’s largest rubbish clearance company.

Our small print
AnyJunk is not a firm of solicitors, consultant or public authority – we are a rubbish clearance company. This guidance is designed to be a pragmatic summary for the majority of users and we have not included a multitude of additional rules, caveats and exemptions that may be relevant to your specific situation. If you require more detailed information or a definitive view on the rules and regulations governing waste, we recommend seeking independent legal advice or, at the very least, contacting the Environment Agency for a proper chat. In other words, please don’t sue us; we’re only trying to help!

Photo by Courtney Carmody