Complying with your duty of care for disposal of waste
All waste produced by your business or within your workplace is regulated by waste laws. If you run a business, you are legally responsible for ensuring that the waste it produces or handles is stored, transported, treated, reprocessed and disposed of safely. This is your duty of care.
Please note that business rates do not cover refuse collection. We will prosecute offenders so you need to be aware of your duties. You must:
- Sign a Trade Refuse Agreement with a carrier who is legally authorised to carry waste and pay the charges. You may take your own rubbish to a licensed disposal site or tip and pay the charges. Businesses cannot use Household Waste Recycling Centres for free tipping.
- Check that your carrier holds a Waste Carrier's Certificate of Registration or is exempt.
- Check that your carrier is taking your waste to a licensed disposal site or tip. Carriers cannot use Household Waste Recycling Centres for free tipping. You can be prosecuted if your carrier dumps your rubbish.
- Ensure that you complete the waste transfer note and provide a written description of the waste. Unless the nature, quantity and collector of your waste changes, this will be on an annual basis. Normally your carrier will produce this for you as part of your agreement
- Keep a copy of all documentation for two years. You may have to produce this to a council officer on demand. You can be prosecuted if you cannot produce full records for the last two years.
- If your carrier has supplied you with labelled sacks, make sure that these sacks are used for your waste, and no others. If you have been supplied with bins, use them.
- If you start to produce more rubbish, get your carrier to provide more bins/sacks or collect more often.
- Bin, bag, box or bundle all refuse securely and do not put loose rubbish out for collection.
- Dispose of semi-liquid waste appropriately and do not pour it into sacks.
- Do not put any sharp or dangerous items in plastic refuse sacks; put them in boxes to avoid injuries to collectors.
- Set aside suitable space for storage inside the building or in an enclosed exterior space. Don't let your rubbish blow away and cause litter.
- Put out your refuse at the time given to you by the contractor and not before. Rubbish must not be left out on the street for long periods when it can cause litter.
- Where possible, keep all your rubbish and bins on your own property when waiting for collection. If this is not possible, put it close to your door so that it is clear that it is your rubbish waiting for collection.
- Don't put rubbish in or beside public litter bins. Don't risk being prosecuted for causing litter.
The duty of care has no time limit. You are responsible for your waste from when you produce it until you have transferred it to an authorised person. However, if you think that your waste is not being managed correctly, you must take action to check and prevent this.
For more information on your responsibilities as a business that produces waste, please see the Government website. For a full outline of your responsibilities, we recommend that you look at the Waste duty of care: code of practice.
Right Waste Right Place offer advice with meeting your Duty of Care