Lets Talk Rubbish

Tristan Morris, the founder of TJD Legal goes over some common questions and issues that he witnesses clients dealing with in the real world on issues regarding duty of care and waste disposal. Some of these facts might actually shock you, especially the people who believe the regulations don’t apply to them or their business.

What is waste?
Waste is a broad description but in a nutshell it is ‘something that the user intends to discard or is no longer usable in its current form for its original purpose’.

What is hazardous waste?
Hazardous Waste is the obvious asbestos to the more obscure ‘treated material’ including painted wood, pallets, treated brickwork, varnished wood, paint tins… anything that has been in contact or treated with chemicals. There is a special form and practise for dealing with hazardous waste.

Do I need a waste carrier licence?
If you carry waste of some description as part of your business then you need either an upper or lower tier waste carrier licence. This is obtained from the Environment Agency.

What is the waste transfer note/Consignment note?
The Waste Transfer Note (WTN) is a legal document that accompanies all controlled waste from source to disposal. These must be retained for a minimum of 2 years by all points in this chain. The consignment note is similar but only applies to hazardous waste and must be kept for a minimum of 3 years. The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 updated waste transfer note legislation making it a legal requirement to have certain details on them. Therefore if the WTN doesn’t have this information it is simply a ‘piece of paper’.

Why is this important?
Local Authorities are seeking ways to reclaim money that has been cut by central government and a crackdown on waste laws is expected. With most offences covered by a fixed penalty notice the money goes straight into council coffers. Therefore, it is important as responsible businesses to ensure you comply with the Duty of Care and prevent yourself falling foul of intricate waste legislation.

What are the consequences if I fail in duty of care?
The fines vary but most are covered by at least a £300 Fixed Penalty Notice. Further offences may result in an unlimited fine, vehicle seizure, ban from driving or even imprisonment.

How do I know if I am doing things correctly?
We can have a quick over the phone consultation service with you to find any areas you may be lacking or just to give you peace of mind that all is fine.

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