Simple Guide To Waste Duty Of Care

Waste duty of care applies to any business that produces, transports, treats or disposes of waste as a result of its activities. This includes every business in the UK – from the very large to the very small. This duty of care has been in place since the enactment of the Environment Protection Act, which became law in 1990. You have a duty of care for your waste that can be legally enforced. Failure to comply can lead to fines.

What is Waste Duty of Care?

Waste duty of care is a legal obligation that requires businesses to manage their waste responsibly from the moment it is produced until it is disposed of. This responsibility extends beyond merely handing over waste to an authorised contractor; you must ensure that your waste is managed correctly on your site and by anyone who handles it thereafter.

Key Responsibilities Under Waste Duty of Care

  1. Know Where Your Waste Goes: You must be aware of where your waste ends up – whether it’s at a licensed landfill site, a recycling centre, or an energy-from-waste facility.
  2. Ensure Proper Collection and Transportation: You are responsible for ensuring that the waste carrier you employ is registered and handles your waste correctly.
  3. Complete Necessary Paperwork: When your waste is collected, the carrier should provide you with a waste transfer note and a consignment note detailing what was collected and how they will deal with it.

The Legal Framework

The Environment Protection Act 1990 sets out the legal framework for managing waste in the UK. Under this Act, businesses have specific duties regarding their waste:

  • Duty to Prevent Harm: Ensure that your actions do not cause harm to human health or the environment.
  • Duty to Manage Waste Properly: Ensure all steps are taken to manage your waste responsibly.
  • Duty to Complete Documentation: Maintain accurate records related to your waste management activities.

Steps To Comply With Waste Duty Of Care

Step 1: Identify Your Waste Types

The first step in complying with your duty of care is identifying what types of waste your business produces. This could include general office rubbish, hazardous materials like chemicals or batteries, or construction debris.

Step 2: Segregate and Store Waste Safely

Once you’ve identified your types of waste, segregate them accordingly and store them safely on-site until they can be collected by an authorised carrier.

Step 3: Choose an Authorised Waste Carrier

Ensure that any contractor you hire for transporting or disposing of your waste holds appropriate licenses and permits. You can check their credentials through regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency.

Step 4: Maintain Accurate Records

Keep detailed records, including:

  • Waste Transfer Notes: These should include information about the type and quantity of transferred waste.
  • Consignment Notes (for hazardous wastes): These provide additional details about handling hazardous wastes.

These documents must be kept for at least two years (or three years for hazardous wastes).

Common Pitfalls And How To Avoid Them

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Many businesses fail to comply simply because they are unaware of their legal responsibilities. Regular training sessions for staff involved in handling or managing waste can help mitigate this risk.

Inadequate Documentation

Failing to maintain proper documentation can lead directly to fines if audited by regulatory authorities. Always ensure paperwork is completed accurately and stored securely.

Unauthorised Carriers

Using unlicensed carriers might save money upfront but could cost significantly more if caught violating regulations. Always verify credentials before contracting any service provider.

Consequences Of Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with your duty-of-care obligations can result in severe penalties, including hefty fines or even imprisonment, depending on severity:

  • Fines: Businesses may face unlimited fines based on court discretion.
  • Reputational Damage: Negative publicity from legal action could harm customer trust.
  • Operational Disruptions: Regulatory investigations might disrupt normal business operations, leading to further financial losses.

Understanding and adhering strictly to fulfilling one’s ‘Simple Guide To Waste Duty Of Care’ isn’t just about avoiding penalties; it’s also about contributing positively to environmental sustainability efforts within our communities while safeguarding public health standards, too!

By diligently following these guidelines—identifying and segregating wastes properly, choosing authorised carriers wisely, and maintaining accurate records consistently—you’ll stay compliant and effectively demonstrate corporate responsibility!

Martland’s Waste Management Burscough

Don’t ever take the risk of using an unlicensed waste carrier. You could face a fine or even prison if your waste is fly-tipped. Martland’s Waste Management is a licensed waste carrier, and we service the Burscough and surrounding areas with waste removal services. Don’t take a risk: call on one of our numbers below:-

Burscough Skip Hire 01704 779345
Wigan Skip Hire 01942 417456
Skelmersdale Skip Hire 01695 769123
Bamber Bridge Skip Hire 01772 364 399
Chorley Skip Hire 01257 752399
Ormskirk Skip Hire 01704 779345
Leyland Skip Hire 01772 364399


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