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Duty of Care

Duty Of Care/Unauthorised Waste Carrier - (Section 34 Environmental Protection Act 1990)

What is Duty of Care?

Anyone who produces, imports, keeps, stores, transports, treats or disposes of waste must take all reasonable measures available to them in the circumstances to ensure that waste is managed properly and transferred to an authorised person.

Occupiers of domestic properties

As a householder, you have a duty to take all reasonable measures available to you in circumstances to ensure that you only transfer household waste produced on your property to an authorised person.

If you are arranging to have your waste removed from your property or business, a legitimate waste carrier will always be able to demonstrate that they are an authorised person by providing proof of this.  You must always check the following:

  • Check that your contractor is registered with the Environment Agency
  • Ask for their waste carrier license which can be verified on the Environment Agency website -
  • Always ask to see the original copy of their waste carrier's license. By law, registered waste carriers are required to provide you with a waste transfer note; official paperwork that confirms receipt of your waste and where it is being taken to. (Do not use a contractor that won't show you a waste carrier's license or who won't provide you with a waste transfer note.)
  • Record the vehicle registration numbers of any vehicle used by a private waste carrier to take your waste away. The waste carrier may be less likely to illegally dump your waste if he is aware that his vehicle registration and details has been recorded and that he can be traced. If waste is found dumped illegally and traced back to you, investigators will have more information with which to trace the culprits; the more information that can be provided, the greater the probability of us being able to tackle those responsible.
  • Ask for a proper invoice and receipt.

Are you the man in a van?

If you transport waste you must register your business through the Environment Agency..... link in order to be properly authorised and for your details to appear in the public register of waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

If you are carrying waste and are unable to produce your waste carrier's license you will be fined £600.

How much is the fine?

A Fixed Penalty Notice of £600 can be given as an offer for an individual to discharge any liability to conviction for failing to meet their household waste duty of care, with an early repayment of £400 if paid within 10 days.  This is instead of proceeding to prosecute by offering the opportunity to pay the FPN.  If prosecuted you could face a fine of up to £50,000.