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Duty Of Care

Waste is anything you own, or your business produces, which you want to get rid of. It can be household, commercial or industrial waste.


Section 34 of the EPA90 act imposes a 'Duty of Care' on those concerned with controlled waste. Duty of care means that a company producing waste is responsible for its proper and safe disposal, even if it has been passed to another party. Breach of the duty of care is an offence, with a penalty and unlimited fine if convicted.


To help us do this, the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have issued a code of practice.

The duty of care requires that


-There is a description of the waste. This need only be in general terms but must be enough to allow safe handling.


-The waste is handled and stored properly to avoid polluting the environment


-When transferring waste a transfer note is needed. This is a requirement of the Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991. This note should state the quantity of waste transferred, how it has been packed and if relevant, the type of container it has been placed in. The note should also mention any special problems relating to the waste to avoid mis-management. It is your duty to keep a copy of the transfer note for a minimum period of 5 years.


-Waste may only be handed on to persons authorised to handle it. It is our duty to check that the person receiving the waste is authorised. Waste carriers are registered with the Environment Agency and have a certificate of registration.


-It is our duty to find where the waste has been disposed and to be sure of the safe disposal of the waste.


The Duty of Care applies to those who produce, import, carry, treat or dispose of controlled waste. It is a statutory obligation to ensure the waste is managed correctly under the Duty of Care legislation.  The duty includes clarifying waste, knowing if it is hazardous or non-hazardous and dealing with it correctly and safely under the Duty of Care legislation.


This duty of care includes getting necessary permits to store, treat, transport or dispose of waste causing no extra harm or damage.


A waste transfer note (WTN) is a document that details the transfer of waste from one person to another. As part of the duty of care we ensure that every load of waste we receive or pass to others is covered by a WTN.


As a waste producer, we have the responsibility to ensure that the waste is managed properly and recovered or disposed of safely.



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