General Duty of Care
Anyone who -
- disposes of waste
Is under a legal obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure wastes are managed and disposed of in accordance with the law.
This duty of care is imposed on waste holders under section 34 Environmental Protection Act 1990 and requires steps to be taken, regardless as to who may act as a dealer or broker in waste, to comply with the legal obligations imposed on them.
It may be an offence for any person not to comply with the obligations imposed on them under this duty of care.
Every business, no matter how big or small, produces waste.
Waste can take a variety of forms and can range from -
- food and drink packaging
- scrap mental
- cleaning or maintenance of business premises
- construction and demolition waste
- clinical and hazardous waste such as chemicals and asbestos
This duty of care imposes the following requirement on waste holders relating to any form of business, namely to -
- securely store and prevent the escape of your waste
- take steps to prevent any other persons from disposing of your waste illegally
- only transfer your wastes to an authorised person also known as a registered waste carrier, or to a person for authorised transport purposes
- keep documents waste transfer notes for the last two years as these must be produced to the Council or Environment Agency on request
Please note: Business rates do not include charges for the collection and disposal of wastes from any business.
Household Duty of Care
Householders must take reasonable measures are taken when discarding of any waste produced on their property.
Under the Waste Household Waste Duty of Care (England and Wales) Regulations 2005, a duty on householders to take reasonable measures to ensure that wastes produced on their property are only transferred to an authorised person. The introduction of this legislation was to reduce the risk of fly tipping and ensure householders work with us to combat this illegal activity.
Household waste disposed other than through the services provided by us, must only take place to an authorised person, or to a person for authorised transport purposes.
It is an offence not to comply with this household duty of care and this can result in a fixed penalty, or prosecution.
Steps to take with regards to your waste
- always store waste safely within the boundary of your property
- ensure loose wastes are contained to prevent it escaping
- always have adequate waste storage to contain your waste, between collections
- always secure your wastes to prevent persons, or animals, from interfering or scavenging if this takes place you must clean up your wastes
- do not burn waste, as this is illegal and can cause a nuisance, pollute the environment, or be harmful to health
Things to avoid doing when looking for someone to take your waste
- if you contact someone whose price is too good to be true, it could end up costing you more in fines and costs
- don’t use anyone who cold calls
- don’t use people who -
- advertise on social media
- local newsagents
- newspaper classifieds
Unless you have checked them out with the Environment Agency and you have confirmed they are authorised to take your waste
- don’t obtain just one quote – always obtain more from different authorised persons and always expect to pay a reasonable fee
- don’t be scared to ask questions – remember you are under a legal duty to take reasonable steps, so as to prevent someone else fly tipping your waste and to ensure the people you give your waste to are authorised persons. If you ask legitimate waste carriers, they will also be able to show you their original waste carriers certificate to check them out and be able to tell you where your waste will be taken and disposed – to check people out is simple and you can do this by contacting the Environment Agency by calling 03706 506 506
- scrap metal is waste, so people must not only be authorised with the Environment Agency, but also by us so ask them to also show you their scrap metal dealers licence
- don’t give your scrap metal and waste away for free, since often when this takes place the waste collected are disposed of elsewhere and scrap metal taken to an authorised site. For further details on scrap metal dealers licences, or how to report persons not registered with us, please visit
You should do the following when looking to pay someone to take your waste -
- keep a record of the person and business you paid to take your waste
- keep a description of the person you paid
- take a picture of your waste keep this safe on your mobile in case we contact you
- make a note of the registration number of the vehicle used to take your waste and keep this safe
- keep a record of telephone numbers
- keep safe social media conversations you have had with the person you paid to take your waste
- always ask for a receipt or invoice if you are a business legally you must obtain a written document known as a controlled waste transfer note for any transfers that take place for the past two years
- keep a copy of any CCTV from your property showing the persons removing your waste
- pay by cheque
- bank transfer
- PayPal as this help us to trace payments if your waste is fly tipped
If they insist on cash don’t use them.
The more information you keep about wastes you have had cleared the better - if illegally dumped waste is traced back to you we will have a better chance of finding the culprits and tackling those responsible.
Enforcement action will be taken if your waste is found fly tipped. You will be contacted and if it is discovered you have failed to comply with your duty of care, this may result in a fixed penalty, or prosecution.
You have an obligation to ensure people are authorised
The legal obligations imposed on you as a waste holder is an important weapon against waste crime.
Illegal waste carriers are more likely to cut corners, offer lower prices and unfairly undercut legitimate waste businesses who take their environmental responsibilities seriously.
Rogue waste carriers will dispose of your waste illegally, in order to avoid the charges for disposal. Not only does this cause a nuisance and pollute the environment, but it can also pose a risk to health and result in law abiding council tax payers having to fund clean-up costs.
Reporting illegal waste carriers
If you see someone, or you suspect you have been contacted by someone on social media you suspect may be acting illegally as a rogue waste collector, you can report this using the form below.
Any information we ask you to provide on this form, will be used to help us to identify whether the person reported is a registered waste carrier and if not take enforcement action.
If you have evidence to help us take action against persons who are not complying with this duty of care, responsible for abandoned vehicles this may result in -
- £300 or £400 fixed penalty
- prosecution and if convicted an unlimited fine, imprisonment or both
- recovery or clean-up costs