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Your waste and the law

As a business you have legal obligations regarding the waste that you produce. We want to work with you to help you meet these.

You can be fined if your business fails to meet the legal obligations for disposal of waste. For further information about your obligations, please visit the UK Government's business guidance website.

If you would like further information about waste and recycling services for your business, please fill in the online query form and one of our staff will contact you to discuss a value-for-money service to suit your business.

Duty of care

Under Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, anyone who produces, imports, keeps or stores, transports, treats or disposes of waste has a duty to take all reasonable steps to keep it safe. This means that any waste produced by your business is regulated by law.

Duty of Care applies to all businesses, which if not adhered to could result in a fine or prosecution. 

Waste Transfer Notes

The law says you must take "all reasonable steps" to comply with the Duty of Care and complete a Waste Transfer Note to ensure there is a complete audit trail from producer to disposal. This is usually a one-page sheet supplied to you by your waste contractor documenting the transfer of waste.

We are able to provide an annual waste transfer notice for a small charge. You need to keep all waste transfer notices for at least two years. To find out more about waste transfer notices please visit the UK Government's Waste Transfer Note requirements website.

Waste storage

You must store all waste securely and safely in suitable containers until collection. You are responsible for any pollution caused by materials coming from your site. For further information go to Dispose of business or commercial waste.

What if I don't comply?

Local councils have the authorisation to check businesses to see if they are complying with the Duty of Care. This means an officer can visit and ask to see the waste transfer notes of your business. The only other body which is authorised to check on your waste management arrangements is the Environment Agency. If you fail to provide evidence of compliance with the Duty of Care requirements, you will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice or, if the offence is deemed severe, face prosecution.

Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011

The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 transpose the revised Waste Framework Directive (WFD) (2008/98/EC) into law and make some changes to the way we manage waste in England and Wales.

Many businesses will be affected in some way. The regulations implement the aims of the Directive by getting business to think differently about whether waste needs to be produced in the first place and which are the best ways of managing it.

The Landfill Directive - Pre-treatment of Waste Regs 2007

The Landfill Directive places legal obligation on waste producers to ensure only pre-treated waste is sent to landfill. This means that since 2007, UK businesses now have a legal duty to implement waste segregation routines. For most businesses a good option is to separate recyclable from non-recyclables.

Controls on specific types of waste

There are specific legal requirements you must comply with if you are recovering or disposing of the following objects and materials:

  • Hazardous waste

  • Liquid waste

  • Packaging waste

  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Batteries

  • End-of-life vehicles

  • Construction waste

  • Animal by-products and food waste

  • Radioactive waste

For further information please go to the Business Link Web Page Controls on Specific Types of Waste.